Jennifer Garner Leads People Magazine’s Beautiful List

Actress, businesswoman and children’s advocate Jennifer Garner is featured on the cover of People magazine’s annual beautiful issue, the magazine said on Tuesday.

People said it chose the 47-year-old “Alias” actress for balancing her career and charitable work with the raising of her three children with ex-husband Ben Affleck.

In addition to film and TV roles, Garner co-founded organic baby food company Once Upon a Farm and works as an ambassador for advocacy group Save the Children.

Garner told People that she never considered herself “one of the pretty girls” when she was growing up in West Virginia. She described her style at the time as “band geek-chic.”

Her current “uniform” more often than not is workout clothes, or jeans, a sweater and sneakers, if she is not dressed up for a red carpet or photo shoot.

When she does get glammed up, Garner said her kids will ask “‘Can you wash your face? Can you put your hair in a ponytail and put your glasses and sweats on?'”

“And I see the compliment in that,” she said. “They just want me to look like Mom.”

People’s beautiful issue will hit newsstands on Friday.

Critics Gush Over Spectacle, Story of ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Film critics unleashed overwhelmingly positive reviews on Tuesday of “Avengers: Endgame,” the highly anticipated final installment in a decade-long superhero story from Walt Disney’s Marvel Studios.

As of Tuesday afternoon, all but one of 56 “Endgame” reviews collected by the Rotten Tomatoes website were rated as positive.

USA Today’s Brian Truitt called the three-hour film “Marvel’s glorious greatest-hits package” with callbacks to previous adventures that will thrill fans who have faithfully followed characters such as Iron Man and Thor.

“It’s also a singular, sprawling and hugely satisfying tale that begins with a brutal, emotional gut punch and takes you on quite the trip with the original Avengers crew,” Truitt said.

Highest-grossing franchise

“Endgame” concludes a story that has unfolded over 21 previous films since 2007 and become the highest-grossing franchise in movie history. It picks up where last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” left fans hanging when several beloved heroes appeared to turn to dust.

CNN’s Brian Lowry said “Endgame” delivered a worthy finale.

“The filmmakers have sought to reward movie-goers with a spectacle that’s epic in every way,” Lowry said.

“The overall journey not only produces several genuine surprises — no small feat in this context — but plenty of humor, with an assortment of lighter moments to augment the stir ring and, yes, emotional ones,” he added.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times said the movie provided the “sense of an ending,” even though many characters are expected to return in future films, and “a chance to appreciate what has been done before the timelines reset and we all get back to work.”

“We’ve lived with these characters and the actors playing them for more than a decade,” Scott wrote. “For the most part, it’s nice to see them again, and a little sad to say goodbye.”

Box office experts say “Endgame” may break the opening weekend record for ticket sales in the United States and Canada, which now stands at $257.7 million for “Infinity War.”

Austrian Far-right Politician Resigns over ‘Rat’ Poem

The vice mayor of the Austrian town where Adolf Hitler was born resigned from his post and the far-right Freedom Party on Tuesday after provoking strong criticism with a poem in which he compared migrants with rats.

Christian Schilcher left the Freedom Party (FPO) to avoid damaging the junior partner in a national coalition with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservatives, FPO chief Heinz Christian Strache told a news conference in Vienna. 

Schilcher’s poem in a party newspaper was written under his pseudonym “the city rat” and told from the perspective of a rodent.

“Just as we live down here, so must other rats, who as guests or migrants… share with us the way of life! Or (they must) hurry away quickly,” it says.

One verse adds that if two cultures were mixed it was as if they were destroyed.

“Such misconduct is incompatible with the principles of the Freedom Party,” said Strache, who is vice-chancellor in Austria’s coalition government.

Freedom Party members have repeatedly stumbled over Nazi scandals and made headlines in local media for alleged links with the far-right Identitarian movement.

Schilcher’s resignation was “the only logical consequence” after publishing that “horrible and racist poem”, Kurz told news agency APA.

Japan’s PM Vows to Help France in Rebuilding Notre Dame

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pledging to help France rebuild the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral.

Abe stopped in France Tuesday as part of his tour of Europe and North America.

Speaking alongside French president Emmanuel Macron, Abe said through a translator he “was deeply saddened by the damage inflicted to the World Heritage” building.

He said the Japanese government “will spare no effort to bring its cooperation” in the reconstruction.

Macron and Abe will discuss the agenda for the upcoming Group of Seven and Group of 20 leaders’ summits that France and Japan will respectively host this year.

