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Robert Downey Jr. Won’t Be Returning To The Marvel Cinematic Universe As Tony Stark

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Fans of the Marvel world should not expect Robert Downey Jr. to resume his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Despite claims to the contrary, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in an interview with Vanity Fair that there are no plans to renew the character following Downey Jr.’s last appearance in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.”

“We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again,” she stated. “We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way.”

According to co-director Joe Russo, Downey Jr. was apprehensive about performing reshoots for “Endgame.”

downey jr

Robert Downey Jr. Won’t Be Returning To The Marvel Cinematic Universe As Tony Stark

“On the last day of shooting, we’d already said tearful goodbyes.” “Emotionally, everyone had moved on,” Russo told the publication. “We promised him it would be the last time we made him do it — ever.”

His brother Anthony Russo, who co-directed “Endgame,” adds, “That was a difficult thing for him to do, to come back and pick up that line.”

“When he (Downey Jr.) did come back, we were shooting on a stage directly opposite where he auditioned for Tony Stark,” Anthony Russo, the director, stated. “So his last line as Tony Stark was shot literally a couple hundred feet from his original audition that got him the role.”

According to Feige, he had to campaign for Downey Jr. to be cast as Stark in the Marvel universe due to his previous difficulties with substance abuse, which resulted in him serving 15 months in prison.

downey jr

Robert Downey Jr. Won’t Be Returning To The Marvel Cinematic Universe As Tony Stark

“It purely came down to the Marvel board being nervous at putting all of their chips in their future films on somebody who famously had those legal troubles in the past,” Feige stated. “I wasn’t very good — and still am not — at taking no for an answer. But I also don’t beat my chest to get my way. I try to think of ways to make it plain to others why we should go in a certain direction. And that’s when the concept of a screen test arose.”

Susan Downey, Downey Jr.’s wife, stated that her husband had turned down jobs similar to Stark. In 2018, Downey Jr. told Vanity Fair writer Anthony Breznican that he is his own man despite comparisons to the role.

downey jr

Robert Downey Jr. Won’t Be Returning To The Marvel Cinematic Universe As Tony Stark

“I ain’t him, I’ll tell you that flat out,” Downey Jr. stated.

Downey Jr is an American actor widely known for his roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tony Stark/Iron Man. He has also appeared in various other films, receiving critical acclaim for his performances.

He has had a successful career marked by his versatility and ability to portray a wide range of characters. His work has earned him several awards and nominations, solidifying his status as one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry.

SOURCE – CNN

Entertainment

Reddit Hasn’t Turned A Profit In Nearly 20 Years, But It Just Filed To Go Public Anyway

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Reddit, the discussion board site noted for its constantly online user base and for sparking much internet debate, filed for its long-awaited initial public offering on Thursday.

This would make Reddit the first social media business to go public since Snapchat in 2017. The offering will include a twist that may allow some of the most ardent of its more than 70 million daily users to purchase shares in the IPO — something generally reserved for institutional investors.

reddit

Reddit Hasn’t Turned A Profit In Nearly 20 Years, But It Just Filed To Go Public Anyway

The company  claimed that top users can buy shares based on their “karma,” a term the network uses to describe its users’ contributions and reputation on the website.

“Our users feel a strong feeling of ownership over the communities they form on Reddit. We want this sense of ownership to translate into real ownership — for our users to be our owners’, co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman wrote in a Thursday filing letter. “Becoming a public company makes this possible.”

The company’s registration comes amid a dip in the overall IPO market, with Wall Street hoping that a blockbuster offering will help revitalise dealmaking.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the San Francisco-based company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the “RDDT.” The filing comes nearly three years after Reddit recruited its first CFO, and officials, including co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman, began publicly discussing the potential of an IPO to raise the company’s visibility.

Reddit, which has not been profitable, plans to expand its revenue through advertising, offering more e-commerce options, and licensing its data to other companies to train their artificial intelligence models.

“Our work to make Reddit faster, easier to use, easier to moderate and govern, and simpler to navigate and find relevant communities is driving growth today and will continue to be our focus into the future,” Ms. Huffman said.

The company was sold to media giant Condé Nast in 2006 by its co-founders Alexis Ohanian, who left the company in 2020, and Huffman, who now owns 3.3%. According to the IPO filing, the company’s top shareholders are currently Advance Publications (30.1%), which owns Condé Nast, Tencent (11%) from China, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (8.7%).

History of the ‘Front Page of the Internet’
The company, dubbed the “front page of the internet,” is a social media veteran; the firm was founded in 2005, the year college buddies Huffman and Ohanian graduated from the University of Virginia. It was the same year that Facebook became Facebook, YouTube released its first video, and Twitter (now known as X) launched.

Reddit’s 18-year history as an online social hub has witnessed tremendous growth, occasional controversy, and sometimes market-shifting pranks.

The network is well-known for its “subreddits,” which are distinct, user-generated discussion boards where users establish communities around various topics ranging from sports to politics to religion and everything in between. the company  users frequently post anonymously in these areas, debating topics ranging from memes to big news events.

reddit

Reddit Hasn’t Turned A Profit In Nearly 20 Years, But It Just Filed To Go Public Anyway

In 2021, Reddit created widespread market disruption when a community of day traders on the WallStreetBets platform began buying up GameStop shares in an attempt to harm hedge funds that bet against it. Many Redditors who joined the craze late suffered big losses.

