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RATEGRAM’S BEST CREDIT CARD DEALS, For immediate release

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 07:32 AM PDT

These are nationally available credit cards offering the lowest interest rates on purchases as of April 11. If you typically pay off the entire balance monthly, look for a zero-annual fee card that allows the most interest-free or grace days. Some cards listed below feature special introductory or “teaser” rates for a specified time before regular rates apply. Additional fees and residency restrictions may apply. Rates are subject to change. Rebates and other benefits may be available.

 National avg.  APRs as of April 11     Standard   Gold    Platinum                         14.24            14.55  

Low APR Standard Cards

                               Reg.  Ann.  Grace Intro   Card Name                 Phone         APR(%) Fee($)Days APR/mos   1  IBERIABANK Visa® Classic Card       (800)968-0801  14.24    0  25  0.00/12  

Low APR Premium Cards

Note: Minimum income requirements apply to Gold, Platinum and Signature cards, which offer higher credit limits to qualified customers.

                               Reg.  Ann.  Grace Intro   Card Name                 Phone         APR(%) Fee($)Days APR/mos   1  Barclaycard Ring(TM) Mastercard®         10.49    0  23     na   2  Zions BK AmaZing Rate® Low Rate Cre (800)974-8800  10.74    0  25    0.00/6   3  First Ntl BK of Omaha Pltnm Edition (800)642-0014  11.24    0  21     na   4  HNB MC Voice Low Rate Option Credit (888)810-1381  11.49    0  21     na   5  PNC CoreSM Visa® Credit Card        (877)225-5762  11.49    0  21    0.00/15   6  Commerce BK Special Connections  MC (800)645-2103  11.49    0  25    0.00/12   7  KeyBK Latitude   MC® Credit         (800)539-9055  11.49    0  25    0.00/15   8  M&T Bank Visa® Credit Card          (800)724-3222  11.49    0  25    0.00/12   9  Comerica Bank Visa® Platinum Card   (866)486-1015  11.49    0  30    0.00/15   10 People`s United BK MC® Pltnm        (800)558-3424  11.49    0  30    0.00/15   11 South State BK Visa® Pltnm          (800)277-2175  11.49    0  30    0.00/15   12 U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card       (800)285-8585  11.49    0  30    0.00/18   13 HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card   (800)975-4722  12.24    0  25    0.00/18   14 M&T BK Visa® Credit with Rwds       (800)724-3222  12.49    0  25    0.00/12   15 M&T BK Visa® Signature Credit       (800)724-3222  12.49    0  25    0.00/12   16 BB&T Bright(TM) Card                   (800)476-4228  12.65    0  25    0.00/15   17 State Farm® Good Neighbor Visa®     (800)324-4946  12.74    0  24     na   18 BBVA Compass ClearPoints Visa       (800)266-7277  12.74    0  25    0.00/13   19 IBERIABANK Visa® Signature          (800)968-0801  13.24    99  25     na   20 HNB MC Voice Rwds Option Credit®    (888)810-1381  13.49    0  21     na   V  - variable interest rate, usually based on an index  

na -Not available

Source: Informa Research Services, 30501 Agoura Rd. 2nd Floor, Agoura Hills, CA, 91301; www.InformaRS.com.

For more financial information, visit http://financialtools.money.msn.com/best-credit-cards.

Carrie Underwood Drops New Song ‘Cry Pretty,’ Says Her Face Is ‘Healing Nicely’ (Listen)

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 07:25 AM PDT

As promised, Carrie Underwood dropped a new song Wednesday morning called “Cry Pretty” and shared via a post on her website that she is healing well after a November accident in which she broke her wrist and required 40 to 50 stitches in her face.

“First off, physically, I’m doing pretty darn good these days!,” she wrote. “My wrist is almost back to normal, about 90% there…and the docs say that last 10% will come in time. And my face has been healing pretty nicely as well. I definitely feel more like myself than I have in a while.”

The song is a sweeping power ballad that at times is more reminiscent of Guns N’ Roses’s “November Rain” than much of her previous work. In the post, she writes of working with writer/producer David Garcia — who’s worked both with Christian country artists as well as Florida Georgia Line — and said he’s co-producing her forthcoming album with her.

