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Rocker PJ Harvey travels to Afghanistan to inspire her music in new documentary

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Art rocker PJ Harvey visits a drum shop in Kabul, a war-damaged house with peeling wallpaper in Kosovo, and street rappers in Washington D.C., seeking inspiration for an album in a new documentary showing at the Berlin Film Festival.

Directed by Seamus Murphy, “A Dog Called Money” juxtaposes scenes of Harvey observing and listening to local people make music or sounds during her travels – such as men chanting at a religious ceremony in Afghanistan – with shots of her replicating those sounds in a recording studio in London.

The documentary features traffic jams, a busy market and calls to prayer in Afghanistan while scenes from the United States include the congregation of a church weeping, a young boy telling of family members who have been shot in his neighborhood and cheerleaders performing in the street.

“It was looking at the creative process and in this instance the creative process of making an album and then if we go back it’s the places and the people that inspired those songs,” Murphy told Reuters in an interview.

He said Afghanistan and Kosovo seemed obvious places for him and Harvey to travel to since he was familiar with them from his earlier work and Washington appeared to complement those places as the center of Western power that had played a role in deciding the fate of those countries.

“And then I thought, well OK, Washington – we think of the Capitol, we think of the White House, we think of democracy but what about the other side of D.C. … the poverty? A large percentage of the population is African-American – what are their lives like?”

“So we went to (the neighborhood of) Anacostia and we found a very different story to what you see on Capitol Hill – we saw things there and people living in situations that were far worse than Afghanistan and Kosovo,” he added.

Murphy also said he wanted to make people think about the cliche that Afghans are starving and miserable all the time.

“My experience of Afghanistan, apart from terrible situations at times, is of a very buoyant people, a very hospitable people and people that have a lot of fun with each other so that’s important, I think, to show that side,” he said.

The documentary – one of around 400 films showing at this year’s Berlinale – also shows people watching through one-way glazing as Harvey performs in a specially constructed recording studio.

Additional reporting and writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Dale Hudson

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Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother urges the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family

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Meghan Markle's estranged half-brother urges the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family

Meghan Markle‘s estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. wants the Duchess of Sussex to help the family make amends, starting with reaching out to the siblings’ father.

In a video obtained by OK! Magazine, Thomas Jr. revealed that Thomas Sr.’s feelings have been crushed by the current state of his relationship with Meghan.

“He’s hurt and very confused about what happened to his relationship with his daughter and I think he’s a little more frustrated now because he’s got a grandchild coming up with his favorite person that he worshipped,” Thomas Jr. explained.

He continued: “They had such a tight bond together and now he’s worried about if he’s ever going to get to see his grandchild. It’s a new addition to the family and now would be a perfect opportunity for the family to get back together.”

MEGHAN MARKLE INVITED TO ESTRANGED HALF-BROTHER’S WEDDING AFTER HE URGED PRINCE HARRY NOT TO MARRY HER

According to Thomas Jr., the rift between the family members started back when Meghan landed the role as Rachel Zane on the TV series, “Suits.”

Meghan Markle's estranged half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., is urging the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family. 

Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., is urging the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family. 
(Getty/MEGA Agency)

“A lot of the distance happened between Meghan when she went to Toronto and her first big break in TV which was ‘Suits’ and it turned out to be a big hit in the USA,” he stated, claiming that he believes the 37-year-old former actress “turned into a little Hollywood starlet” who was “focused on her career so much.”

“I get it,” Thomas Jr. noted. “I get being in that world because once you’re down that path you’ll do anything it takes to be successful so that had a lot to do with being distant from her whole family.”

However, at the same time, he added that the way he sees it is if “Meg wants to talk to me I’m sure she can get a hold of me.”

MEGHAN MARKLE’S FAMILY FEUD

Meghan and Thomas Sr. have been at odds ever since he missed her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, and their relationship grew even more acrimonious after he published a letter from her earlier this month begging him to stop speaking to the media and to stop siding with her half-sister, Samantha Markle, who she accused of selling stories to tabloids.

In the same video interview obtained by OK! Magazine (via the Daily Mail), Thomas Jr. also spoke about Samantha, claiming “she was very jealous of Meghan from the very beginning and still to this very day.”

