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AP News in Brief at 11:09 p.m. EST

March 04, 2018 - 8:09 PM

Jordan Peele wins best screenplay at Oscars full of change

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A sense of change was palpable at the 90th Academy Awards as Hollywood sought to confront the post-Harvey Weinstein era and pivot to a vision of a more inclusive movie business.

The ceremony Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles was punctuated by political speeches and impassioned arguments for diversity. Jordan Peele won for his script to his horror sensation "Get Out," becoming the first African-American to win for best original screenplay. Peele, said he stopped writing it "20 times," dubious that it would ever get made.

"But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone would let me make this movie that people would hear it and people would see it," said Peele. "So I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie."

Christopher Nolan's World War II epic "Dunkirk" led all nominees with three awards for its technical craft: editing, sound editing and sound design. Guillermo del Toro's monster fable "The Shape of Water," which came in with a leading 13 nods, took best production design and best score. But the awards were spread around widely in a year lacking a clear front-runner.

And many of the show's most powerful moments came in between the awards. Ashley Judd, Anabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek — who all made allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein — together assembled for a mid-show segment dedicated to the #MeToo movement that has followed the downfall of Weinstein, long an Oscar heavyweight. They were met by a standing ovation.


10 Things to Know for Monday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:


Administration officials say the president's plan to enact stiff duties on imported steel and aluminum will be wide-ranging and won't target any particular countries.


Election projections show a centre-right coalition that includes an anti-migrant party edging past the populist 5-Star Movement, but no single bloc or party with the support to win a majority in Parliament.


The Latest: Italian parties await more results to comment

ROME (AP) — The Latest on Italy's national election on Sunday (all times local):

3:15 a.m.

With votes slowly trickling in, Italian parties competing in national elections have started calling it a night while they await further results before party leaders make comments.

The mood at the anti-immigrant League headquarters in Milan was euphoric early Monday as projections showed the centre-right coalition the party is part of leading the race.

While the centre-right bloc so far is lacking the majority needed to govern, a party official told reporters that the League's strong showing within the coalition was "a clear signal to Europe, which has mistreated Italians."


Ending term limits tops agenda as China's legislature opens

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese lawmakers prepared for changes to allow President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely as the country's top economic official on Monday announced a robust annual growth target, high-tech development goals and a boost in military spending.

The plan to end limits on Xi's term as president has overshadowed the meeting of the National People's Congress, which usually is used to showcase economic initiatives and plans for social programs and other government work.

The slide toward one-man rule under Xi, already China's most dominant figure of recent decades, has fueled concern Beijing is eroding efforts to guard against the excesses of autocratic leadership and make economic regulation more stable and predictable.

Legislators also are due to endorse the appointment of economic and other officials picked by the ruling Communist Party. That is widely expected to include the promotion of Xi's top economic adviser to a post overseeing reform.

Chinese officials have defended the end of Xi's term limits as necessary to ensure continuity as Beijing undertakes a sprawling long-range agenda aimed at making state industry competitive and productive, developing profitable high-tech industry, reducing poverty and cleaning up China's battered environment.


Cardinal's alleged sex victims testify in Australian court

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The alleged victims of the most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis began giving secret evidence to an Australian court on Monday.

Australian Cardinal George Pell wore his clerical collar for the first day of the hearing in the Melbourne Magistrate Court to determine whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to put him on trial. The committal hearing is scheduled to take up to a month.

The testimony of alleged victims was suppressed from publication and the courtroom was closed to the public and media. Their testimony is expected to take up to two weeks.

Prosecutor Mark Gibson had earlier told Magistrate Belinda Wallington that the complainants would give evidence by a video link. Defence lawyer Robert Richter said he did not object to the complainants not attending court in person.

Wallington gave permission for one of complainants to be accompanied by what Gibson described a "support dog" while giving evidence.


White House: No exemptions from steel, aluminum tariffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's administration appears unbowed by broad domestic and international criticism of his planned import tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying Sunday that the president is not planning on exempting any countries from the stiff duties.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said: "At this point in time there's no country exclusions."

Trump's announcement Thursday that he would impose tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, on imported steel and aluminum, roiled markets, rankled allies and raised prospects for a trade war. While his rhetoric has been focused on China, the duties will also cover significant imports from Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and the European Union.

