North Korea Threatens To Attack U.S. If Obama Retaliates Over Sony Hacking
A top North Korean defense committee threatened attacks on "the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland" if President Barack Obama retaliates over last month's cyberattack on Sony Pictures, according to a statement posted Sunday to the country's official Korean Central News Agency.
"The army and people of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels," said the statement, which was attributed to North Korea's top policymaking institution, the National Defense Commission. The statement did not provide further details of the threatened attacks. Pyongyang has a long history of issuing ominous warnings to other nations.
North Korean officials on Friday denied having a part in the Sony hack after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation released a statement concluding that "the North Korean government is responsible for these actions." Obama said he was considering a proportionate response, including adding North Korea back to the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Sony canceled its Dec. 25 release of "The Interview," a comedy directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, after hackers threatened to attack screenings of the film, prompting major theater chains to pull it. The movie concerns a fictional assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and reportedly includes a graphic depiction of Kim's head exploding.
In Sunday's statement, the National Defense Commission said it had "clear evidence" that the U.S. government was involved in the making of the film, with the intention of undermining Kim's regime. It's not clear what evidence, if any, exists to support that claim.
The commission praised the hackers for their "righteous action," but added that the hackers acted independently of the regime.
"We do not know who or where they are but we can surely say that they are supporters and sympathizers with [North Korea]," the statement read.
Pyongyang could not resist bragging about the "tremendous losses" to Sony caused by the data breach, in which confidential Sony emails and unreleased movies were posted online. The attack is believed to be one of the most expensive corporate hacks in history.
"One may say this is the due price incurred by wrong deed, the evil act of hurting others," the statement said.
Nicki Minaj's 'The Pinkprint Movie' Will Make Your Heart Ache
Nicki Minaj's new breakup film has arrived. In "The Pinkprint Movie," the artist combines tracks off her new album "Pinkprint" to tell the story of a relationship holding on by its last threads. The video -- which is divided into parts "The Crying Game," "I Lied," and "Grand Piano"-- captures the accompanying feelings of heartbreak with aplomb. It lasts sixteen minutes, so make sure to have a box of tissues ready before hitting play. On the not so sad side, Minaj's vocals have never sounded better.
Some speculate that the short film is inspired by Minaj's real-life breakup with her longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels. Though Minaj has not said that the video is based on their relationship, Minaj got emotional with Power 105.1's Angie Martinez when discussing the split in a radio interview last week:
"I've never been single for the past 15 years of my life," she said.
"I don't even know how I'm gonna function without that person in my life. I've never lived my life as a famous person without him. So I don't even know how to really function. I tell my girlfriends, my best friends, but sometimes I still want to tell him stuff and get his opinion, cause..."
The "Anaconda" singer then took a break in the interview after getting visibly upset. Watch Minaj's the full interview with Power 105.1 here.
Kourtney Kardashian Reveals Her Baby Boy's Name On Instagram
The big reveal!
Kourtney Kardashian welcomed her third child, a baby boy, with longtime boyfriend Scott Disick on Dec. 13., and it looks like the couple has decided on a name for their son. The reality star took to her Instagram account to share a sweet shot of her holding hands with the newborn, and revealed his name in the caption:
A photo posted by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on
"Madly in love with my little Reign Aston Disick," she wrote.
Kourtney Kardashian is quite the trendsetter when it comes to baby names. When she gave birth to her son Mason in 2009, the name was ranked at #34 on the list of most popular baby names for boys in the U.S. In 2013, according to Nameberry, Mason shot up to #4. Similarly, when daughter Penelope was born in 2012, it did not crack the top 100 most popular baby names for girls that year, but in 2013, Penelope came in at #56. So, those are either two big coincidences, or America really is trying to keep up with the Kardashians.
'The Hobbit' Wins The Weekend's Box Office Battle
Although there were three huge wide releases in theaters this weekend, the third and final "Hobbit" beat them all by a landslide.
American Sniper, Selma, Unbroken: Three 'Important' Movies of 2014 for the Holidays
The idea of Important differs from Best: for American Sniper, Selma, and Unbroken, Best is beside the point. Each film is enormously engaging, highly recommended, and grounded in history on a large canvas. While many reviewers are concerned with the qualities that push films into the awards race, and all three deserve the Oscar nod for Best Picture, it is the aspect of Important that makes them must-see films, even when the subject may be difficult.
