Steve Earle Enlists Miranda, Willie to Revisit Outlaw Music

Alt-country rocker Steve Earle and country star Miranda Lambert shared writing credit on one of Lambert’s biggest hits from her debut album in 2005, but the two never actually got into a writers’ room until more than a decade later.


Lambert wrote the song “Kerosene,” the album title track, which led to her first Grammy nomination. But she later decided it sounded too similar to a song penned by Earle, so she gave him credit.


“I hate telling her this, but I would have never done anything about it,” said the 62-year-old Grammy-winning songwriter known for songs like “Copperhead Road.” “It’s a gift from Miranda the way I see it.”


But that connection and a chance meeting between the two at a beauty salon lead Earle to decide it was finally time to do a proper co-write with one of country music’s biggest stars. Last year the two penned a twangy breakup duet featuring fiddle and guitar that melds the two voices, one weathered and the other weary.

The two later cut the song in Austin, Texas, for Earle’s new album, “So You Wannabe An Outlaw,” released last week.


“It was a really cool experience to write with him and he’s such an amazing songwriter,” Lambert said. “I was intimidated but I learned a lot.”

Earle has the same high opinion of Lambert, calling her last effort — the critically acclaimed double album “The Weight of These Wings” — stunning.


“The women are the strong singer-songwriters in Nashville as this point,” Earle said during a tour rehearsal in Nashville, Tennessee. “Chris Stapleton is an exception. Most of the guys, their stuff is all right, but they are mostly, largely just party songs. It’s kind of hip-hop for people who are afraid of black people, I guess, as far as I can tell.”


But he doesn’t blame country radio for largely ignoring female artists.


“I think the labels have an idea of what is selling and right now the common wisdom is guys under 30 is what’s selling in country music,” Earle said.


When Earle first arrived in Nashville from Austin in the ’70s, he was the young gun among a group of veteran singer-songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Waylon Jennings and more. It was the beginning of the outlaw movement, which Earle attempts to revisit on his new record.


Earle, who broke out with his 1986 debut “Guitar Town,” said he still runs into fans who believe the movement was all about booze, drugs and a freewheeling lifestyle, although Earle’s previous addictions have contributed to that lore.

“Part of the point of this record was to rehabilitate the term ‘outlaw,”’ he said.

“There was this moment when country music that was art was going on here and in Austin, and I was there.”


In writing the record, Earle swapped out his acoustic guitar for a Fender Telecaster and spent a lot of time listening to Jennings’ “Honky Tonk Heroes.” He growls on the title track with Willie Nelson that being an outlaw meant “you can’t ever go home.”


“I was always grateful and was very aware that I had just gotten here in time to be a part of a moment,” said Earle. “A lot of the things that I am able to do at this point in my life, I am able to do because I happened to be lucky and be in the right place at the right time.”

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One of China’s Richest Women Hopes to Keep Driving Culture of Philanthropy

After starting work in a hotel kitchen, Zhai Meiqin began selling furniture and built a billion-dollar conglomerate, but she took great pride in being recognized this week for driving a new phenomenon in China: philanthropy.

Zhai, one of China’s richest women and president of the privately owned HeungKong Group Ltd., said she never forgot her humble upbringing in Guangzhou in southern China, where her father was an architect and her mother worked in a store.

This made her determined to help others, and she started donating to charity shortly after setting up the business with her husband in 1990.

As their business grew, taking in real estate, financial investment and health care, Zhai broke new ground in 2005 by establishing China’s first nonprofit charitable foundation.

Since then, the HeungKong Charitable Foundation has helped an estimated 2 million people, by funding 1,500 libraries, providing loans for women to start businesses, and funding orphans, single mothers, handicapped children and the elderly.

“I realized there were a lot of poor people in China and this drove me to earn more money so I could help them,” said Zhai, 53, who was one of nine philanthropists named Thursday as winners of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

Zhai and her husband, Liu Zhiqiang, whose HeungKong Group with 20,000 staffers has made them worth about $1.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine, are known for being leaders of the culture of philanthropy in China.

