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The War Between Russia And Ukraine

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As it approaches mid year, many people are looking forward to the Kentucky Derby 2022 sports event. However, this year might bring about a whole lot of mixed emotions with the escalating war that’s taking place between Russia and Ukraine. To get an overall summary on it, keep reading for more. 

 

The Battle Between Russia And Ukraine

 

It was February 24th 2022 that Russia decided to launch a military invasion into Ukraine. Set to be a full-scale mission, the battle has claimed over 200 civilian lives and also pushed many Ukrainian families to seek refuge in neighboring countries. 

 

It was in October 2021 when Russia started moving their military equipment and troops near the Ukrainian border which caused massive concern to the Ukrainian government over a possible invasion. It was in November and December 2021 that Russia started publicly releasing commercial satellite imagery and social media posts that showed missiles, heavy weaponry, and armor being moved towards the Ukrainian border with no official explanation being given on what exactly was happening. 

 

By the time December 2021 arrived, Ukraine witnessed more than 100,000 Russian troops settling near the border between Russia and Ukraine. After seeing this, officials from the US intelligence started sending out warnings stating their suspicion that Russia may be planning an invasion within the following months. By the time it was mid-December 2021, the Russian foreign ministry began issuing various demands that required the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to hold off on any military action to take place in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. There were also other demands being made for those parties to commit against additional NATO expansion towards Russia, and also to stop Ukraine from being part of NATO in future. 

 

When the US and NATO heard of these demands, they immediately rejected them and moved on to warn Russia that they would not be afraid to impose any severe economic sanctions if they were to launch an attack on Ukraine. After this, the US went on to send additional military assistance to Ukraine. This also included the help of small arms, ammunition, and defensive weaponry. 

 

At the start of February 2022, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, ordered roughly 3,000 troops within the US to deploy to Romania and Poland which happen to be the NATO countries that are bordering Ukraine. This would then counter Russian troops that are placing themselves near the Ukrainian border and also provide the necessary reassurance needed by NATO allies. Shortly after this, satellite imagery saw Russian troops being deployed to the Belarus border and negotiations between Russia, other European powers including Germany and France, and the US, ended in no resolution being found. At this time, Russia had released a statement providing a draw down on how many troops it would release. Yet, reports began emerging stating that Russia was increasing its troop presence. 

 

During this time, the US was well aware of what was going on and even went on to warn the world about this Russian invasion into Ukraine towards the end of February. While this happened, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin began ordering their troops to Donetck and Luhansk, which are the eastern sections of Ukraine that are still being controlled by the Russian government. But the Russians kept claiming that their deployed troops were only serving a peacemaking function. 

 

When the US saw this, they started imposing sanctions on the two regions. It was on February the 24th that the United Nations Security Council warned Russia against attacking Ukraine when Putin had announced that they were beginning a full-scale invasion from all corners of the Ukrainian border targeting all of its cities and military assets. 

 

This upset the US president stating that the attack was unjustified and unprovoked. Since then the US has issued serious sanctions in line with other European allies that were targeting four of Russia’s largest banks, gas and oil industry, as well as technological exports. From this point, many countries and leading organizations condemned Russia for their actions and started showing great support towards Ukrainian forces. 

 

A lot has happened since then and with the world backing Ukrainian forces, there have been direct negotiations happening between Ukraine and Russia but with no sign of a resolution being in place. Weeks into the invasion, the battle still continues in major parts of Ukraine with more countries opening their borders to refugees fleeing the country. 

 

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Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival

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Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival

In her honor, Kering and the Cannes Film Festival were pleased to welcome Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Valeria Golino, Paolo Sorrentino, Audrey Diwan, Lola Quivoron and Raymond Depardon on the occasion of the official dinner of the 8th edition of Women In Motion.

The official dinner of Women In Motion, Kering’s program to highlight the invaluable contribution of women to the 7th art, took place Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Place de la Castre in the heights of Cannes, around a menu conceived by the starred chef of the Gucci Osteria, Karime Lopez.

On this occasion, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, presented the eighth Women In Motion Award to American actress and producer Viola Davis, who delivered a powerful speech, in the presence of the members of the Festival Jury. The Young Talent Award was given to Swedish director Ninja Thyberg.