Still, the episode highlighted the power of the company communities. Following the WallStreetBets incident, Reddit announced a fresh $250 million investment round, valuing the firm at $6 billion. It also declared plans to grow its workforce and enter overseas markets.

A significant user outcry earlier this year over a proposal to charge some third-party apps millions of dollars in fees to continue using the network brought the company back into the public eye. As a result, hundreds of the platform’s most popular subreddits were offline for weeks. The protest ended after Reddit threatened to expel forum moderators if the blackout continued.

Thursday’s filing provides the most extensive look yet at Reddit’s business, which aims to expand beyond the traditional ad-supported model on which other social networks still rely heavily.

The company  says it had more than 73 million daily active users in the latter three months of 2023, up from 52 million in 2021. In its filing, the company stated that the platform would have over 100,000 active communities by December 2023.

The company’s revenues in 2023 were $804 million, up 21% from $666.7 million in 2022. Reddit recorded a net loss of $90.8 million in 2023, less than the $158.6 million loss it experienced in 2022.

reddit

Reddit Hasn’t Turned A Profit In Nearly 20 Years, But It Just Filed To Go Public Anyway

While the company estimates its total addressable market in advertising to reach $1.4 trillion by 2027, it also stated in the filing’s risk factors statement that it has “a history of net losses and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability in the future.”

The company  also announced intentions to increase revenue by selling data to AI startups and focusing on the “user economy.” The filing outlines a future goal to enhance e-commerce on the site and increase user incomes through the Reddit Contributor Programme and Reddit Collectible Avatars Creators Programme. According to the filing, these systems allow users to earn monetary gifts and prizes, from which the corporation may receive a share.

On Thursday, the company also announced an expanded cooperation with Google, which includes access to Reddit data to train Google’s AI models and improve the display of Reddit content across Google platforms.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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2024: Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

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Bridgit Mendler, known for appearing on Good Luck Charlie and other Disney productions, is venturing into new territory: space.

Disney has effectively launched the careers of major stars such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. However, one former child actor who starred on the network is pursuing a different venture: a space corporation.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Bridgit, a 31-year-old singer and actor best known for her role as Teddy Duncan on the Disney Channel original series Good Luck Charlie, announced this week on X (formerly Twitter) that she is venturing into uncharted territory by launching Northwood Space, a California-based satellite data startup.

Bridgit will lead the company as CEO, while her husband, Gryphon Cleverly, whom she married in 2019, will serve as chief technical officer. “Expect the unexpected!” she posted on X, reacting to a CNBC reporter who broke the story.

According to Ari Eisenstat, the space programme director for the upcoming Texas Eclipse Festival, Bridgit’s venture into science “is a great example of space moving from the domain of governments to becoming accessible to everyone”. Eisenstadt adds that we should all look to “younger generations to see diverse entrepreneurs create social, economic, and environmental impact in the space community”.

According to Bridgit’s post on X, investors have already provided $6.3 million (£4.9 million) in preliminary funding for the startup to create “a data highway between Earth and space.” Mendler said, “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but that’s the fun part.”

While it may come as a surprise to her followers, Mendler has always had interests beyond performing. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 and began working at the MIT Media Lab in 2017. She enrolled in the graduate programme in 2018 and will begin her doctorate in philosophy at MIT in 2020. The next year, Mendler enrolled at Harvard Law School.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Then, Mendler told CNBC that the seed of the Northwood idea was planted while she was in New Hampshire during the COVID-19 lockdown. “While everyone else was preparing their sourdough starts, we created antennae from whatever we could find at Home Depot. For me, the ground side is important because it brings the effects of space closer to people. However, it wasn’t until she started working at the Federal Communications Commission in 2022 that she understood her new path: she told CNBC it was when she “completely fell in love with space law”.

Mendler’s big news has her admirers excited to follow up, and her X announcement currently has over 23,000 likes. Northwood Space, which plans to mass-produce massive terrestrial antennas that connect to satellites in space, says: “The one-lane rickety road for space data needs to adapt to a ten-lane highway routing continuous traffic across the globe.”And, as a woman in science who changed careers to pursue her ambition, Mendler is likely to inspire other women to make timely career changes.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Laurie Bardon Syphard, an environmental science educator, says she’s impressed by Mendler’s credentials and is already excited about her new business. “My gut is telling me that she is going to go really far with this career in science and technology,” she adds, adding that the young scientist’s Disney admirers would most certainly keep an eye on her, especially given space is “one of the areas that just is exciting and inspires people”.

Mendler’s followers appear to agree and have taken to X to celebrate her continuous success. One fan wrote, “She’s Barbie. Like 12 different careers. Singer/songwriter, actor, Harvard PhD in law, MIT PHD student, startup CEO.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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Soccer Star Dani Alves Found Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

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Barcelona, Spain – Dani Alves, one of his generation’s most accomplished soccer players, was convicted of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub and sentenced to four years and six months in prison on Thursday.