Their foundation was listed as number 001 by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Zhai said at the end of 2015 there were 3,300 registered nonprofit charitable foundations in China.

Next generation

“By setting up the foundation, I wanted to encourage other people, other entrepreneurs, to also donate to charity,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview from Guangzhou translated by her daughter.

“Now I want to make sure that the next generation continues this culture of philanthropy in China,” she added, with two of her four children taking an active role in her foundation.

The other philanthropists to win the Carnegie Medal — which was established in 2001 and is awarded every two years — came from around  the globe.

The list included India’s education-focused Azim Premji, Canadian-born social enterprise pioneer Jeff Skoll and American-Australian lawyer and former World Bank Group President James Wolfensohn.

The winners were chosen by a committee made up of seven people representing some of the 22 Carnegie institutions in the United States and Europe.

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Women on the Frontlines of Cambodia Land Fight

Cambodian activists fighting plans to transform Phnom Penh’s largest lake into a luxury development made a tactical decision when they took to the streets: put women on the frontline to show a “gentle” face and prevent violence.

But it was wishful thinking.

The women of Boeung Kak Lake, once home to a thriving community, have been kicked, manhandled, threatened and jailed, one of many land battles globally where women are bearing the brunt of the crackdown on protesters.

“We are mostly women because we are more gentle so we face less violence. This is our strategy,” said Im Srey Touch, a 42-year-old activist from Boeung Kak Lake.

“If we let men participate in our protests, we let them stand behind us or outside, and we stand in the front to reduce the likelihood of violence.”

​Evictions began in 2007

In fact, as the number of people killed in land conflicts around the world soars, more than half of the dead have been women, rights watchdogs say.

In Phnom Penh the conflict began in 2007 when nearly 4,000 families were stripped of their housing rights after the Cambodian government leased the Boeung Kak Lake area in the nation’s capital to make way for an upmarket mini city.

Since then, the lake has been filled with sand and most of the 4,000 families evicted, with little to no compensation, amid complaints about the social and environmental impact.

Over the years, more than a dozen activists protesting the evictions have been arrested, most of them women through whom land is passed down in many parts of Cambodia.

Whose courts?

In February, a court sentenced Tep Vanny, the most high-profile lake activist, to two and a half years in jail for inciting violence and assaulting security guards.

Rights observers say the government is using the courts and jails to muzzle activists, including those defending their land rights against government officials and their business cronies.

“It is a signal to civil society that ‘We can come after you whenever we want. The courts are ours. We can make anything we say about you stick,’“ said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Asia for New York-based nonprofit Human Rights Watch.

The government of Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) rejects such criticism and says it respects due process.

“The court makes decisions based on the constitution and, like every open society, the court provides justice to everyone no matter who they are,” said government spokesman Phay Siphan.

​Long history of land disputes

Amnesty International has criticized the Cambodian government for “bending the law to their will” to crack down on dissent. It said 42 criminal cases have been brought against the Boeung Kak Lake activists since 2011.

“Nobody believes Tep Vanny was assaulting these security guards,” said Robertson, who accused the judges of being “stooges” of the CPP.

Home to 15 million people, impoverished Cambodia has a long history of disputes over land rights, many dating back to the 1970s when the communist Khmer Rouge regime destroyed property records, and all housing and land became state property.

Cambodia began to privatize land after 1989, when Hun Sen’s CPP-led government shed its communist past and courted foreign investment, paving the way for economic land concessions.

“After privatization, land prices started going up, and people were at risk of land grabbing by companies, the state and well-connected individuals,” said Naly Pilorge, director of the nonprofit Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO).

LICADHO says the lack of a publicly available land register detailing boundaries means authorities could confiscate land, claiming that affected families were living on state property.