American Sniper is a quintessential Clint Eastwood film, remarkable in that it is at the level of the best he has ever made, like Unforgiven, a late stage coup in a stellar career. I saw the film last week, and can still hear the rat-a-tat of sniper fire, see a rooftop gunman training his eye on a boy wielding a weapon. Bradley Cooper stars as Chris Kyle, a characterization based on a real life hero, a veteran of four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, who, if you know this story, meets an untoward fate. The war is the backdrop to the grand Shakespearean subject of what makes a man. Brave, strong, fearless, yes, but Cooper's Kyle is thoughtful and sensitive in his relationship to his wife Taya, played compellingly by Sienna Miller, and to the enormous difficulty of returning stateside to family after the drama in Faluja. Last week at a luncheon at the Four Seasons, Taya Kyle, represented the point of view of the wives of brave men as was her husband. The wives match their husbands' valor.
Ava DuVernay's Selma features Martin Luther King, Jr., a splendid David Oyelowo, in a brief, but hugely resonant episode in the history of civil rights, the 1965 march in Selma, which resulted in congress' passing the Voting Rights Act. Working the room at Philippe last week, the British actor, could tell you how long the debate about these matters has raged in American history long before the march in Selma. An actor in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Oyelowo observed that voting rights were under discussion too, more than one hundred years before. Oyelowo knew more about this history than the Americans at the dinner table. Oprah Winfrey plays Annie Lee Cooper, who was mentioned with pride in President Obama's first inaugural speech. Persistent, she was one woman who would not be turned away from her right to vote. Meantime, Ava DuVernay may make history too, as a black woman director, the first to be nominated for awards in her field.
Director Angelina Jolie focuses on another American hero in Unbroken, Louis Zamperini, in a way, the subject of three movies contained in one, the rise of an American Olympian athlete, the survival of a pilot after a crash 47 days in a raft in the Pacific, and patriotism of a prisoner of war in Japan. While many say the movie is about survival, the eh, unbreakable human spirit, as a follow up to Jolie's movie about the Bosnian War, In the Land of Blood and Honey, this movie is an anti-war movie, and features difficult scenes of inexplicable cruelty. Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's book, the film is reminiscent of last year's Railway Man, particularly in its depiction of Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) singled out for torture by a young officer played with boyish, insecure whimsy by Japanese rock star Miyavi. A march out of the disbanded camp through urban Dresden-like ruins was a scene Jolie insisted upon, to make her antiwar point, said Matthew Baer, the film's producer, at last week's lunch at The Metropolitan Club. Unbroken is a gorgeously shot, tough movie. But, as in her Bosnia movie, the actors, including Garrett Hedlund and Finn Whitrock praised Jolie as an angel. Angelina Jolie looked prim as a schoolmarm at the lunch, as she spoke of her commitment to getting Zamperini's story right, bringing the unfinished film on her laptop to Louis Zamperini's hospital bed, so he could see it in his final days.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.
One Direction Slows It Down For Their Third 'SNL' Appearance
When One Direction first took the 'SNL' stage last night, the only high-energy aspect was the shrill shrieks from fans in the audience. The British boy band opted to open with a softer ballad, "Night Changes," off their latest album, "Four." Judging from the crowd, the five guys did not disappoint. Oh, and Harry Styles wore a hat again, so that was a big deal.
For their second song, the pop stars switched gears for a more upbeat track, "Ready To Run." This marked the first time One Direction performed the song live, and the night marked the band's third year in a row performing on "Saturday Night Live."
And the 1D takeover didn't end there: the group stopped by the "Girlfriends Talk Show" skit and rendered Aidy Bryant's character speechless before starting an impromptu dance party:
Hear The Ladies Of 'Orange Is The New Black' Sing A Christmas Carol
Ever wondered what the "12 Days of Christmas" would sound like Litchfield style? The ladies of "Orange Is the New Black" took on the Christmas carol to reveal 12 gifts they got on their first day at prison. Hear your favorite inmates sing about everything from ladies dancing, to snitches snitching to pies-a-throwing. Oh, and the infamous chicken is also referenced.
