Daily News Roundup

July 16, 2019

Tuesday, JULY 16

American singer, actor Austin Butler, who has appeared on television the big screen and stage, will play Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic of the King.

Luhrmann announced Butler, 27, had won a competitive casting contest against a strong line-up said to include Ansel Elgort, Harry Styles and Miles Teller.

He appeared in many TV teen series landing his first regular job in 2005 as a background actor playing the role of Lionel Scranton for two seasons on Nickelodeon‘s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide

In May 2007, Butler landed a guest starring role on the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana playing the role of Derek Hanson opposite actress Miley Cyrus.

Butler last year appeared in the Denzel Washington Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh  playing Don Parritt, the “lost boy”. 

Previews for the limited run began on March 26, 2018 and the play closed on July 1, 2018. 

A review of the play in The New Yorker said: “Although there are many performers in George C. Wolfe’s staging of Eugene O’Neill’s phenomenal drama, The Iceman Cometh, there is only one actor, and his name is Austin Butler.”

Luhrmann says in a statement that through “a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures”.

Production will begin early next year on the Luhrmann-directed film. Tom Hanks co-stars as Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Butler also has a role in Quentin Tarantino’s coming Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.

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As criticism of his tweets attacking four Democratic congresswomen continued to grow, US President Donald Trump says those complaining about the country can “leave right now”.

Mr Trump’s latest comments came hours after new tweets continued to attack congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib — known as “the squad” among the Democrats — labelling them “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American”.

He also asked the women to apologise to him, Israel and the United States.

But in a press conference responding to Mr Trump’s new comments, the group turned the heat back on the President, claiming his attacks were a “disruptive distraction” from the policies of his administration.

All four of the women come from racially diverse backgrounds, and only one of them is foreign-born. Mr Trump alluded to the women and asked them to “go back to the places from which they came”.

This prompted fierce criticism from the Democrats, who labelled the comments “white nationalist”, while other critics said the President was racist.

While Sunday’s tweet series did not explicitly mention names — just “Progressive Democrat Women” — his Monday tweets appeared to confirm that he was talking about the squad.

The Democratic representatives that Mr Trump has targeted were elected to Congress in 2018, and have been critical of his administration as well as current Democratic House leaders.

His Monday tweets labelled them “Radical Left Congresswomen”, and said that Ms Ocasio-Cortez and her peers hated Israel, the United States and were also “a bunch of Communists”.

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Mathematician Alan Turing, whose cracking of a Nazi code helped the Allies to win World War II, only to be be subsequently vilified by his own country, will be the face of England and Wales’ new 50-pound note.

After the War Turing was persecuted by the authorities and people he helped save being stripped of his job and chemically castrated for having sex with a man.

He is the first known homosexual person to feature on a Bank of England note.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as War hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking,” the bank’s governor Mark Carney said.

“Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

Turing’s electro-mechanical machine, a forerunner of modern computers, broke the Enigma code used by Nazi Germany and helped give the Allies an advantage in the naval struggle for control of the Atlantic.

His work has been credited with shortening the War by up to two years and as a result saving millions of lives.  

His work at Bletchley Park, Britain’s wartime code-breaking centre, was credited with shortening the war and saving many thousands of lives.

PHOTO: The note’s design features Alan Turing, his machine and binary code. (Supplied: Bank of England)

In 2017, under new legislation known as Turing’s Law, Britain granted posthumous pardons to thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted of sexual offences under laws that have since been abolished.

Peter Tatchell, who campaigned for Turing’s pardon and organised LGBT activists to vote for him in an early round of nominations for the banknote selection, said Turing’s posthumous accolade was a breakthrough.

The new note is expected to enter circulation by the end of 2021.

In 2015 the film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

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