Between 2000 and 2014, about 770,000 Cambodians were affected by land conflicts, according to charges presented by lawyers at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

“Because Cambodia is lawless … with close ties between companies, government, the military and police, it’s a recipe for violence,” Pilorge said by phone from Phnom Penh.

A broken family

Despite the court cases and jail time, the Boeung Kak Lake women persist. They protest loudly and lie on the ground when ringed and roughed up by authorities. They are arrested in groups, sometimes just two, and, once, 13 of them.

Pilorge says authorities now appear to be trying a new tack, turning their energies onto Vanny on whom it is taking its toll.

During a brief recess before her guilty verdict Feb. 23, the 37-year-old divorcee who was arrested last August described the impact of her detention on her son, 11, and daughter, 13.

“I lost my role as a mother. I have a broken family. My child is sick,” she said, adding that she could not be there for her daughter’s surgery to remove her appendix.

“During the last hearing, my daughter cried until she fainted … I am a mother but I’m in prison. I can’t take care of her,” she said.

Activists suspect authorities are using her in a bid to silence other activists ahead of local elections this month and next year’s national vote.

A lake activist who was arrested with Vanny last year, Sophea Bov, was convicted for insulting authorities and fined $20. So far Bov has refused to pay the fine, Pilorge said, but no one has come for yet although the judge could imprison her.

“She was hoping that if she refused to pay the fine, she could go to prison to be with Vanny. Imagine where they are now, to think like that,” Pilorge said. “As human beings, we grow and we become stronger with challenges … these women have been tested, and they’ve overcome a lot of obstacles.”


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Agriculture Group: Drought Has Cost Italian Farmers 1 Billion Euros

Soaring temperatures and a lack of rainfall across Italy have cost farmers 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) so far this year, the national agricultural association said on Friday.

The government declared a state of emergency in the gastronomic heartland around the northern cities of Parma and Piacenza, a usually lush valley that produces tomatoes, cheese, and high-quality ham.

Wine grapes growing near Venice will be harvested early, mozzarella makers near Naples have been thrown into crisis, and Sardinian shepherds have taken tractors onto main roads to call for help to save their livelihoods, the Coldiretti group said.

The group’s chairman, Roberto Moncalvo, said the climate was becoming “tropical.”

“If we want to maintain high quality in agriculture we need to organize ourselves to collect water during rainy periods, doing structural work that cannot be put off any longer,” Moncalvo said.

($1 = 0.8935 euros)

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Will Women Rule the 2017 Summer Box Office?

Women have always been an essential component of Hollywood as lead actresses in the romance genre, in comedy and drama. But women have found it difficult to establish themselves in roles traditionally claimed by men in the film industry, such as filmmakers and leads of superhero films. This summer, that ceiling has finally been broken by talented women. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

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Fans Ride to Georgia for ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Celebration

They had a long way to go and a short time to get there, but hundreds of fans in Pontiac Trans Ams have put the hammer down and made it to Atlanta to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Smokey and the Bandit.

About 350 cars this week retraced actor Burt Reynolds’ wild ride from the Texas-Arkansas line to Atlanta in the movie that roared into pop culture in 1977.

“Every town we drive through, people come out to film us, take pictures and wave as our convoy of cars comes through — it’s like being in a huge parade,” said organizer Dave Hall of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Truckers and others also took part in “Snowman’s Run,” a road trip that raises money for wounded veterans in the name of the late actor and musician Jerry Reed, who played the trucker Snowman in the movie.

All of them have gathered in Jonesboro, Georgia, the town 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Atlanta where much of the movie was filmed.

Reynolds to attend

This weekend, they plan to re-create some of the movie’s memorable scenes, including a stunt driver’s attempt to jump 150 feet (45 meters) through the air in a Trans Am. Also planned: a Burt Reynolds look-alike contest.

Reynolds himself will also be in attendance, and will take part in a question-and-answer session in a city park, Jonesboro City Manager Ricky Clark Jr. said.

