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MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Noting Hacking Claims Remain Unproven, Apologizes For Offensive Posts

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 07:38 AM PDT

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid used her appearance Saturday on the network to try to change a conversation swirling around her.

Reid has been under a microscope in recent days owing to a new set of allegations that she penned a cache of old blog posts carrying homophobic remarks. The anchor has grappled with the problem since late last year and apologized previously, but found herself this week fending off a new discovery items that she claimed were not hers, but the result of the work of hackers. Reid has been working with a cybersecurity expert to bolster her assertions.

“I genuinely believe I did not write those hateful things,” she said during the opening segment of “A.M. Joy,” her MSNBC program, on Saturday, even as she admitted her team has not been able to find conclusive evidence that her posts had been manipulated. “The reality is, they have not been able to prove it,” she said of consultants working with her. “I cannot take any of that back. I can only say that the person I am now is not the person I was then. I like to think that I’ve gotten better over time, that I’m still growing,” she said during the program.

More to come….


Pickup Trucks: AEV Ram 1500 Rebel Recruit: HD Looks on Half-Ton Platform

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

The last time we saw American Expedition Vehicles, the truck modifier was showing off the Ram 1500 Recruitat the 2017 Overland Expo West. The kit upgraded the half-ton Ram pickup truckwhen equipped with either the factory coil springs or four-corner air suspension setups. AEV has been busy since then and the result is a 2018 Ram 1500 Rebel Recruit, which we recently got to drive. Here’s how it went.

The Rebel Recruit has a unique 3-inch lift kit, using all the same factory attachment points and geometry of the stock setup, but allowing it to accommodate impressively large 37-inch tires. With new AEV front and rear bumpers and some slight wheel-well reshaping, the BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A tires felt smooth and provided plenty of stability during high-speed cornering and hard braking. Our test rig was equipped with Ram’s factory air suspension, which probably played a big role in the smooth ride. Although AEV does not make any software or air compressor output changes, the ride with all the extra weight was still quite stable and comfortable, and still offered a 1.5-inch “kneeling” feature as well as a 1-inch-taller (from the normal setting) Off-Road mode.

Weight is an issue with this model, given that our experience with earlier-generation air suspension systems offered the smallest payload capacity. Our test truck had the 3-inch suspension lift designed for the air bags, heavy-duty front and rear custom bumpers, bigger wheels and tires, a custom gear bed rack (still in preproduction), and a full-size spare tire and storage boxes mounted in the bed. That all adds quite a bit of extra weight to this platform. To see how much weight was added to this test unit, we went to the nearest CAT scales and found out our rig weighed in at 20 pounds more than the gross vehicle weight rating listed on the door tag. And that was without passengers or extra cargo but with a full tank of gas. As a result, the brakes were a little under-matched. As much as we like the Ram heavy-duty look the Recruit sports, the five-lug axles look a little odd on this setup. We’re guessing both those details might get some more attention with the Recruit 2.0.

AEV does not provide re-figured GVWR numbers for its kits, which isn’t allowed unless the vehicle is recertified by federal agencies. However, AEV said it is working on strategies to address the weight issue. AEV also noted that the Ram Rebel Recruit we drove was designed to highlight AEV’s new optional features and gear, and not necessarily represent the only way people will outfit their rigs. Still, especially with a half-ton kit, we suggest owners looking to make significant changes to their pickups keep a close eye when adding heavier-duty parts and extra weight. Note that Ram 1500s with coil spring suspensions have higher GVWRs, which makes it easier to stay within the pickup’s max weight ratings.

With all that in mind, we do like the heavy-duty, overlanding look of the new Ram 1500 Rebel Recruit, especially with the adventure-themed integrated snorkel running up the A-pillar. Pricing for this kit is a little steep, starting just less than $15,000 for the Recruit add-ons, then offering another $15,000 worth of optional features such as upgraded wheels, a bed-mounted fridge/freezer, Euro-style lighting, tonneau covers and more.