As “Cry Pretty,” “I wrote it with three incredible women: Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose, and Lori McKenna, who also write under the name Love Junkies,” she wrote. “I joined one of their writing sessions last year to see if we could come up with some magic…and we did! The title refers to when emotions take over and you just can’t hold them back. It really speaks to a lot of things that have happened in the past year and I hope when you hear it, you can relate those feelings to those times in your life. It’s emotional. It’s real. And it ROCKS!”

Underwood will perform the song on the ACM Awards Sunday night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Rehashes Privacy Mea Culpas at Second Congressional Hearing

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 07:24 AM PDT

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suited up for a second day in the D.C. hot seat, repeating apologies to a U.S. House of Representatives committee for the company’s missteps in letting consulting firm Cambridge Analytica improperly secure a massive trove of user data.

“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent [Facebook‘s] tools from being used for harm,” Zuckerberg said at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

Zuckerberg’s opening remarks Wednesday morning were virtually identical to his statements during a five-hour slog in front of a Senate joint committee hearing Tuesday.

Facebook investors were cheered by Zuckerberg’s poise in his Senate performance, with the stock closing up 4.5% Tuesday. Shares were down about 0.3% in trading Wednesday at about 10:25 a.m. as the CEO testified before the House committee.

Zuckerberg again tried to explain actions Facebook is taking in the wake of disclosures that U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica — which worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign — had acquired data on up to 87 million users from a third-party researcher, Aleksandr Kogan. (Cambridge Analytica has said it licensed data on 30 million users and claims it never used the Facebook data for the Trump campaign.)

“It’s gonna take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting this right,” Zuckerberg told the congressional reps.

During the hearing, House reps raised the specter of new regulatory oversight of Facebook, as members of the Senate did a day earlier.

“I think it’s time to ask whether Facebook moved too fast, and broke too many things,” Rep. Greg Walden (D.-Ore.) said in opening remarks. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) called for “comprehensive legislation to prevent incidents like this in the future,” noting Facebook reacted only when the scandal was publicly revealed.

Walden asked Zuckerberg if Facebook is a media company, citing among other examples Facebook’s exclusive global rights to 25 Major League Baseball games this season. Zuckerberg reiterated his stance that Facebook is a technology company, but added, “Do we have a responsibility for the content people share on Facebook? I think the answer to that is, yes.”

Pallone asked whether Facebook would change default user settings to provide the maximum level of privacy. “Congressman, this is a complex issue that requires more than a one-word answer,” Zuckerberg responded, pledging to follow up with Pallone’s staff on the question.

‘Red Dead Redemption,’ ‘Gears of War 2’ Among Xbox 360 Games Getting 4K Upgrade

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 07:21 AM PDT

The original “Red Dead Redemption,” “Gears of War 2” and “Portal 2” are among a slew of Xbox 360 titles receiving enhanced options on the Xbox One X in April, Microsoft announced last night.

“Red Dead Redemption’s” enhanced options went live last night. Other games receiving the enhanced patch, which delivers up to 16 times the pixel count on the Xbox One X, include “Darksiders,” “Sonic Generations,” and “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.”

Microsoft also detailed two batches of original Xbox and Xbox 360 games coming to the Xbox One.

On April 17 the following games hit:

“Blinx: The Time Sweeper”
“Breakdown”
“Conker: Live & Reloaded”
“The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind”
“Hunter: The Reckoning”
“Jade Empire”
“Panzer Dragoon Orta”
“SSX 3”

On April 26 the following games hit:

“Destroy All Humans!”
“Full Spectrum Warrior”
“Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction”
“MX Unleashed”
“Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory”
“Star Wars Battlefront”
“Star Wars Battlefront II”
“Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy”
“Star Wars Jedi Starfighter”
“Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords”
“Star Wars Republic Commando”

Microsoft says that since the release of Xbox One Backward Compatibility with the Xbox One, it has become one of the most popular features. More titles, the company added, are being added regularly to the list of available games. Check out the full list of supported Xbox 360 games with backwards compatibility here.

MipTV: Beta Film Sells ‘Babylon Berlin’ to Africa, India

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 07:06 AM PDT

Beta Films has secured new deals which will see acclaimed German crime drama “Babylon Berlin” debut across Africa and India.