Addressing criticism of the proposed action, Trump tweeted Sunday that American "Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it's time for a change!"

The Pentagon had recommended that Trump only pursue targeted tariffs, so as not to upset American partners abroad. But Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Sunday that was not the direction the president would take.


Seoul envoy to raise nuclear disarmament on North Korea trip

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A special envoy for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday he'll relay Moon's hopes for North Korean nuclear disarmament and a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula when he meets this week with North Korean officials.

Moon's national security director, Chung Eui-yong, spoke to reporters ahead of a two-day trip that may include talks with leader Kim Jong Un. If that meeting is realized, Chung would become the first South Korean official to meet Kim in person since he took power upon his dictator father's death in late 2011.

Kim's barrage of weapons tests over the last year has raised fears of war. But Moon is pressing what he sees as momentum created by North Korea's participation in last month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, led a high-level delegation south.

If North Korea shows a willingness to disarm, it could indicate a restart of dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington to defuse the North Korean nuclear standoff.

"I will certainly deliver President Moon's firm resolve to achieve a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and genuine and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula," Chung said. He said he'll push for "in-depth" talks to find ways to help arrange the restart of dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.


No dress code, but plenty of references to MeToo at Oscars

There was no #MeToo or Time's Up dress code on the Oscar red carpet. But the topic was, to no one's surprise, a major talking point of the evening — and host Jimmy Kimmel got right to it in his opening monologue.

"Here's how clueless Hollywood is about women," Kimmel said. "We made a movie called 'What Women Want' and it starred Mel Gibson."

Mixing the serious theme with a little humour, Kimmel said the world was watching — and that Hollywood needed to set an example.

"If we can stop sexual harassment in the workplace, women will only ever have to deal with harassment all the time, every place else they go," he quipped.

And he evoked the now-disgraced name of Harvey Weinstein, whose sexual misconduct — revealed late last year — launched the stunning reckoning that has spread to other areas of society in just a few months. For years one of the biggest players at the Oscars, Weinstein has now been thrown out of the academy. Kimmel marveled that the only other person ever kicked out was a character actor who shared screeners.


Drama in red and neutrals on Oscars red carpet

Looks in neutrals, reds and purples brought the drama Sunday on the Oscars carpet, along with a healthy dose of shiny gold, but Nicole Kidman stood out in stunning cobalt blue at Hollywood's biggest fashion show.

Kidman, a presenter, was among the last to walk in Los Angeles when she showed up with a wave to the cameras in her power look, a strapless gown with a huge bow in front. Sandra Bullock brought the strength in a gold Louis Vuitton custom halter dress that draped at the waist and went black at the hem.

Salma Hayek looked like exotic royalty in a custom Gucci gown in lilac. It was heavily jeweled and had a busy, ruffled tiered skirt. Rita Moreno, meanwhile, honoured Academy Awards history by donning the same gown (with a bold-pattern full skirt) she wore in 1962, when she won an Oscar for "West Side Story."

"It's been hanging in my closet this whole time," Moreno told The Associated Press.

A few recently returned Olympians showed up on the red carpet, including skier Lindsey Vonn in a fringed black gown and diamond choker with statement red stones. Figure skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu walked together. He wore belt-leather straps that crossed his chest and she chose a sheer, long-sleeve gown in soft blue.


During Trump hotel strife, a 'Trump Mojito' but no water

PANAMA CITY (AP) — If you can overlook the intermittently running water, Friday's four-hour power outage and occasional police presence in the lobby, the Trump hotel in Panama City retains its status as one of the city's finest.

The hotel remains open for business against a backdrop of service interruptions, bad press and a fight over the Trump Organization's management contract that ended in fisticuffs and repeated police calls last week.

"This isn't what you expect from a luxury hotel," one guest was heard fuming when told Thursday that access to running water would not be restored for hours.

The hotel's lobby is notable mostly for its shortage of guests, compensated for by a generous allotment of reporters and security staff bracing for renewed confrontations after investor Orestes Fintiklis tried to wrest the administrative office back from the Trump Organization last week.

Armed with termination notices for the hotel's management, he met stiff resistance from Trump lawyers and security — the first skirmish in a battle for physical control of the hotel property.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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