Don’t be surprised if you see another Recruit model making the rounds pretty soon when AEV gets its hands on the all-new 2019 Ram 1500. We’re guessing there could be a few more surprises in store for us at the Overland Expo West in mid-May.

Manufacturer images (lead); Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

‘Amateur’ Tops Spain’s Lleida Film Festival

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 06:06 AM PDT

LLEIDA, Spain — The feature directorial debut of producer Sebastián Perillo (Francisco Varone’s “Road to La Paz,” Mariano Galperin’s “Su realidad”) “Amateur” scooped both best feature and director at the 24th Lleida Catalonia Latin America Festival, hosted by the city known by gourmets as the Mecca of grilled snails.

Internationally sold by Switzerland-based Kafilms, “Amateur” is an erotic thriller produced by Argentina’s Rispo Films, Amada Films and Tecno Films, and world-premiered at Mar del Plata festival where it took the best original music award.

“Amateur” follows Martin (Esteban Lamothe), a solitary TV director who becomes obsessed with his neighbor and boss’ wife Isabel (Jazmín Stuart), when he finds a porno in which she appears. The jury described Perillo’s debut as “a surprising genre feature made with courage, and without prejudices.”

Best screenplay was granted to “Family Life,” co-helmed by Alicia Scherson (“Il futuro”) and Alejandro Zambra (co-writer of Cristián Jiménez’s “Bonsái”). International sales on “Family Life” are handled by New York’s Visit Films. The feature turns on a house sitter who fakes a family life in order to win the love of a neighbor.

Actresses Maria Ribeiro (Lais Bodanzky’s “Just Like Our Parents”) and Jazmín Stuart (“Amateur”) shared best actress, while best actor went to Jorge Marrale (Miguel Ángel Rocca’s “Maracaibo”).

A gateway to the Pyrenees, Lleida perseveres on a subsistence budget, and is one of Europe’s higher-profile events dedicated to cinema from Spain, Portugal and Latin America.



“Amateur,” (Sebastián Perillo, Argentina)


Maria Ribeiro, (“Just Like Our Parents,” Brazil)


Jorge Marrale, (“Maracaibo,” Argentina, Venezuela)


Sebastián Perillo


Cristián Jiménez, Alicia Scherson and Alejandro Zambra, (“Family Life,” Chile)


Sebastián Perillo


“Symphony for Ana” (Ernesto Ardito, Virna Molin, Argentina)


“The Other Side of the Wall,” (Pau Ortiz, Mexico, Spain)


“Matria,” (Álvaro Gago, Spain)


“The Night Guard,” (Diego Ros, Mexico)



“Just Like Our Parents,” (Lais Bodanzky, Brazil)


“Tempestad,” (Tatiana Huezo, Mexico)


Eduardo Noriega


Silvia Munt


“Días de cine” (TVE Cinema magazine)


Osvaldo Montes

Wanda Mega-Studio Opens With Minimal Fanfare, Missing Hollywood Movies

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 05:06 AM PDT

China’s Wanda Studios in Qingdao officially opened on Saturday (April 28) with a low-key ceremony. That was paired with the announcement of ambitious Chinese projects, but a frustrating lack of inbound Hollywood movies.

With the Wanda parent company still in the Chinese government’s sin bin, the stunning new studio may be a tangible indicator that points more to business than showbiz glamour.

There was no red carpet or or global superstars at the grand theater, where the one-hour ceremony took place. The Wanda Group has been under tight government scrutiny in recent years, particularly over its high profile foreign investments including acquisitions of Legendary Entertainment and AMC Theatres. It has been shedding assets and suffered a high turnover of top executives as the conglomerate’s financial and political woes deepened.

That was a stark contrast to the initial launch of the studios’ construction launch in 2013, when Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta and Nicole Kidman were flown in to give the $7.9 billion RMB50 billion project some Hollywood glamour.

