Jorge Mesa

Jorge Mesa

Brad Pitt: FBI considers investigation over plane claim

The FBI says it is gathering information about an alleged incident involving Brad Pitt and his children aboard a private flight last week.

It said it was evaluating whether to launch an investigation.

Pitt's wife Angelina Jolie filed for divorce on Monday citing irreconcilable differences.

Jolie has asked for physical custody of the couple's six children, asking the judge to give Pitt visitation rights.

The FBI told the BBC: "In response to your inquiry regarding allegations within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States; specifically, an aircraft carrying Mr Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI is continuing to gather facts and will evaluate whether an investigation at the federal level will be pursued."

Pitt released a statement to People magazine after Jolie filed for divorce, saying he was "saddened", and adding: "What matters most now is the well-being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."

  http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/15433/production/_91319078_nov15ap.jpg   Jolie had filed for the dissolution of their marriage / AP 

Jolie's lawyer, Robert Offer, said the decision to divorce had been made "for the health of the family".

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services said it could not confirm or deny whether it was investigating Pitt because of confidentiality laws.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has said it is not investigating actor Brad Pitt in connection with reports of allegations regarding his children, following claims they were looking into the matter.

They told the BBC: "The LAPD is not handling any report or allegations into child abuse for Mr Brad Pitt."

  • Published in Culture

Brazil TV star Domingos Montagner drowns on set of soap opera

One of Brazil's best-loved television actors, Domingos Montagner, has drowned in a river where the crew had been recording scenes for the country's most popular soap opera.

Montagner played the leading role in Velho Chico, a soap opera named after the Sao Francisco river where he died.

The 54-year-old had gone for a swim with an actress after a day of shooting in the north-eastern state of Sergipe.

She said he was dragged away by the river's strong currents.

The actress, Camila Pitanga, cried for help but local people failed to act initially as they believed the drowning was a scene in the soap opera.

Authorities said there was little that anyone could have done.

In the soap opera, Montagner played a farmer who often fought off local gunmen. In one of those clashes, he was shot multiple times and appeared to drown in the same Sao Francisco river, but reappeared weeks later.

'Dangerous area'

"They thought they had chosen a safe spot to swim, but that is one of the most dangerous areas in the town of Caninde and usually avoided by locals," police chief Antonio Francisco Filho told O Globo.

One person, on average, has drowned every year in the town since 2005, reports said.

TV presenter Angelica Huck wrote on Instagram: "I can't believe it - an incredible actor and human being. May God give light and peace to his family"

Four hours after the incident, rescue teams found Montagner's body underwater, some 300 metres (984ft) from where he drowned.

'Life imitates art'

Montagner was born in Sao Paulo and had a career in the circus before becoming a television actor, in 2008.

This was his 12th role on TV. His first significant soap opera role was in 2011, and he had his film debut in 2012.


A soap opera affair

  • Soap operas, or novelas, are traditionally some of the most-watched TV programmes in Brazil, and are broadcast in dozens of other countries
  • The main time slot, at 2100 on Globo TV, is watched, on average, by 50% of the viewing public
  • In key moments that number can reach up to 80%
  • In 2012 Globo said one of its most successful soap operas was watched by 38m people daily
  • But viewership has declined in recent years mainly because of paid TV channels and new viewing habits
  • Each episode reportedly costs up to 800,000 reais ($242,000; £183,000) to make
  • And a 30-second commercial break at a final episode can cost 500,000 reais ($151,000; £114,000)

Brazil's love for soap operas


Montagner had been married for 14 years to actress Luciana Lima, with whom he had three children.

The news of his death has caused commotion in Brazil, where fellow actors and social media users have paid tributes to the actor.

@ligiafreitass said on Twitter: "I can't get the death of Domingos Montagner out of my head. An entire soap opera dedicated to a river that, in the end, takes (the life of) its main character".

Also on Twitter, @GenteFizTwiter wrote: "Good people die early. It has always been like this"

For its part, @uolbieber said: "Paul Walker and Domingos Montagner are the definition of the sentence: life imitates art"

The football team he supported, Corinthians, praised him also for his success as a handball player for the club's affiliate in the 1980s.

