Woody Allen: ‘I never think of retiring’

Allen says at Spanish press conference to launch production on his new film, starring Christoph Waltz, that hell probably die on set Woody Allen has no plans to give up film-making despite the years of controversy that has dogged his directing career. I never think of retiring. Its not just something that has occurred to me,his new film, which is set in Spain and funded by the Spanish media giant Mediapro. It stars Christoph Waltz, Gina Gershon and Elena Anaya, and is informally known as Rifkins Festival though is still officially called Woody Allen Summer Project 2019. Allen said: My philosophy, since I started many years ago in show business, is that no matter what happens is to focus on …

We built this city: the 90-year-olds who made a metropolis

In 1947, 50,000 volunteers helped create Dimitrovgrad, a new city that symbolised the brave new world of communist Bulgaria. Many still live there In her flat overlooking the main square of Dimitrovgrad, 90-year-old Maria Oteva casts her mind back more than seven decades to the foundation of the town in the early years of Bulgarias communist era. Back then, 50,000 volunteers built this city because they believed in something, she says. Nowadays, you wouldnt find 50 people to come and clean up the dirty streets. Oteva was one of those volunteers, aged 17 and eager to build a new socialist Bulgaria after the ravages of the second world war. She had joined the partisan resistance against the Nazi-allied government as …

Paris wine thieves make off with bottles worth 400k-600k

Bottles stolen from cellar of Maison Rostang restaurant near Arc de Triumph Thieves have broken into the cellar of a luxury restaurant in Paris and made off with at least 150 bottles of prized wine estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of euros, a police source said. Employees at the Maison Rostang restaurant in the north-eastern 17th arrondissement near the Arc de Triomphe discovered a 20in (50cm) hole in the wall of the wine cellar made during the break-in on Monday. The restaurant has two stars from the prestigious Michelin food guide and is described as having a magnificent wine list, which includes bottles from the famed Petrus and Romanee-Conti vineyards. The cellar was being renovated. The police source …

Angela Merkel warns against dark forces on the rise in Europe

(CNN)German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said “there is work to be done” in Germany to face up to the dark forces that are finding mainstream support there and in other parts of the world. In recent days, German Jews were warned by a leading government official not to wear kippahs in public, following a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. Addressing the rise in anti-Semitism, Merkel said that Germany has “always had a certain number of anti-Semites among us, unfortunately.” “There is to this day not a single Synagogue not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen,” she added. Merkel, who has been Chancellor for …

Theresa May prepares ‘bold’ last-ditch offer to MPs on Brexit bill

Prime minister will ask her cabinet to sign off on concessions this week Theresa May will ask her cabinet to sign off a package of Brexit concessions this week, as she gears up for one last bid to win over MPs and salvage something concrete from her troubled premiership. With the Conservatives on course for a drubbing in Thursdays European elections, the prime minister hopes the results will focus the minds of her own MPs and persuade them to support the long-awaited withdrawal agreement bill (WAB). Despite the collapse of cross-party talks with Labour, ministers hope some of the measures discussed can still be bolted on to the bill, as part of what May has called a new, bold offer …

‘Hate will prevail’: Icelandic BDSM band put Eurovision and Israel in a bind

Leather-clad group Hatari say this years contest, in which they will represent Iceland, is built on a lie Nothing titillates the Icelandic bondage and dominance-themed band Hatari more than a glaring contradiction. On stage, the group, whose name means Hater, present a fascist-inspired dystopia of blood-splattered whippings. In person, they are softly spoken and occasionally cheerfully optimistic. They have slammed Eurovision in Israel which is the subject of rise of populism in Europe. Hate Will Prevail takes it forward, imagining a dark future. The militaristic, authoritarian style of BDSM bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism seemed apt and they have been welcomed, they say, with open arms by the Icelandic fetish community. They told us about the importance of consent and …

‘Hate will prevail’: Icelandic BDSM band put Eurovision and Israel in a bind

Leather-clad group Hatari say this years contest, in which they will represent Iceland, is built on a lie Nothing titillates the Icelandic bondage and dominance-themed band Hatari more than a glaring contradiction. On stage, the group, whose name means Hater, present a fascist-inspired dystopia of blood-splattered whippings. In person, they are softly spoken and occasionally cheerfully optimistic. They have slammed Eurovision in Israel which is the subject of rise of populism in Europe. Hate Will Prevail takes it forward, imagining a dark future. The militaristic, authoritarian style of BDSM bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism seemed apt and they have been welcomed, they say, with open arms by the Icelandic fetish community. They told us about the importance of consent and …

‘Prostitution is seen as a leisure activity here’: tackling Spain’s sex traffickers | Annie Kelly

Its staggeringly big business in Spain, where demand is being met by traffickers. Can a groundbreaking team turn the tide? On a sunny morning in Madrid, two young women duck down a side street, into a residential block and up to an apartment front door. Then they start knocking. Marcella and Maria spend a lot of time banging on doors and yelling through letterboxes all over the city. Most of the time, these doors never open. When they do, the two women could find themselves in trouble. Their job on the frontline of Spains fight against sex trafficking is a dangerous one; both have been assaulted and threatened. Yet they keep on knocking, because they have been on the other …