“People are coming from all over the U.S. and other countries,” Clark said. “I got a message from someone from Switzerland who is flying over for this event.”

Smokey and the Bandit was among the first big-budget movies to be filmed in Georgia, paving the way for more recent films such as The Hunger Games movies and TV shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Many of the scenes from Smokey and the Bandit were filmed on Main Street in downtown Jonesboro, nearby U.S. Highway 41 and other roads in the area, Clark said.

Bandit’s jump

Some of the buildings still stand. The city’s train depot that dates to 1867 appears in the movie, but moviemakers temporarily replaced its Jonesboro sign with one that said “Texarkana” so they could film scenes set in the town on the Texas-Arkansas line. That’s where the movie’s main characters picked up the 400 cases of Coors beer they would deliver to Atlanta in 28 hours. Participants in the anniversary celebration plan to re-create the “Coors scene” at the spot where it was filmed in Jonesboro this weekend.

A stunt man driving a Trans Am had also had hoped to re-create the Bandit’s jump across the Flint River west of downtown Jonesboro. The leap allowed Reynolds and his passenger, Sally Field, to evade the pursuing law officers, whose patrol cars plunged into the river seconds later.

But organizers decided another jump at the river site, now overtaken by weeds, wasn’t feasible. So they will instead re-create the jump at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday evening.

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Paris Ups Its Game in 2024 Olympics Bid

In preparation for a 2024 Olympic bid, Paris transformed the area around the river Seine into an Olympic park, hosting events on Friday and Saturday to make one final push for the rights to host the games.

The last time the French capital hosted the event would be 100 years earlier, in 1924.

Paris and Los Angeles are the only two cities competing to host the games. Los Angeles last hosted the event in 1984.

With the Eiffel Tower in view, Paris residents and Mayor Anne Hidalgo took to the water in canoes and kayaks to showcase what the 2024 games in Paris could look like.

“It’s a way of saying, look, how we want to celebrate with the whole world by hosting the games, we hope, and then Tony and I made a bet a while ago to kayak along the Seine so it will be a big first for me,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo kayaked in the river Seine near the Pont Alexandre III Bridge, alongside former Olympic gold medal canoeist Tony Estanguet, who is leading Paris’ bid to host the event.  

“This is a great opportunity for us to give a taster of what the games will be like here in 2024,” Estanguet said.

Paris last attempted to draw a bid for the Olympic Games in 2005, when it lost to Beijing for the rights to the 2008 games, sparking tears in the French camp as results were announced.

The winning city will be announced on September 13, in Lima, Peru.

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7 поліцейських постраждали через вибух у Маріуполі – Аброськін

Керівник поліції Донеччини В’ячеслав Аброськін повідомляє, що через вибух у Маріуполі постраждали 7 поліцейських.

«Сьогодні о 17.14 до колл-центру 102 головного управління поліції Донеччини надійшло повідомлення від невідомого, що в Маріуполі на Приморському бульварі пролунав вибух. Під час перевірки встановлено, що вибух дійсно мав місце на території непрацюючого санаторію, де розташовувався один з батальйонів поліції, що прибув до Маріуполя для здійснення охорони стратегічно важливих об’єктів міста. Семеро поліцейських отримали поранення різного ступеню важкості і перебувають у лікарні», – написав Аброськін ввечері 23 червня у Facebook.

«Попередньо можна сказати, що стався несанкціонований вибух гранати гранатомету», – додав він.

На місці вибуху працюють вибухотехники і слідчі. 

Раніше у п’ятницю поліція Донецької області повідомила, що проводить розслідування за фактом вибуху на базі дислокації батальйону доданих сил поліції у Маріуполі.

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Гужві вручили підозру – прокуратура Києва

Затриманому керівнику інтернет-видання «Страна.ua» вручили підозру за статтею «вимагання», повідомляє речниця прокуратури Києва Надія Максимець.