But while those presents sound great, none of them top the real-life Christmas gift Laverne Cox got from Beyonce. An "OITNB" Bey cameo is now at the top of our Christmas list.
Lance Bass And Michael Turchin Officially Tie The Knot
Lance Bass and Michael Turchin are officially married!
Turchin and the former NSYNC member tied the knot Saturday night at the Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, according to E! Online. The ceremony was officiated by actresses Jamie-Lynn Sigler and JoAnna Garcia Swisher, and Bass' close friends and former bandmates Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and JC Chasez were all in attendance.
"The whole wedding itself is very classy, you know. We wanted to plan something that could last for 100 years," Bass told E! "When we show our grandchildren this amazing tape of our wedding, the best wedding video ever, I want them to be able to look at this and be like, 'Wow, that stood the test of time.' So we're using a lot of elements in the wedding that are classy, and one of those is definitely our first dance. The song we chose is a song that lasts forever, something that is very special to us."
The couple has been dating since December 2011. Bass proposed to Turchin, a painter and actor, last August in New Orleans.
"New Orleans is my favorite city in the world," Bass explained earlier this year in a special edition of his SiriusXM radio show, "Dirty Pop with Lance Bass." "I’ve been coming here my whole life. I was born just across the border here [in Laurel, Mississippi] … and Turkey also has roots here."
"I got down on one knee and I proposed," Bass went on, "right in front of Jackson Square, my favorite place."
Watch Bass and Turchin get hitched in the 90-minute special "Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding" on Thursday, Feb. 5 on E!
Garth And Kat Return To 'SNL' For A Hilarious Hanukkah Treat
"Saturday Night Live" celebrated Hanukkah right this weekend with a special visit from musical duo Garth and Kat. Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen returned to the show on Saturday and reprised their hilarious roles as underprepared songwriters. Garth and Kat supposedly have a brand new Hanukkah album coming out, but "Weekend Update" anchor Michael Che seems pretty convinced they're making the songs up on the spot. It's the perfect way to ring in the holiday season.
Kristen Wiig Crashes Amy Adams' 'SNL' Monologue Again
Christmas came early for "SNL" fans during the holiday episode last night.
Amy Adams treated the audience to an adorable rendition of "We Need A Little Christmas" before former "SNL" cast member Kristen Wiig crashed the monologue -- or as Wiig put it, "showed up uninvited." Adams was sure to remind Wiig that this wasn't the first time the "Bridesmaids" star got in on the action while Adams played host. Back in 2008, the duo performed "What Is This Feeling?" from the Broadway show "Wicked." This time was not much different, aside from the holiday twist, as the two belted out the wrong lyrics to Christmas carols together. Watch the full clip above.
McCain Calls Sony Hack An 'Act Of War'
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are at odds over whether the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, which the FBI has blamed on North Korea, should be considered an "act of war."
"I don't think it was an act of war," Obama told CNN Sunday. "I think it was an act of cybervandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionally."
But McCain, in a Sunday appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," advanced a different argument.
"The president does not understand that this is a manifestation of a new form of warfare," said McCain. "When you destroy economies, when you are able to impose censorship on the world and especially the United States of America, it's more than vandalism. It's a new form of warfare that we're involved in, and we need to react and react vigorously."
McCain suggested that the U.S. should begin by reimposing sanctions against North Korea that were lifted during the George W. Bush administration.
He also argued that the U.S. government should do more to engage people in Silicon Valley to help address cybersecurity issues.
"It's very hard to determine where national security ends and personal privacy begins," said McCain. "This is a continuing debate that we have. I've been to more meetings on cyber than any other issue in my time in the Congress, with less accomplished than any other, and it's time we sat down together."
North Korean hackers are believed to have targeted Sony Pictures over the film "The Interview," a comedy directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg that includes a scene of Korean leader Kim Jong Un's head exploding. "The Interview" was scheduled to premiere on Dec. 25. North Korean officials had deemed the film itself an "act of war" several months ago.
Sony canceled the film's release last week, citing security concerns.
Dr. Evil Took Over 'SNL' To Criticize Sony And North Korea
Dr. Evil is back and he's not happy that Sony and North Korea are giving evil organizations a bad rep.