Officially known as Qingdao Movie Metropolis, the 166-hectare site that houses a total of 40 soundstages, production studios, hotels and entertainment facilities, welcomed a coterie of high profile local officials and the Film Bureau’s deputy director Li Guoqi, to join Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda, and Sun Hongbin, chairman of Sunac China Holdings. As part of Wanda’s enforced debt reduction program last year, it sold majority sharehodling in the studios to Sunac, but Wanda remains in management control.

Foreign guests included Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and William Pfeiffer, executive chairman of Globalgate Entertainment. Chinese filmmakers such as Feng Xiaogang and Huang Bo were also in attendance.

The low key ceremony did not conceal the Qingdao Movie Metropolis’s truly ambitious scale. Its Chinese name was on display on the hill, in a fashion reminiscent of the Hollywood sign.

The studios’ executive CEO Alvin Fu told Variety that complex’s largest studios (with a floor area of 3,000m2 or roughly 300,000 square feet) are fully booked through the second half of 2018. They will serve as production base for Chinese epic fantasy “Fengshen Trilogy” and a pair of unnamed Hollywood productions. One of them expects to use the studios’ underwater stage and exterior water tank, the world’s largest, Fu said.

In total the scheme encompasses including a 10,000 m2 soundstage, claimed to be the world’s largest, Wanda shopping malls, theme parks and a yacht club.

Fu said he was expecting Chinese big productions, particularly sci-fi projects, will be among the first to begin making films at the studios. Last year sci-fi “Wandering Earth” and Ning Hao’s “Crazy Alien” completed their productions at the studios. The RMB440 million (RMB3 billion) “Fengshen Trilogy,” being directed by Wuershan and produced by heavyweights Bill Kong and Du Yang, will begin production there later this year.

While the operators were unable to name any Hollywood or foreign films that are Qingdao-bound, Fu said that the underwater facilities are proving of especial interest. Within China, the studios have struck a deal with Jia Hao, underwater camera operator for “Wolf Warrior 2,” to use the studios’ water facilities.

The studios have another potential ace in their pocket. A $790 million production rebate system could provide producers with a 40% discount of their relevant costs. When fully operational that would be one of the highest rebate schemes in the world. A key criterion, however, is the granting of a screening permit by the Qingdao local authorities. That points to approved co-productions as the most likely beneficiaries. Fu said “The Great Wall” will receive $2.5 million (RMB16 million) rebate check. “Pacific Rim 2,” produced by Wanda-owned Legendary is also due a rebate.

Another incentive is the Maker Space, which will serve as an incubator for industry startups. Maker Space may see the studio assume the role of an angel investor, offering “sizeable” seed money to young companies with potential to develop their businesses and products.

HBO’s ‘Succession’ Opens 9th Series Mania to Applause

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 12:44 AM PDT

LILLE, France — The world premiere of HBO‘s “Succession” proved a fitting opening night series on Friday for a new-look Series Mania, the premier French TV festival now backed forcefully by the French government and unspooling for the first time in the North-East French city of Lille.

Written by Oscar and WGA nominee Jesse Armstrong (“In the Loop”), “Ep. 1,” premiered at Lille, kicks off in pitch black as a man gets out of bed, stumbles through the dark and then urinates onto his lounge carpet. This is Logan Roy (Brian Cox) a self made billionaire who has built up Waystar Royco into the fifth-biggest media and conglomerate in the world.

But now 80 – the first episode turns loosely on the “surprise” 80th birthday party organized by his wife (Hiam Abbass) clearly infirm – Cox plays him with a haggard haunted look suggesting he is as much concerned about intentions of mortality as next deal on the table – he is now preparing his succession.

The most likely successor, heralded as an “Heir with Flair” on a “Time”-style magazine cover, is his eldest son by his second marriage, Kendell Roy (Jeremy Strong), who’s ambitious but hugely insecure.