«Із клопотанням про обрання запобіжного заходу звертатимемося до суду завтра. Повідомимо про це додатково», – додала вона.

Гужва на сторінці у Facebook свого адвоката Олени Лукаш назвав оголошену підозру «повною маячнею і брехнею». «Дивовижний документ – жодного слова правди. Він починається з того, що я особисто нібито погрожував Линькові публікацією компромату. Я ще раз можу сказати, що я ніколи в житті не спілкувався з Линьком. Єдиний раз, коли спливло це прізвище – в пропозиції від Антона Філіпковського у травні 2017 року зняти за 20 000 доларів статтю про нього. Від цієї пропозиції я відмовився. Усе», – заявляє керівник інтернет-видання.

Гужву і ймовірного посередника затримали 22 червня. За версією слідства, Гужва у змові з особою, яка представлялась його особистим помічником, вимагали у народного депутата України 20 тисяч доларів США за нерозголошення відомостей щодо його особистого життя і політичної діяльності.

Як повідомляють у ГПУ, Гужву і посередника затримали безпосередньо після передачі 10 тисяч доларів США від потерпілого, за результатами проведеного обшуку у приміщенні редакції видання «Страна.ua» ці кошти виявлені в портфелі керівника інтернет-видання.

Сам Гужва заявив, що обшук у редакції видання він пов’язує із критичними публікаціями на адресу депутата Верховної Ради від фракції Радикальної партії Дмитра Линька. Всі звинувачення прокуратури він відкинув.

Голова Національної спілки журналістів Сергій Томіленко заявив, що вважає надзвичайною ситуацією обшук у редакції інтернет-видання «Страна.ua» і затримання головного редактора Ігоря Гужви і чекає, що «силовики мають якомога швидше надати переконливі докази на підтвердження серйозності висунутих звинувачень».

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ГПУ опублікувала відео у справі Гужви

Речниця генерального прокурора України Лариса Сарган оприлюднила серію відеозаписів у справі за підозрою головного редактора видання «Страна.ua» Ігоря Гужви у вимаганні хабара в народного депутата. Відеозапис вона опублікувала на своїй сторінці у Facebook.

«Перші відео, які вже легалізували слідчі у справі вимагання хабара Ігорем Гужвою… Фрагмент передачі визначеної суми коштів Гужвою… Триває процес легалізації матеріалів слідства», – написала вона.

22 червня пізно ввечері правоохоронці затримали Гужву за підозрою у вимаганні. За версією слідства, Гужва з особою, яка представлялась його особистим помічником, вимагали у народного депутата України 20 тисяч доларів США за нерозголошення відомостей щодо його особистого життя і політичної діяльності. Сам Гужва повідомив, що обшук у редакції видання він пов’язує із критичними публікаціями на адресу депутата Верховної Ради від фракції Радикальної партії Дмитра Линька.

Він відкинув звинувачення прокуратури, а відео, викладене ГПУ, назвав «змонтованим».

Близько 15:00 23 червня адвокат Олена Лукаш повідомила, що Ігоря Гужву відправили до київського ізолятора тимчасового тримання (ІТТ).

За словами генпрокурора Юрія Луценка, прокуратура має намір просити суд обрати для головного редактора видання «Страна.ua» Ігоря Гужви запобіжний захід у вигляді утримання під вартою з альтернативою застави. Він зауважив, що строк обрання запобіжного заходу минає 25 червня.

Голова Національної спілки журналістів Сергій Томіленко заявив, що вважає надзвичайною ситуацією обшук у редакції інтернет-видання «Страна.ua» і затримання головного редактора Ігоря Гужви і чекає, що «силовики мають якомога швидше надати переконливі докази на підтвердження серйозності висунутих звинувачень».

Депутати фракції «Опозиційний блок» заявили про готовність взяти Гужву на поруки.


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про уродов и людей