The classic Mike Myers character invaded "Saturday Night Live" last night to address the Sony hacks and interrupt a hilarious Sam Smith Christmas parody. First, he criticized the hacking group Guardians of Peace for their name and acronym, saying, "There's already a GOP and they're already an evil organization." When it came to Sony, Dr Evil. couldn't help but wonder why the hackers decided to pick on the studio. "They haven't had a hit since the Walkman," Evil joked. Regardless of what the hackers do next, they certainly can't ask for 100 million dollars. "Been there, done that," Dr. Evil reminded us.
Later, Bobby Moynihan impersonated Kim Jong Un on "Weekend Update," only to learn that he should remove the leader from his cast of characters. As Moynihan's leader of North Korea began recounting the pains of holiday shopping, a bunch of sniper lasers showed up on his chest. He quickly abandoned the bit, but not before clarifying his identity. "I'm Seth Rogen, everybody!"
'SNL' Investigates The Story Of Christmas With A 'Serial' Parody
This weekend, "Saturday Night Live" investigated the story of Christmas, "Serial" style. In a sketch parodying the mega-popular "This American Life" spin-off podcast, the show tried to figure out whether Kris Kringle's story about delivering presents to all the world's homes in one night could really be true. "Serial" listeners will find Cecily Strong's impression of Sarah Koenig and Aidy Bryant's of Cristina Gutierrez pretty spot-on, and your favorite email service even makes an appearance.
Rachel McAdams Debuts New Ombre Hair
Rachel McAdams is going back to her brunette roots.
The "Mean Girls" star made fans do a double-take when she debuted her ombre hair at LAX on Friday. McAdams' new locks were dyed a dark brunette shade at her roots, with golden blond strands at the bottom:
The 36-year-old has been known to experiment with her hair, and has dyed it everything from red to blonde to pink. Perhaps McAdams' hair makeover has something to do with her new role in HBO's "True Detective." Or maybe the natural brunette just missed her old look.
Obama: U.S. Reviewing Whether To Put North Korea Back On Terrorism Sponsor List
HONOLULU (AP) -- The United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back onto its list of state sponsors of terrorism, President Barack Obama said as the U.S. decides how to respond to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that law enforcement has blamed on the communist nation.
Obama described the hacking case as a "very costly, very expensive" example of cybervandalism, but did not call it an act of war. In trying to fashion a proportionate response, the president said the U.S. would examine the facts to determine whether North Korea should find itself back on the terrorism sponsors list.
"We're going to review those through a process that's already in place," Obama told CNN's "State of the Union" in an interview to air Sunday. "I'll wait to review what the findings are."
North Korea spent two decades on the list until the Bush administration removed it in 2008 during nuclear negotiations. Some lawmakers have called for the designation to be restored following the hack that led Sony to cancel the release of a big-budget film that North Korea found offensive.
Only Iran, Sudan, Syria and Cuba remain on the list, which triggers sanctions that limit U.S. aid, defense exports and certain financial transactions.
But adding North Korea back could be difficult. To meet the criteria, the State Department must determine that a country has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, a definition that traditionally has referred to violent, physical attacks rather than hacking.
Obama also leveled fresh criticism against Sony over its decision to shelve "The Interview," despite the company's insistence that its hand was forced after movie theaters refused to show it.
While professing sympathy for Sony's situation, Obama suggested he might have been able to help address the problem if given the chance.
"You know, had they talked to me directly about this decision, I might have called the movie theater chains and distributors and asked them what that story was," Obama said.
Sony's CEO has disputed that the company never reached out, saying he spoke to a senior White House adviser about the situation before Sony announced the decision. White House officials said Sony did discuss cybersecurity with the federal government, but that the White House was never consulted on the decision not to distribute the film.
"Sometimes this is a matter of setting a tone and being very clear that we're not going to be intimidated by some, you know, cyberhackers," Obama said. "And I expect all of us to remember that and operate on that basis going forward."
North Korea has denied hacking the studio, and on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. to determine the true culprit. The White House rejected the idea and said it was confident North Korea was responsible.
But the next decision - how to respond - is hanging over the president as he vacations with his family in Hawaii.
Obama's options are limited. The U.S. already has trade penalties in place and there is no appetite for military action.
Reach Josh Lederman at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP
28 February 2012
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