Among the guests were actresses and actors Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Rebecca Hall, Letitia Wright, Julie Gayet, Edgar Ramirez, Noomi Rapace, Alba Rohrwacher, Paul Mescal, Benoît Magimel, Rossy de Palma, Clotilde Courau, Elodie Bouchez, Déborah François, Riz Ahmed, Romain Brau, Anthony Sonigo, Pierre Deladonchamps as well as comedian Stéphane de Groodt. The cast of Novembre by Cédric Jimenez, including Sandrine Kiberlain, Jean Dujardin, Anaïs Demoustier, Lyna Khoudri et Sami Outalbali were also present.

Kering and the Festival de Cannes were also pleased to welcome directors Audrey Diwan, Paolo Sorrentino, Mélanie Laurent, Joachim Trier, Valeria Golino, Asghar Farhadi, Maïwenn, Debra Granik, Lola Quivoron, Chie Hayakawa, Monia Chokri, Aïssa Maïga, Costa Gavras, Claudine Nougaret, Jeff Nichols, Audrey Dana and the winner of the 2021 Young Talent Award, Shannon Murphy. Film industry professionals Julius Tennon, Melita Toscan Du Plantier, Jeremy Thomas, Rosalie Varda, Ronald Chammah were also present.

The great French photographer and documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon, musicians Carla Bruni, Clara Luciani and Benjamin Biolay, models Adriana Lima, Anja Rubik, Eva Herzigova, as well as and influencers Aha & Lolo and Nour Arida also attended this exceptional moment.

Download the visuals of the dinner: HERE

About Women In Motion

Kering’s commitment to women is at the heart of the Group’s priorities and extends, through Women In Motion, to the field of arts and culture, where gender inequalities are still glaring, even though creation is one of the most powerful vectors for change.

In 2015, Kering launched Women In Motion at the Festival de Cannes with the ambition of highlighting women in cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. The program has since expanded in a major way to photography, but also to art, design, choreography and music. Through its Awards, the program recognizes inspirational figures and young female talent, while its Talks provide an opportunity for leading personalities to share their views on the representation of women in their profession.

For the past eight years, Women In Motion has been a platform of choice that contributes to changing mind sets and thinking on the place of women – and the recognition they receive – in the arts and culture.

About Kering

A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, as well as Kering Eyewear. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Houses to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow’s Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination”.

Photos: Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Daniele Venturelli and Boby

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Photos: Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker marry in lavish Italian ceremony

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Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have got married – again. (more…)

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South African Film, ‘Two Hues’ selected for Cannes NEXT

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South African filmmaker and actor, Weaam Williams will pitch her up-coming feature film, Two Hues at NEXT, Marche du Film, Festival De Cannes.

 

The screenplay is funded by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, and has been selected to participate at Marche du Film with the Swiss tech company, largo.ai.

 

Two Hues is a high concept, fiction feature film about a woman who suffers from bi-polar disorder and is a silent victim of sexual assault. The title refers to her two opposite moods portrayed via colour, red and blue.

 

The proof of concept short film, garnered several awards on the 2021 festival circuit, including Best Women Empowerment Film at Berlin Short Film Festival and Best Lead Actress at West Europe International Film Festival.

 

Williams will pitch the project, as a part of the largo NEXT selection, to an audience of financiers, studio representatives and distributors on the 20th May 2022 at The Main Stage, Riviera – Festival De Canes.

 

“I feel that the return of film festivals will encourage a return to the cinema, and this is a very exciting prospect after the hard lock-down. I am very happy to participate at Marche du Film this year, and will promote Two Hues and the rest of the Tribal Alchemy catalogue, as well as meet with co-producers interested in working in South Africa,” expresses Williams.

 

South African producer, Kethiwe Ngcobo, from Fuzebox Entertainment, is a co-producer on this project. She has many years of experience as the Head of Drama at the South African national broadcaster, as well as three feature films under her belt.

 

 

“I am privileged to be working with Weaam, her creativity extends to writing, acting and directing. I am very happy to be a part of the project as Weaam is such a committed filmmaker,” says co-producer Kethiwe Ngcobo.