South Africa-based broadcaster M-Net, which is owned by Africa’s biggest subscription television network MultiChoice, has acquired rights across the whole of the African continent. Indian rights have been acquired by Tata Sky, the joint venture between Tata Sons and 21st Century Fox.

Following these latest deals Beta Film has now closed sales to over 90 territories, including the U.S., Australia and throughout Europe.

The high-end drama from directors Tom Tykwer, Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten is the most expensive non-English language television drama made to date.

Spanning 16 hours across two, concurrently shot, seasons “Babylon Berlin” stars Volker Bruch as a young police inspector in 1929 Berlin, transferred from Cologne to solve a case who finds himself caught up in a tangled web of corruption, organized crime and political extremism.

Liv Lisa Fries, Peter Kurth, Matthias Brandt and Leonie Benesch co-star. It is produced by X Filme Creative Pool, ARD Degeto, Sky and Beta Film.

Mariah Carey suffers with bipolar II

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Mariah Carey suffers with bipolar II disorder.

The ‘Hero’ hitmaker has revealed she’s been secretly battling the mental health condition – whereby sufferers experience hypomanic episodes and extreme lows – for 17 years after she was diagnosed in 2001 following a mental and physical breakdown.

Speaking to PEOPLE magazine, she said: “I didn’t want to believe it. I was so terrified of losing everything I convinced myself the only way to deal with this was to not deal with this. Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love–writing songs and making music.”

The 48-year-old pop star – who has six-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe with her ex-husband Nick Cannon – now undergoes therapy and is on medication for the illness.

She explained: “I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good. It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that.”

Mariah initially thought she was suffering with insomnia because she’d continue working and pushing herself physically until her body would eventually give up on her.

She recalled: “For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder, but it wasn’t normal insomnia and I wasn’t lying awake counting sheep.

“I was working and working and working … I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down. It turns out that I was experiencing a form of mania.

“Eventually I would just hit a wall. I guess my depressive episodes were characterised by having very low energy. I would feel so lonely and sad – even guilty that I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing for my career.”

But after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder 17 years ago, she’s slowly come to terms with her condition and wants other sufferers to know they’re not alone.

She said: “I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating.”

Bipolar II disorder – which is sometimes called “soft bipolar” – is slightly different from bipolar I disorder as symptoms are less severe and sufferers don’t experience psychosis.

Gigi Hadid wants curves back

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Gigi Hadid wants her “ass” and “t*ts” back.

The 22-year-old model has seen her weight fluctuate thanks to her battle with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition, and though she wishes she was as curvy now as she used to be, she still loves her body.

She said: “If I could choose, I would have my ass back and I would have the tits I had a few years ago. But, honestly, we can’t look back with regret. I loved my body then, and I love my body now.

“Whoever is reading this, I want you to realize that three years from now you will look back at a picture from this time period and be like, ‘Wow, I was so hot. Why did I feel so bad about myself because of some stupid thing someone said?’ “

The blonde beauty – who recently split from boyfriend Zayn Malik – has been subjected to cruel comments online because of her weight and even though she knows the remarks are “nonsense”, they are still hurtful.

She said: “Most of it is just nonsense. But it can still hurt.

“Nowadays, people are quick to say, ‘I used to love Gigi’s body, and now she just gave in.’

“But I’m not skinny because I gave in to the industry. When I had a more athletic figure, I was proud of my body because I was an amazing volleyball player and horseback rider.

“But after discovering that I have Hashimoto’s, I needed to eat healthy and work out. It was weird as a teenager, dealing with this when all of my friends could eat McDonald’s and it wouldn’t affect them.”

Gigi thinks it is important for people to find their body confidence, regardless of their shape.

Speaking to her friend Blake Lively for the new issue of America’s Harper’s Bazaar magazine, she said: “It’s my experience that your body will grow and change, and there’s always beauty in it, no matter what.”

EOne Takes U.K. Rights to Gurinder Chadha’s New Springsteen-Inspired Film, ‘Blinded by the Light’

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 06:58 AM PDT

Entertainment One has taken U.K. and Australian rights on Gurinder Chadha‘s new film, “Blinded by the Light,” a comedy drama inspired by rock legend Bruce Springsteen. Cornerstone Films has released a first-look image from the film (pictured), which began production last week, and will introduce it to international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

The film, described as a “hybrid musical” that weaves Springsteen’s music and lyrics into its narrative, stars newcomers Viveik Kalra and Nell Williams as its romantic leads, alongside Hayley Atwell and Rob Brydon in supporting roles. The movie grew out of a shared passion for Springsteen by Chadha, the director of “Bend It Like Beckham,” and British journalist Sarfraz Manzoor.