In their statement at the Elysee palace, they said they will also talk about boosting economic growth through free trade, and address issues including North Korea and plastic waste in ocean.

Turkey’s Sole Communist Mayor Promises Small Steps to Socialism

Capitalism is too firmly entrenched in Turkey to be uprooted overnight, according to the country’s sole communist mayor, but small steps to create local jobs and promote cooperative farming can help nudge it along “the path to socialism.”

Fatih Macoglu, from the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), took over as mayor of the central district of Tunceli this month after victory in March 31 local elections, which saw President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party lose control of the capital Ankara and Turkey’s business hub, Istanbul.

In a country where politics have often been dominated by right-wing nationalist or Islamist parties and where the TKP won just 0.16% of the vote in the March polls, Macoglu’s victory has been a cause for celebration among Turkish leftists.

But then the eastern town of Tunceli, home to minorities such as the Kurds, Zazas and Alevis, has long been known for its leftist, secularist views and for bucking national trends.

The Turkish government removed Tunceli’s last elected mayor for suspected links to the outlawed militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and appointed a trustee who built walls around the town hall for security reasons.

The first thing Macoglu did after his election was to remove the walls, but he also knows he has to adapt his ideals to the tough economic and security conditions of provincial Turkey.

“When we went to people before elections, they had two problems. First, they did not want walls, bureaucracy between the people and the municipality. Second was the issue of unemployment,” he told Reuters at an interview in his office.

“As part of this world where capitalism, imperialism, fascism rule, this country is unable to work without them,” he said, striking a pragmatic tone that has earned him respect beyond far-leftist circles and also beyond Tunceli. 

“Of course, we are not establishing communism. We want to clear the path to socialism that has been polluted by capitalism.”

‘Fairness and equality’

Macoglu came to prominence five years ago when he was elected to run Tunceli’s Ovacik district. He paid off most of the municipality’s sizeable debt, provided free public transportation and opened up government land for agriculture.

Macoglu’s work in Ovacik has changed ordinary Turks’ views of communism, said Serife Ozdemir, 64, a retired teacher from nearby Malatya, one of many admirers from around Turkey to visit Tunceli to offer their congratulations to its new mayor.

“In the past, if two people fought, instead of swearing, one would yell, ‘communist, communist,’ and the other would feel offended,” she said.

Tunceli has always been a “socialist society”, said Serkan Sariates, 44, a bookstore owner who wears a beret with a red star, “because people here believe in fairness and equality.”

Pledging greater transparency, Macoglu has put up posters outside the town hall detailing municipal expenditure and income.

He aims to curb high unemployment — which he puts as high as 35% — by promoting tourism, cooperative farms and the construction of eco-friendly homes for rent. He also wants to slash the municipality’s heavy debt load within two years, repeating his success in Ovacik.

But not everyone in Tunceli is convinced he can succeed.

“The conditions are not suitable here,” said Firaz Tekol, a 24-year-old sociology student. “He’s going to have a hard time tackling all these problems.”

Egypt to Turn to Private Sector to Restore Historic Buildings

Egypt’s government is drawing up a plan to turn over as many as 150 crumbling historic buildings to the private sector to refurbish and lease out for profit, the Minister of Public Enterprise said on Tuesday.

The plan could potentially save an eclectic mix of neo-classical, beaux arts, art nouveaux, art deco and early modern styles built mostly in the first half of the 20th century then nationalized in the early 1960s.

It could also revitalize important tourism districts in central Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said on the Suez Canal. The buildings have fallen into various degrees of disrepair for lack of funding and maintenance, with many tenants paying tiny sums for units that have remained rent controlled for more than half a century.

‘Revenue-sharing basis’

Public enterprise minister Hesham Tawfik said the government would follow the model of privately owned Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, which has been slowly renovating 23 historic buildings it has bought in downtown Cairo.

“They take the buildings, they settle with individuals or companies who are renting these apartments, they do the necessary renovations, inside and outside, and they simply rent them to the private sector. And they are making some decent return on their investment,” Tawfik said.

“We intend to do this by offering parcels of buildings, and by parcels I mean four to five buildings per transaction, for the private sector to repeat what Ismaelia did, on a revenue-sharing basis,” he said at business conference.

The plan was being studied at the state Insurance Holding Co. which along with the state insurance company owns 350 buildings, 150 of which are classified as historic.

“Probably they will come up with something very soon to offer to private developers, who we will insist be Ismaelia-style, with the right social background to be able to make sure that the development is done at the right level,” Tawfik said.  