 

Two Hues feature film script is complete and has generated impressive box office statistics, in proportion to its budget, country of origin and cast. Weaam is set to continue to play the lead for the feature film, however, the director for the project is to be confirmed.

Investment company “i-cubed capital” is the first company to support the production of what is forecasted to be a box-office success. 

“We are pleased and honoured to participate as investors in Two Hues. Our investment in Two Hues highlights our support for local film production, gender equality, anti-racism and anti-violence. I-cubed Consulting believes that the film once completed and screened will have a positive social impact on society,” says Ismail Kajee, Founding Partner at i-Cubed Capital. 

 

Two Hues is currently in development, and Tribal Alchemy Productions will continue fund-raising for the next 12 months.

 

The indie short was produced with a shoe-string budget and managed to receive a few accolades and good audience interaction across the world.

 

“The feature is more ambitious and I am optimistic about the impact it will have on the South African film landscape and tech space, as well as its universal message against gender based violence and exclusion of cultural minorities,” says Williams.

 

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Grammy-Winning Artist Leon Thomas Reveals New Single & Music Video “X-Rated”

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Leon Thomas

Entering what promises to be a massive era, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Leon Thomas unveils a new single and music video entitled “X-Rated” [feat. Benny The Butcher] today. Listen to it HERE, and watch the music video HERE.

 

The single marks Leon’s debut music under multiplatinum artist, singer, songwriter, producer Ty Dolla $ign’s newly inked EZMNY Records, a joint label venture with Motown Records. Ty shares his excitement, stating, “Leon’s talent was just a higher level from every other singer or producer that I was hearing, and the fact that he was doing everything himself from playing bass to working Logic and Pro Tools. From the first song I heard, I knew he was one of them ones.”

 

On Leon’s “X-Rated” track, a glitchy beat holds down the groove beneath warbling loops, building a layered soundscape evocative of nineties hip-hop. His vocals glide over this backdrop as he celebrates female sexual freedom in the verses before a chantable chorus, “X-Rated girl, if these walls could talk.” Meanwhile, Griselda spitter Benny The Butcher pulls up with a fiery feature. The strikingly cinematic visual, which Thomas directed, captures these vibes on-screen and includes a cameo appearance from Ty Dolla $ign.

 

Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Leon shares, “X-Rated is an ode to my love of “Boom Bap” and early 90’s instrumentals. Benny The Butcher brought authentic bars and helped further the theme of this record.”

 

A prolific songwriter and producer, Leon’s unique sound and writing wizardry can be found up and down the Billboard charts. He’s contributed to anthems for everyone from Toni Braxton and Babyface –winning a Grammy for his writing credits on the duo’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce—to Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, Ella Mai, and more. As a co-writer and co-producer, he recently powered “Pipe Down,” “Love All” [feat. JAY-Z], and “In the Bible” [feat. Lil Durk & Giveon] from Drake’s global chart-topping Certified Lover Boy album.

 

Also, a true vocalist and artist in his own right, Leon unveiled his debut EP Genesis in 2018, which garnered tens of millions of streams and earned him critical acclaim. He continues to be a musical force of nature with the release of “X-Rated” and a highly anticipated project due out soon. Be on the lookout for more from Leon!

From writing and producing on #1 albums with chart-breaking artists to starring on hit television series, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Leon Thomas has become one of the most watched multi-hyphenate talents in the entertainment industry today. He has written and produced with the likes of Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, and more, and won a Grammy for writing credits on Babyface and Toni Braxton’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce. In 2021, Leon found himself contributing his writing and production skills to Drake’s global chart-topping album Certified Lover Boy on “Pipe Down,” “Love All” feat. JAY-Z, and “In the Bible” feat. Lil Durk and Giveon. Born in Brooklyn and raised by his vocalist mother, opera-singing grandfather, and stepfather who played guitar for B.B. King, Thomas’ musical career began early. He appeared as Young Simba on Broadway’s The Lion King at 10 years old and began working with Nickelodeon at 13, voicing The Backyardigans character Tyrone and starring in Victorious for the show’s entire run. In 2018, Leon released his debut EP Genesis to critical acclaim. He continues to expand his artistry and venture into a new era of music under Ty Dolla $ign’s EZMNY Records and Motown Records, with the release of “X-Rated” feat. Benny The Butcher and a full project due out soon.