“It’s a media family,” “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong said onstage at Lyon. But it paints a larger picture, he added: “It’s a little bit about a dysfunctional family, and that happens, and it’s a little bit about dysfunctional politics, and how that happens.”

“It’s a real modern story. It’s about how wealth distances you from life,” added Cox.

That theme plays out across the whole of the first episode. Of Roy’s four children, three have run away from him, his eldest son Connor (Alan Ruck) to a farm in Mexico, his daughter, Shiv (Sarah Snook) into politics, another, Roman (Kieran Culkin) – who once worked at Waystar Royco, thinking up gee-whizz ideas for films such as one about a robots’ olympics – into drugs and dissolution.

“My man is a self-made man, and he has children who are not self-made and have a sense of entitlement, which they don’t necessarily deserve,” Cox went on.

“Succession’s” first episode would seem to frame many ideas: such as the inhuman chasm between the filthy rich and normal folk. This is brought out in one memorable scene where the family copters off to the countryside to play a game of baseball and Roman bets the 11-year-old son of the gardener at the field that a million dollars that he can’t hit a home-run.

Business sometimes come down to who’s got the biggest dick, Logan tells Keller as he latter tries to put through the key deal of Ep. 1, buying up a digital media company. The tragedy welling from Ep. 1 looks like that of a man who has spent his whole life trunk to prove that to the whole world, even his own children, He has lost them in the process.

“Succession” played to admiring applause at Lille. If the new series drama has proved anything, it is that audiences can react in a sophisticated fashion in their millions to sophisticated drama. “Succession” was no exception.

“What I liked about ‘Succession’ was the characters. They are nuanced. For example, the biggest ass-hole is meant to be Kendell but in the end he’s semi-sensitive,” said , from Lille, calling herself just a spectator.

Unspooling just two weeks after Canneseries, its rival on the Riviera, Series Mania set out at the opening ceremony the power of its own endowment at its opening ceremony.

Agilely m.c.ed by France’s Series Mania’s and founder Laurence Herszberg, the gala’s stars cut symptomatically three ways. A long red carpet catwalk of French luminaries climaxed with the surprise appearance of Isabelle Adjani, hidden behind large dark glasses, but still looking extraordinary after all these years as she posed for photographers with an air of punk chic.

Other stars, thanked by Herszberg in her opening speech were French culture minister Françoise Nyssen, and, sitting nearby in the audience, Martine Aubry, mayor of Lille, and Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region in France. Lille bid and won a government tender for support for a TV festival, aimed at turning it into one of the foremost in the world, and then wisely allied with to-date Paris-based Serie Mania to launch this year’s first Lille-located event. This forms

part of a high-profile industrial reconversion from Bertrand and Aubry, aimed at turning Lille and France’s North-East, on the mining heart of France, into an advanced audiovisual service sector.

It is typical of Series Mania that the biggest cheer of the night went not to stars but two show runners: “False Flag’s” co-creator Maria Feldman and Netflix’s “Narcos” co-creator Chris Brancato, president of Series Mania’s Official Competition jury.

“It’s said in America that we’re living in the age of peak TV. I think they leave one thing out in that we are living in an age of peak international TV,” Brancato told the Lille audience.

Reviewing the last decade of trade flow in high-end series, he added: “America’s creative content came internationally and affected international culture. It’s stands to reason that international shows will come to America and now affect American culture.”

Just how many shows will really do that in any profound way remains to be seen. One recent candidate, Spain’s “La Casa de Papel,” announced last week by Netflix as its most-watched foreign series ever, will see creator Alex Pina talking at Lille next week.

Series Mania runs April 27 to May 5.

After the Moon-Kim Summit: A Time for Hope?

