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culture lane

No DNA for becoming President: Oprah

Oprah Winfrey said she is not interested in running for President, in comments published this week that were made before the current wave of speculation that followed her speech at the Golden Globes. Over the years, Winfrey’s popularity has frequently prompted conjecture that she could be a viable presidential candidate. Winfrey, however, has never made a formal bid for the presidency. “I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” Winfrey told US magazine InStyle three weeks before the Globes. “And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.”

At the awards show earlier this month, host Seth Meyers made a joke about Winfrey being president just before she delivered a rousing speech at the awards show. A deluge of news stories and editorials followed, with commentators debating whether Winfrey would run for president and what such a bid would look like.

Donald Trump was even asked whether he could defeat Winfrey in a presidential election. “Yeah, I’d beat Oprah,” Trump said. “Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well. I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s gonna run.”

Winfrey’s friends, including best friend Gayle King, said Winfrey was likely not running for president. But her partner, Stedman Graham, fueled further speculation when the Los Angeles Times asked him whether Oprah would run.

Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great

The Queen star Helen Mirren has signed up to play another monarch — Catherine the Great. The Oscar-winning actor came up with the idea for the Sky and HBO drama, saying she had always wanted to play the Russian empress and was attracted to the idea of playing such a powerful woman. She said: “I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power. She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘Great’ attached to her name.”

The four-part drama, which will begin filming later this year, “delves into the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history”, Sky said. It will follow Catherine towards the end of her reign and her passionate affair with the Russian general Grigory Potemkin.

Sky said the Russian empress was “the definition of the modern woman”, wielding supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century, and was “strong-minded, independent, brilliantly intelligent and sexually liberated”.

The drama has been written by Nigel Williams, who wrote the television mini-series Elizabeth I, which also starred Mirren as a monarch, and will be directed by Philip Martin, whose credits include Prime Suspect and The Crown.

Banksy mural rescued by a cleaner

A window cleaner from Hull has been hailed a hero for saving a new Banksy mural that was completely covered in white paint by vandals. The artwork, which depicts a young boy raising a sword-like pencil with the words “Draw the raised bridge!”, was discovered on a permanently raised bridge in the city last week. The stencil drew large crowds to an industrial area in last year’s City of Culture, as Banksy used his verified Instagram account to confirm it was his own work.However, within 48 hours the mural had been completely daubed in white paint, sparking a furious reaction online.

Residents were angered by the defacing of the artwork, with one Banksy fan saying: “I am absolutely livid with Hull City Council for not protecting the Banksy mural. City of Culture, pfffft.”

On Sunday night, local window cleaner Jason Fanthorpe and other residents took matters into their own hands to save the mural. “There were lots of people turning up and I was just going to bed when I saw it had been destroyed,” Fanthorpe told BBC Radio Humberside. It wasn’t just me that helped, this work is international prestige gifted to the city, and I couldn’t sit back and see nothing happen.




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Ajay Singh urges State Chief EC to probe irregularities in polls

17 Mar 2018 | Staff Reporter | Bhopal

Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Ajay Singh and Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Arun Yadav on Friday called on Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat and urged him to get investigated the matter related to large scale irregularities in the electoral rolls in Madhya Pradesh. The two requested the CEC to get the matter investigated before the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, scheduled in November, 2018...

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