“Blinded by the Light” is based on Manzoor’s 2008 memoir, “Greetings From Bury Park,” which chronicles his experience as a British Muslim boy growing up in 1980s Luton, outside London, and the impact Springsteen’s lyrics had upon him. Manzoor said Springsteen’s songs show “how powerfully music can transcend race, religion, nationality and class.”

“Growing up in ’80s Luton as the working-class son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, my world felt very small,” he said. “In the music of Bruce Springsteen I found both hope and wisdom on how I could transcend my circumstances and make my dreams to be a writer come true.”

Manzoor and Chadha met the singer at the London premiere of a documentary on the making of his 2010 album “The Promise” and discovered he had read and admired the book. “I quickly pitched him the film we wanted to make on the red carpet, and to our excitement Bruce nodded and said, ‘Sounds good – talk to Jon’ [Landau, Springsteen’s manager],” Chadha said.

The director then spent several years developing a script with Manzoor and her regular writing partner and husband, Paul Mayeda Berges. “We knew we had to impress Springsteen and managers Jon Landau and Barbara Carr, or there would be no film without his music and blessings,” adds Chadha.

“Blinded by the Light” is produced by Chadha and Jane Barclay for Bend It Films, alongside Levantine Films and Peter Touche of Ingenious Media. It was developed with support from the British Film Institute and is expected to be completed in early 2019.

Chadha has twice received BAFTA nominations for best British film for her 1993 breakthrough movie “Bhaji on the Beach” and 2002 hit “Bend It Like Beckham,” which launched the careers of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra. Her most recent film was “Viceroy’s House,” starring Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson, which world-premiered at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival.

(Pictured: Aaron Phagura, Nell Williams, Viveik Kalra)

Foreign Drama Enters ‘Brilliant’ Era as Global Giants Embrace Local Stories

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 06:56 AM PDT

“The volume, quality and global reach of drama [now] is unequalled in the history of television,” Lorenzo Di Maio, an agent at Endeavor Content, said Tuesday at a panel on TV drama financing at Canneseries, a festival in Cannes dedicated to drama series. Di Maio’s company is handling international sales on Phoebe Waller-Bridge‘s “Killing Eve,” which plays in the festival’s competition.

The growing quality of high-end series is drawing in top actors and that was pushing up budgets, the panelists said. Eleonara Andreatta, director at Italy’s Rai Fiction, which has “Il Cacciatore” (The Hunter) in the festival’s competition, used the example of “Medici: Masters of Florence.” The producers hired “The X-Files” alumnus Frank Spotnitz as showrunner, and his influence helped raise expectations for the project, pushing the team to compete with other globally distributed series. “The first person we cast was Dustin Hoffman and that set the level for the project. At that point everything became more ambitious,” she said.

For a panel on financing, the contributors were surprising phlegmatic about the difficulties of finding funds to develop projects. “[Financing] is not the main issue, the main issue is creativity,” said Pascal Breton, president of Federation Entertainment, whose slate includes Canneseries competition title “Undercover,” written by Nico Moolenaar. “The difficulty is finding good projects and showrunners. That will be the main problem in coming years,” Breton said.

Federation has 160 projects in development, and most of them have broadcasters attached. “I’m sure at least 50 will be greenlit in the next three years. My feeling is we should do 300. It’s possible,” he said.

Sebastien Raybaud, CEO of Anton Capital Entertainment, an equity investment fund financing TV shows and movies in Europe, said that the increasing activity in original drama of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, and the arrival of new players like Apple was compelling traditional broadcast networks to come to investors like him to help increase budgets for shows in order to keep hold of local talent. “Players like BBC and RAI are worried about retaining talent and IP, and being able to compete with these [global streaming platforms], who have far more money. That will pose some issues in terms of creativity.” He added: “The competitive landscape will be way more challenging than it has been in the past 10 years.”