“‘I wouldn’t believe anything that’s written in there [her tell-all book],” he said, revealing that he hasn’t spoken to Samantha — who he reportedly describes as “negative” and “hard to get along with” — in years.

‘[Thomas Sr.] has even said to me ‘I wish Babe [Samantha’s reported nickname] would shut her mouth already and be quiet,'” he added. “My number one message for Meghan would be to reach out to her father,” he added. “It would mean the world to him to be back in her life and be part of his grandchild’s life.”

As for what Meghan was like growing up? Thomas Jr. called her a “happy kid” who was “always smiling.”

“We would have a little Christmas at our house and then go to [Meghan’s mother] Doria’s mom’s house — they had the really tight environment and it was really nice being there,” he recalled. “She was really into Disney movies, like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Aladdin.’ There was nothing tomboy about her — she was all princess. We would take our dog for a walk and take lunch and play with the dog.”

Fox News’ Jessica Sager contributed to this report. 

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Khloe Kardashian responds to Tristan Thompson’s alleged infidelity

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Khloe Kardashian responds to Tristan Thompson’s alleged infidelity

Khloe Kardashian appeared to be letting emojis do the talking amid reports that Tristan Thompson – her NBA player boyfriend and the father of her child – was unfaithful to her.

After Hollywood Unlocked, an entertainment news website, posted an Instagram video Tuesday about the alleged cheating with Jordyn Woods, who is best friend’s with Kylie Jenner, Kardashian sounded off with a series of talking head emojis in the comment section.

“#PressPlay One of our contributors was at #TristanThompson’s house party and saw what went down! @kyliejenner we need you to address some thangs with @jordynwoods,” the post said. “Anyhow, #JordynWoods stayed at his house until approximately 7am. Who needs to go?! Comment below!”

KIM KARDASHIAN RISKS NIP-SLIP IN REVEALING VINTAGE THIERRY MUGLER GOWN

The organization, apparently noticing Kardashian’s comment, took a screenshot and posted it to their Instagram.

Larsa Pippen and Malika Haqq – both of whom are pals to the star  – also reacted to the post, writing “Amen!!!!” and “STRONG FACTS,” respectively, US Weekly reported.

Kardashian and Thompson are no longer together following the alleged infidelity, according to E! News.

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Representatives for the pair did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

The reality star gave birth to the pair’s daughter, True, in April last year as reports emerged that accused Thompson of cheating on Kardashian in the days before she went into labor.

Fox News’ Julius Young and Katherine Lam contributed to this report.

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Cook County state’s attorney recuses herself from Jussie Smollett case

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Cook County state's attorney recuses herself from Jussie Smollett case

The Cook County state’s attorney has recused herself from the investigation surrounding Jussie Smollett, as Chicago police continue to dig into the alleged hate crime attack the actor claims occurred last month.

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself on Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear why. First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats will take over the case as acting state’s attorney, Fox News has learned.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S LAWYERS DENY HE PLANNED ATTACK AFTER CHICAGO POLICE CLAIM HE’S NO LONGER CONSIDERED A VICTIM IN CASE

Foxx’s recusal came as the Chicago Police Department rejected a tip the bureau received earlier Tuesday regarding the “Empire” actor’s case.

Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the department, tweeted that the tip alleging that Smollett was spotted in an elevator in his building with two men who were initially considered suspects was “unfounded as it was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives.”

Smollett, who is openly gay and black, reported that on Jan. 29, he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway restaurant. He claimed that the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him, poured a chemical substance on him, threw a rope around his neck and shouted, “This is MAGA country!”

CORY BOOKER ‘WITHHOLDING’ JUDGMENT ON SMOLLETT CASE AFTER CALLING IT ‘ATTEMPTED MODERN-DAY LYNCHING’

Investigators revealed on Friday that two suspects were questioned in connection with the alleged attack, but were released without charges “due to new evidence.”

Chicago police said on Saturday that Smollett was no longer considered a victim in their investigation.

Smollett’s attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, vehemently denied that the attack was a hoax, previously telling the press: “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”

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“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack,” the statement continued. “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

Separately, court documents recently obtained by Fox News reveal that Smollett was convicted for DUI and providing a police officer with false information. It was not immediately clear what information he lied to police about, but it’s related to a vehicular charge. Smollett’s legal team did not deny the arrest.

Fox News’ Mike Tobin and Matt Finn contributed to this report.

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