His latest film, Um Namorado Para Minha Mulher (A Boyfriend For My Wife), was released two weeks ago.

  • Published in Culture

World's Oldest Man Turns 113, Readies For Bar Mitzvah

Jerusalem: The world's oldest man turned 113 on Thursday and the Holocaust survivor living in Israel readied for the Bar Mitzvah he was denied a century ago, his family said.

Yisrael Kristal, an observant Jew from Zarnow in what is now Poland and currently living in the port city of Haifa, was born on September 15, 1903, three months before the Wright brothers' first successful powered airplane flight.

Guinness World Records in March recognised him as the world's oldest man.

While he turned 113 on Thursday under the Gregorian calendar, his family will celebrate the birthday at the end of September according to the Hebrew calendar, his daughter Shula Koperstoch told AFP.

The festivities will include a Bar Mitzvah that will come 100 years late.

The Bar Mitzvah is one of the most important ceremonies in the life of a Jew.

Usually marked at 13 for boys and 12 or 13 for girls -- a Bat Mitzvah in that case -- it marks the transition into someone responsible for their actions.

Kristal was unable to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah in 1916 because his mother had died three months earlier and his father was a soldier in the Russian army at the time of World War I.

"My father is religious and has prayed every morning for 100 years, but he has never had his Bar Mitzvah," his daughter said.

Around 100 family members will attend, with the date and location being kept secret to avoid Kristal having to contend with a crush of journalists, she said.

Asked about his health, Koperstoch said only: "He is ageing."

After World War I, Kristal moved to Lodz where he worked in the family confectionary factory, married and had two children.

But his life was disrupted when the Jewish quarter of the city became a ghetto under Nazi occupation during World War II and Kristal was sent to the infamous Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Around 1.1 million people, most of them European Jews, perished in the camp between 1940 and 1945 before it was liberated by Soviet forces.

His wife and two children died but Kristal survived, weighing just 37 kilos (81 pounds) at the end of the war.

He then moved to Israel, where he has lived for over six decades. He re-married, had a son and opened a sweet shop.

He is four years younger than the world's oldest woman, Emma Morano, an Italian who turns 117 in November -- meaning she was born in the 19th century.

The previous oldest man, Yasutaro Koide of Japan, died in January at the age of 112.

Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in 1997, was the oldest verified person ever -- passing away in France aged 122 years and 164 days.

  • Published in World

Freddie Mercury: Asteroid named after late Queen star to mark 70th birthday

An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to mark what would have been the singer's 70th birthday.

The Queen frontman has had his name attached to Asteroid 17473, which was discovered in 1991 - the year he died.

Queen guitarist Brian May told a gathering of 1,250 fans at Montreux Casino in Switzerland that the asteroid would now be known as Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury.

May said the honour marked "Freddie's outstanding influence in the world".

Issuing the certificate of designation, Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute said the asteroid was a celebration for a "charismatic singer".

"Freddie Mercury sang, 'I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky' - and now that is even more true than ever before," he said.

"But even if you can't see Freddie Mercury leaping through the sky, you can be sure he's there - 'floating around in ecstasy', as he might sing - for millennia to come."

May, who still performs with his Queen colleague drummer Roger Taylor and singer Adam Lambert, is now Dr Brian May after studying for a PhD in Astrophysics at London's Imperial College.

He told the Montreux gathering that the Freddie Mercury asteroid was situated in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and that it measured about two miles across.

"It's a dark object - rather like a cinder in space. Viewed from the Earth it is more than 10,000 times fainter than you can see by eye, so you need a fair-sized telescope to see it and that's why it wasn't discovered until 1991," said May.

The asteroid naming follows a weekend of commemorations of the singer in London, also hosted by May.

The guitarist unveiled an English Heritage blue plaque at his bandmate's childhood home in Feltham, west London.

He said: "And so - for its first appearance in public - Asteroid Freddiemercury - happy birthday Freddie!"

 

  • Published in Culture
Subscribe to this RSS feed