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Quavo x Takeoff Present New Single & Music Video “Hotel Lobby”

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Quavo

Over the years, Quavo and Takeoff have gone wild once or twice. However, they go wilder than ever on their new single and music video “Hotel Lobby”—available today via Quality Control Music Group/Motown Records.  Quavo and Takeoff reveal a woozy and wobbly banger on a whole different level..

 

Listen to “Hotel Lobby” HERE and watch the music video for “Hotel Lobby” HERE.

 

The airy cinematic production and ominous beat set the tone as Quavo and Takeoff trade one intoxicating bar after another. Co-directed by Keemotion and Quavo, the music video serves as an insane homage to the cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas directed by Terry Gilliam and co-starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. In the clip, Quavo and Takeoff assume the roles of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo cruising through the desert with a “mobile pharmacy” before pulling up to a Las Vegas hotel and barely passing the doors to check in. All kinds of psychedelic, tripped-out trap madness follows as they deliver the South’s first proper hip-hop homage to the late Hunter S. Thompson. It’s unlike anything either of these two multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated superstars have done either solo or as part of Migos!

 

It also paves the way for more music to come.

 

Takeoff recently dropped off “Crypto” with Rich The Kid. It has already amassed over 6.5 million Spotify streams and 4.7 million YouTube views on the music video. Receiving critical acclaim, HYPEBEAST proclaimed, “the new single sees the Migos rapper embrace his love for cryptocurrency and the fortune that it has brought him.”

 

Meanwhile, Quavo served up the intense “Shooters Inside My Crib.” It posted up 6 million Spotify streams and 6.6 million YouTube views on the music video. Touted among the “Soundsystem 50,” High Snobiety observed, “Quavo skates over the Ayo-B-produced beat effortlessly teasing us about an upcoming project.” REVOLT added, “‘Shooters Inside My Crib’ sees the North Atlanta star harmonizing about past struggles and current successes.” Sports Illustrated summed it up best as “an absolute banger.” Not to mention, he joined NBA2K22 as a playable character and will star in a new action thriller Takeover.

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Stunna 4 Vegas Drops New Album “Rae Rae’s Son”

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After releasing a barrage of fiery singles, burgeoning star Stunna 4 Vegas’ (Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment / Interscope Records) unveils his blistering new album Rae Rae’s Son. The 12-track effort is a slam-dunk for Stunna enthusiasts who crave his high-octane energy and robust swagger. Fans who reveled at Stunna’s previous records “BMF,” Ice Wear Vezzo, and “Pay Me To Speak” will love the album’s latest record, “Sad Song,” featuring Spinnabenz. Listen HERE.
To celebrate the release of his new album, Stunna will perform three concerts including performances in Charlotte (May 21), Dallas (May 29) and Billings (June 9). YRB Teez and SSG Splurge will accompany the Billion Dollar Baby star on his trek. Fans can purchase tickets HERE.
Since he joined Billion Dollar Baby and Interscope in 2019, Stunna 4 Vegas has emerged into one of the roster’s most promising talents, with over 816 million streams in the U.S. alone. His frenetic energy and ear for top-tier street anthems launched the run of success that began with his Big 4X mixtape release that cracked the top 50 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Results only improved with the January 2020 release of his debut album, Rich Youngin, which shot into the top 30 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and the top 20 of the Rap Albums list on the heels of hits such as “DO DAT,” featuring DaBaby and Lil Baby and “Up the Smoke” with Offset. His credentials only grew with a heavy touring lineup in 2021, including featured performer slots at Rolling Loud, Made in America, and OVO Fest and headlining his national tour.
 
Rae Rae’s Son Track List
  1. Rae Rae’s Intro
  2. The One
  3. Pay Me To Speak
  4. BMF ft. Ice Wear Vezzo
  5. Going For Nun
  6. Suspect
  7. Activated
  8. Sticks
  9. Fye ft. YRB Tezz
  10. Skurrt
  11. Sad Song ft. Spinnabenz
Stunna 4 Vegas Rae Rae’s Son eAlbum
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