Repaying debts

The government was also preparing to sell about 2 million square meters of unused land owned by state holding companies to help pay back more than 38 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.22 billion) in debts owed to other public entities, he said.

These include the National Investment Bank, the Ministry of Petroleum, the Ministry of Electricity, pension funds and the tax authority.

Once paid, any extra proceeds will be used to finance restructuring plans for companies under the ministry, including 21 billion pounds for textile industry and 5 billion pounds for chemical and metallurgical industries, Tawfik said.


Теніс: друга ракетка України поступилася в стартовому раунді турніру в Штутгарті

Друга ракетка України Леся Цуренко залишає турнір серії WTA Premier у німецькому Штутгарті після поразки у першому раунді.

Цуренко програла місцевій тенісистці Лаурі Зігемунд – 2:6, 2:6.

Через травму українка не брала участь у змаганнях півтора місяці. Це був її перш матч на ґрунтовому покритті.

На Великдень київське метро працюватиме на дві години довше

У ніч на Великдень київське метро працюватиме на одну годину довше, а в неділю 28 квітня почне роботу на одну годину раніше звичайного розкладу, повідомила прес-служба київського метрополітену.

Додаткові години додаються до звичайного часу роботи кожної станції, що написані на вході та в залі станції.

28 квітня християни східного обряду святкуватимуть Великдень.

«Океан не мовчить»: Вакарчук анонсував «демократичний концерт» на День Києва

Лідер гурту «Океан Ельзи» Святослав Вакарчук у своєму відеозверненні анонсував «демократичний концерт» на День Києва в Національному комплексі «Експоцентр України» (ВДНГ).

«А чому б тут не зробити несподівано концерт гурту «Океан Ельзи»? Наприклад, на День Києва 26 травня. Ось так взяти і зробити. Причому зробити його… Поставити сцену на 360 градусів, зробити її доступною для перегляду, зробити одну суцільну фан-зону, ніяких сидячих місць, ніякої vip-зони. Демократичний концерт із демократичними цінами в демократичній країні», – сказав Вакарчук.

За його словами, про цю ідею не знали шанувальники і музиканти «Океану Ельзи». Він запропонував назвати концерт «Океан не мовчить».

«Океан» не мовчить, не мовчіть і ви», – додав Вакарчук.

22 січня Вакарчук анонсував повернення до політики через «розчарування сучасним її станом в Україні». Через тиждень музикант заявив, що не братиме участі у виборах президента 2019 року. Він тоді сказав, що працюватиме над тим, «щоб привести у владу якомога більше молодих професіоналів».

Лідер гурту «Океан Ельзи» був народним депутатом шостого скликання в період з листопада 2007 року до грудня 2008-го. Він обирався за списками блоку «Наша Україна – Народна самооборона».

«Великдень для Героїв»: в Україні печуть паски і розписують писанки для військових

Українські митці, ветерани АТО та родини Героїв Небесної сотні 23 квітня взяли участь у акції «Великдень для героїв» – вони пекли паски і розписували писанки. Як повідомила Радіо Свобода куратор проекту, етнограф Галина Олійник, частина пасок і писанок незабаром вирушать на схід до підрозділів Збройних сил України та добровольчих підрозділів, а частина писанок прикрасить Алею героїв Небесної сотні у Києві напередодні Великодня.

«Ми зробили автентичні пасочки і писанки, вони є оберегами для тих, хто боронить Україну, як і для душ тих, хто здобув вічне життя в боротьбі за неї. Це наш вияв поваги до українських захисників та підтримки тих, хто її потребує, серед іншого, це родини загиблих героїв», – каже Олійник.

За її словами, традиційно українці святкують Великдень «із пращурами та всіма, хто пішов «у засвіти» за волю України».

Цього року паски пекли і розписували писанки, серед інших, міністр культури Євген Нищук, керівник Українського інституту національної пам’яті Володимир В’ятрович, директор Національного музею Революції гідності Ігор Пошивайло та родини Героїв Небесної сотні.

«Великдень та Різдво – це ті свята, які об’єднують українські родини, українців. А якщо є міцна родина, то й Україна буде міцною», – зазначив Нищук.

Акція відбувалась утретє, цього року митці та ветерани бойових дій розписували писанки і пекли паски в Києві та місті Заліщики (Тернопільська область), а 24 квітня акція відбудеться у Львові.

Серед її організаторів – Національний музей Революції гідності, Громадська організація «Родина Героїв Небесної сотні», Український інститут національної пам’яті, Благодійний фонд «Майдан Гідності» та органи влади Львівської і Тернопільської областей.