Di Maio said the challenge was for shows to “break through the noise.” “You want to build a show that has resonance on a global scale with massive international value,” he said. “Killing Eve” stood out because it had a female showrunner and female protagonists, working within a genre – the spy thriller – that “we are all familiar with, but it’s always male driven. It’s always the male gaze on that world.” The approach had been: “What if we took it and made it about real women, not imaginary women.” He added that the “combination of global appeal, and specificity – whether it is specificity of voice, someone like Phoebe Waller Bridge, or of story” – allows the show to rise above the others.

The highly anticipated “My Brilliant Friend,” adapted from the Neapolitan novels of Elena Ferrante, was another great example, he said. “It is as local as you can get – they speak in the Neapolitan dialect – yet the themes and IP are universal.” The show, which is being produced by Italy’s Fandango and Wildside, and was co-developed and co-produced by Rai Fiction and FremantleMedia, marks a watershed for foreign-language series as it is the first non-English-language drama show that HBO has financed.

“There is a great opportunity to break through if you have a vision and a story to tell, and the financing will follow,” Di Maio said.

Finding stories rooted in the local culture but with a universal resonance was the Holy Grail for drama producers and broadcasters. “RAI decided to find our place in the international industry through our identity and our culture – both the Medici and Ferrante have strong ties with Italian heritage,” Andreatta said. “But the [Ferrante] stories are universal – they are about complicated friendships, love, compassion, jealousy and competition.”

Breton said that the ideal scenario was to team with a broadcaster from the territory where the production company and story was based and then “package it on a bigger scale with a [global] platform as that guarantees the authenticity of the show.” He contrasted “My Brilliant Friend” with another HBO show produced by Italy’s Wildside, “The Young Pope.” “There was too much English spoken in [the show]. It was not as authentic as it looks here [in ‘My Brilliant Friend’]. I think the key issue in the future will be that authenticity. There are more interesting stories in Europe than you’d expect, and sometimes many more than in the U.S. We need to protect our heritage by creating [the shows] with the best talent in Europe.”

He cited another Naples-set story, crime drama “Gomorrah,” as another great example of an authentic story that had resonated worldwide, as well as Spain’s “La Casa de Papel.”

He added: “The other big issues in coming years will be who owns the rights: the producers, the writers or these huge companies that don’t even know how much money they make because it’s billions. Of course we are ready to share [the rights] with the big companies. I think Federation is made for that: To protect talents all over the world, to share with them, and protect and optimize their position in the ownership of rights. Otherwise it will destroy a lot of value and creativity.”

Di Maio acknowledged the challenges, but was upbeat about the prospects for the international scripted business, speaking of a “fantastic opportunity for the industry.” “There are big global buyers, incredible local players, and a flood of scripted drama,” he said. “We are finding that the opportunities for producers are the best they have ever been. You can work with these amazing storytellers – American, British, Italian… – and amazing acting talent, whether it’s Sandra Oh in ‘Killing Eve,’ Sean Penn in ‘The First,’ or Damien Chazelle [who is working on a musical drama, ‘The Eddy,’ for Netflix and a series for Apple]. But how do you allow producers to control that process creatively and financially? The process has to be more thoughtful than before, it has to be curated and every step has to be thought out.”

Il Cacciatore

‘Il Cacciatore’ (The Hunter) plays in competition at Canneseries (Credit: RAI)

Mariah Carey Reveals Battle With Bipolar Disorder

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 06:37 AM PDT

Mariah Carey has revealed that she suffers from a bipolar disorder, the singer told People in an article released today.

She was first diagnosed in 2001 — after her bizarre appearance on MTV’s “TRL” which resulted in her hospitalization, she says “I didn’t want to believe it.” It was only in recent years, after her marriage and divorce from Nick Cannon and the birth of their twins, her E! reality show her disastrous New Year’s Eve appearance in 2016 and multiple managers that she sought treatment.

“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she says. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”

She is now in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder, which involves periods of depression as well as hypomania (less severe than mania). In November, she signed on with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for management.

“I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good. It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that,” she says.

“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder,” continues Carey, now back in the studio working on an album due later this year. “But it wasn’t normal insomnia and I wasn’t lying awake counting sheep. I was working and working and working … I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down. It turns out that I was experiencing a form of mania. Eventually I would just hit a wall. I guess my depressive episodes were characterized by having very low energy. I would feel so lonely and sad — even guilty that I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing for my career.”

She says she decided to come forward because “I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”