The former Brazil and Barcelona right back was convicted in Spain under a new sexual liberty law that emphasizes the victim’s lack of agreement as the most important factor in assessing sex offences.

alves

Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

A three-judge bench at the Barcelona Provincial Court convicted Alves, 40, of sexual assault for the event on December 31, 2022.

The court ordered Alves to pay the victim 150,000 euros ($162,000) in compensation and refrain from entering her home or workplace and communicating with her in any way for the next nine years.

“I still believe Mr. Alves is innocent,” Alves’ lawyer, Inés Guardiola, said. “I need to study the ruling, but I can tell you that of course we will appeal.”

Guardiola stated that Alves was “calm and collected” when he heard the verdict in court.

“We are satisfied,” David Sáenz, a member of the victim’s legal team, said, “because this verdict acknowledges what we have always known, that the victim told the truth and suffered.”

On Wednesday, Ester García, the victim’s lawyer, stated that she and her client would not be present for the verdict.

On the morning of December 31, 2022, the victim claimed Alves raped her at a Barcelona nightclub’s toilet. The court determined that the victim did not consent to sex and that, in addition to the defendant’s testimony, she was raped.

During his three-day trial last month, Alves denied raping the woman, telling the court, “I am not that kind of man.”

State prosecutors sought a nine-year prison sentence for Alves, while his accuser’s lawyers sought twelve years. His defence requested for his acquittal or, if found guilty, a one-year term and 50,000 euros in compensation for the victim.

The penalty of four years and six months is close to the minimum punishment for a rape conviction under Spanish law, which ranged from four to twelve years at the time of the incident. That has recently been changed to six to twelve years. In its punishment, the court stated that it favoured Alves since he had “before the trial paid the court 150,000 euros to be given to the victim without any conditions attached.”

alves

Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

Sáenz stated that his legal team disagreed with the application of the extenuating situation, claiming that the money did not compensate for the harm done to their client. During the trial, medical experts testified that she had experienced post-traumatic stress.

“Clearly (it does not compensate), but that is what the court decided,” Sáenz told the court. “We have to examine the sentence to see if its contents are adequate for his acts.”

The state prosecutor’s office said it will review the verdict and decide whether to appeal.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz expressed hope that the verdict “serves as an exemplary measure for all sexist behaviours that women suffer in all areas of our lives.”

The Alves case was the first high-profile sex crime after Spain revised its rules in 2022 to make consent key to defining a sex crime in response to a surge in protests following a gang rape case at the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona in 2016.

The legislation, known as the “only yes means yes” law, defines permission as an unequivocal declaration of a person’s choice, emphasizing that silence or inactivity do not constitute consent. The statute, however, initially resulted in decreased terms for hundreds of sex offenders since it established lower minimum penalties, such as the one imposed on Alves, before being amended.

Irene Montero, the former equality minister who championed the “only yes means yes” statute, praised the decision.

“The sentence against Dani Alves plainly indicates that he committed sexual assault without the victim’s consent. It is the result of the feminist fight for sexual liberation and putting consent first,” she wrote on X, which was once Twitter.

alves

Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

Guardiola’s defence during the trial was based on the film from nightclub security cameras, which she claimed showed the lady dancing “with sexualized movements” that “showed her interest” in Alves before the alleged attack.

García, the victim’s lawyer, stated at the end of the trial that the new statute rendered her client’s previous behaviour with Alves meaningless.

“I don’t care (how she was dancing); when she said ‘No’, she meant ‘No.’ “That is why the law was changed,” García explained. “The debate is no longer whether the victim put up resistance.”

Alves has been in jail since January 20, 2023. His bail requests were denied because the judge considered him a flight risk. Brazil does not extradite its citizens, who are condemned in other countries.

The woman told state authorities that she danced with Alves and willingly entered the nightclub bathroom, but when she wanted to leave, he refused to allow her. She claimed he slapped her, humiliated her, and forced her to engage in sexual encounters against her will.

A police officer who testified at the trial stated that the victim had to overcome her concern that “nobody would believe her” before formally accusing Alves. Another officer reported that the woman told him, “I don’t want money, I want justice.”

Alves changed his defence during the investigation while in detention, initially denying any sexual contact with her before confessing to consensual sexual intercourse. He claimed that not admitting to the encounter initially was an attempt to save his marriage.

During the trial, his defence concentrated on proving that Alves was drunk when he met the woman. However, the court did not consider this an extenuating circumstance in its ruling.

His conviction shatters Alves’ reputation as one of soccer’s greatest players.

Alves won titles with top clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. He also helped Brazil win two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold medal at 38. He competed in his third World Cup, the only major trophy he has not won, in 2022. He played for Barcelona from 2008 until 2016, helping the club win three Champions and six Spanish titles, before briefly returning in 2022. He still has a home near the city.

He was detained while with the Mexican team Pumas. Pumas terminated his contract immediately.

Three days after his arrest, Alves was transported to the Brians 2 prison, located approximately 45 minutes northwest of Barcelona, for safety reasons. He has remained there ever since.

SOURCE – (AP)

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