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 12:26 AM PDT

The world is aglow with positivity and optimism after South Korean President Moon Jae-in embraced North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un after signing the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. The cordiality and chemistry between the leaders of the two warring nations exceeded expectations, and the day was filled with unforgettable moments and historic photographs. The summit had been, by and large, successful. Leaders Moon and Kim set a number of achievable, short-term goals clearly designed to ensure momentum and drive forward the peace process. The joint declaration was also carefully formulated to set the stage for the upcoming summit between North Korea and the United States. Unfortunately, we are still a long ways away from peace and denuclearization.

Nothing New Under the Sun

The air of optimism and hope welled up long before the actual summit. For weeks, the world was presented with news of North Korean making concession after concession. However, these concessions given before, and during, the summit were hardly unprecedented. Kim Jong-un promised to suspend nuclear and weapons testing, and offered to shut down Punggye-ri, North Korea’s nuclear test site. Kim Jong-il had also promised to freeze North Korea’s nuclear program in 1994 and shut down nuclear facilities in 2007. This promise went as far as having International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors on the ground overseeing the dismantling of the Yongbyon nuclear complex. Nevertheless, the peace process failed upon discovery that the North Koreans were still enriching uranium.

South Korea triumphantly announced that Kim Jong-un would be open to accepting a U.S. military presence on a postwar Korean peninsula. The South Korean president reported that Kim said the following words, almost verbatim: “We are surrounded by big powers – Russian, Japan, and China – so the United States must continue to stay for stability and peace in East Asia.” It was an encouraging sign proving that Kim was a flexible negotiator and was willing to make concessions. Except, in the above quote, the South Korean president is former President Kim Dae-jung, and the Supreme Leader Kim is Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un’s father. Kim Jong-il expressed the exact same sentiments almost two decades ago at the first inter-Korean summit in 2000. We’re seeing all of this again today.

Finally, there is an eerie amount of similarity between the joint Panmunjom agreement and its predecessors. In the year 2000, Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il had also agreed to “end hostility and open a new era of reconciliation and cooperation” between the two Koreas, just as their successors did Friday. And that particular summit ended with the South-North Joint Declaration, harboring similar promises of family reunions, development assistance, a promise to visit each other’s capitals, and regular dialogue between authorities. In other words, this summit has brought us back to the starting line. We’ve finally caught up to the year 2000. In the year 2007, after the summit between South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il, the Declaration on the Advancement of South-North Korean Relations, Peace and Prosperity again reflected Panmunjom’s joint statement, even mirroring the latter’s intent to carve a special maritime zone of peace and cooperation in the West Sea.

Hope for Peace?

Friday’s summit is most certainly impressive, and the optimism bubbling out of the Korean peninsula is a welcome change from the familiar stories of underground nuclear detonations, ballistic missile tests, and “fire and fury.” During his election campaign, Moon made engagement with North Korea a cornerstone of his foreign policy, and President Donald Trump is hungry to cement his legacy as the U.S. president that brought peace on the Korean peninsula. The temptation to perceive these developments as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch lightning in a bottle looms large. Both presidents are hungry for it, North Korea seems to be offering it, and the first summit kicked things off with a great start. So can we hope for peace?

Not yet.

The fact of the matter is, despite all of these positive developments, the strategic context remains unchanged. North Korea still remains a poor, weak country, acutely vulnerable to U.S. and South Korean invasion, and nuclear weapons continue to serve as an effective deterrent. Given these conditions, taking North Korea’s charm offensive at face value is unwise. Everything North Korea does is designed to achieve two things: ensure regime survival and pry South Korea away from the United States, eventually leading to complete U.S. withdrawal from the region.

Looking Forward to the U.S.-North Korea Summit

This brings us to the next historic summit between Trump and Kim. North Korea seems to be pulling from a playbook it has already used in the past, but this time, its adversary is one of the most inept, distracted, and fractured administrations in U.S. history. It is one that has consistently questioned the value of alliances and actively undermined alliance cohesion. Furthermore, the United States is especially unprepared for Korean affairs: the ambassador’s seat in Seoul remains empty, the State Department’s most senior North Korea hand went into early retirement, and the State Department remains gutted after the disastrous tenure of Rex Tillerson. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Pyongyang finds this particular administration, at this particular moment in history, to be the opportune moment to execute whatever machinations they have prepared.

This is not pessimism for the mere sake of pessimism. One only needs to take a cold, hard look at recent historical record and the current strategic picture to know that with North Korea, nothing comes easy. U.S. and South Korean policymakers must accept that this is a long, slow, and painful process, and miscommunication, misinterpretation, or even a few angry tweets can derail the fragile progress made so far. Leaders in Washington and Seoul must avoid aiming for the grand-slam, marquee victory. Instead, it is precisely the time to do the opposite: they must keep their cool, coordinate as closely as they can, and, most importantly, set clear, attainable goals for the short-term.

The Trump administration will be going into the summit with only denuclearization in mind. For the time being, we need to forget complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. The emphasis, instead, should be on keeping the North Koreans at the negotiating table, forging deeper patterns of cooperation between the three countries, and maintaining the momentum to eventually achieve peace and denuclearization. In other words, South Korean officials have their work cut out for them: they must carefully brief their U.S. counterparts, temper Trump’s expectations, and build upon the achievements of Friday’s summit. Washington and Seoul must be in lockstep with one another and be fully aware of each other’s policies, strategies, and intentions lest we repeat the mistakes of the past. In Vice President Mike Pence’s own words, there must be no daylight between the two countries.

Harry Sa is a Senior Analyst with the United States Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is from Los Angeles, California.

Family members lurk on social media

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT

Dear Amy: I have a large extended family. I was close to my cousins and aunts growing up, but I now feel like the black sheep of the family. I am gay and have political and religious beliefs that are different from the rest of my conservative family.

While no one has ever been overtly mean or critical to my face, I am “friends” with many of my relatives on social media, and I am routinely given the cold shoulder in this forum.

My aunts post warm messages to their other nieces and nephews. They have never posted anything to me. My cousins constantly post back and forth with each other.

If I add a comment to the conversation, no one responds back. I often leave friendly comments on their photos and updates, even though they never acknowledge me. While this is hurtful, I understand that my lifestyle is very foreign to them.

I am content to leave things at arm’s length (I’m also embarrassed that it bugs me at all). My mother is very close to her siblings and their children, but she has no idea that they treat me this way. She does not have a social media account.

Weirdly enough, my relatives seem to be paying close attention to my social media, and often tell my mom about updates or photos I have posted, which she appreciates. I want to tell her that these relatives are two-faced, but I’m not sure I need to make my problem her problem, and the problem of me feeling snubbed on social media is easily solved by removing them from my friends list. Advice?

— Snubbed

Dear Snubbed: Your relatives are lurking. Lurkers note what other people post, but decline to “like” or comment on those posts. The fact that they are aware of your doings and report them positively to your mother means that they are paying attention.

You should post whenever and however you want to. You might feel better about this dynamic if you become more of a lurker on your family’s posts. Yes, unfriend them (or hide their posts) if you want to, but don’t let them change you. I don’t know how it will help matters for you to report this snubbing to your mother.

Dear Amy: My mother-in-law was just diagnosed with cancer. She probably has a year to live. Her youngest son (my husband’s brother) and she had some sort of falling-out, and he has not contacted her in almost a year, despite her many attempts.

He has also not allowed her to see his son. Not seeing her grandson has been very hard on her.

I have been the only one out of four sons and four daughters-in-law to accompany her to her many medical appointments, and have been trying to support her as best I can.

My brother-in-law finally called after he found out about her diagnosis and said he would visit this past weekend.

Well, he never showed. Not even a phone call. She, of course, was devastated. I texted him and he told me not to get involved, that it was none of my business. My husband agreed.

I feel that since I am the only one who talks to her on a regular basis, I have every right to be outraged and callout my brother-in-law on his awful behavior, just as I would a biological brother. Do I have the right to get involved, or have I overstepped my boundaries?

— Angry In-law

Dear Angry: You are a family member and an involved helpmate to your mother-in-law. You have every right to react honestly to this behavior, but you don’t seem to have taken into account what your mother-in-law might have wanted you to do.

My experience with family estrangement is that trying to coax someone back into the fold is a delicate dance. You expressing your righteous and justified anger and/or bewilderment at his unreliability might have sent him skittering back into his corner, and this is not what anyone seems to want right now. I do think you should absent yourself from this particular dynamic, to keep your focus on your loved-one’s needs.

Dear Amy: “Bought the Farm” wondered how to enforce the boundaries on their farm from their rowdy family members with teenagers who lived next door.

Suggest trading some fun for those teenagers for some improvements or repairs around the farm!

— Another Amy

Dear Amy: I like this idea; these teens could help to improve the land they’ve rutted with their four-wheelers.

(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.)

OMARR’S DAILY ASTROLOGICAL FORECAST, For release 04/28/18 for 04/28/18

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT

BIRTHDAY GAL: Actress Jessica Alba was born in Pomona, Calif., on this date in 1981. This birthday gal has starred in such movies as “The Veil,” “Fantastic Four,” and “Sin City.” On television, she starred as Max Guevera on the series “Dark Angel” and played Dixie Melonworth on the 2014 mini-series “The Spoils of Babylon,” as well as appearing on episodes of “Barely Famous” and “The Office.”

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You don’t need to make false starts. Keep company with people who feel like family members. Steer clear of group venues and new acquaintances who may disturb your tranquility.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Friends might come and go but obligations never seem to end. Don’t let a pile of extra duties prevent you from enjoying the weekend. Add some sweetness and light to your day.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): A more Spartan existence might be your ideal. Organize your belongings and sort out the necessities. Use a sharp eye for symmetry and remove items that no longer suit your taste.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Show off shrewd business ideas or financial expertise that could bring you some extra attention. A developing family situation could disturb the inspired harmony between you and a mate.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Primp and preen as you may be popular on the social scene. You could be the target of someone’s amorous aim since you may be viewed through the lens of their romantic fantasies.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Be inspired by beauty and high ideals even though it is necessary to pay attention to your business agenda. Adhere to the highest principles even if you are tempted to bend them a little.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Family members may be comforted by traditional routines. Someone or something might not turn out to be exactly as advertised but in the long run might turn out even better than expected.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Ideas are streaming like movies on the internet. Tap into your network of friends and gather valuable information or inspiring ideas. Take time to nurture precious hopes and dreams.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): A straight line is the shortest distance between two points. You could be distracted by people who are evasive or beat around the bush. Take your time about making a key decision.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Acknowledge common interests with others that lay the foundation for more intimacy. Listen to those with an array of experience. Mind your manners and extend common courtesies.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Make hay while the sun shines. Friends may call, a social event might look appealing, or a day trip might seem enticing, but you shouldn’t waste a chance to make a few extra dollars.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Fulfill your fantasies to form a lasting relationship. Give romantic notions free rein. Don’t listen to gossip that casts a shadow on your job prospects or let a friend interfere with your plans.

IF APRIL 28 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: For the next six to eight weeks your organizational skills and ability to manage paperwork as well as people is enhanced. July is the best time to make changes to your business or financial status, to put business plans in motion, or negotiate contracts because your business savvy is top notch. Your networking skills are upgraded in October so attend group meetings, join organizations or simply hang out with friends. This is a good time to be surrounded by like-minded people. November is a poor time to search for a job, change positions or handle financial matters, because you can make some serious mistakes, so put ambitions on the back burner. Wait until mid to late December, when you are wiser than usual, to make key decisions.

*Love Is… – Comic Panel – 20180428cplis-a.tif

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT

*Pluggers – Color Comic Panel – 20180428cpplc-a.tif

Posted: 28 Apr 2018 12:01 AM PDT