In pictures: India mourns Kashmir dead

Rapid Action Force soldiers and a child from one of their families hold candles as they pay tribute to personnel during a candlelight vigil in BhopalImage copyright
EPA

Thousands of mourners have been attending funerals across India for some of the security force personnel killed by a suicide bomber in Indian-administered Kashmir on Thursday.

At least 40 paramilitary police died in the attack near Srinagar.

The militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad said it carried out the attack.

India has imposed a swathe of economic measures on Pakistan after the attack, including revoking Most Favoured Nation trading status and raising customs duty to 200%.

Although Jaish-e-Mohammad is based in Pakistan, Islamabad has denied any role in the attack.

Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir but control only parts of it.

Relatives of Central Reserve Police Force soldier Sukhjinder Singh mourn near his coffin before his cremation ceremony at village Gandiwind in Tarn Taran districtImage copyright
EPA

Relatives of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldier Sukhjinder Singh mourn as his coffin is taken to his cremation ceremony at the village of Gandiwind in the Tarn Taran district of India’s Punjab state.

Mourners gather to watch the cremation at the funeral for Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper Kaushal Kumar Rawat in AgraImage copyright
AFP

The cremation is held for CRPF trooper Kaushal Kumar Rawat in Agra.

Central Reserve Police Force and Rapid Action Force soldiers and their family members hold candles as they pay tribute to personnel during a candlelight vigil in BhopalImage copyright
EPA

CRPF and Rapid Action Force soldiers hold candles in tribute to dead colleagues during a vigil in Bhopal.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers bow to pay tribute next to a coffin containing the remains of their colleague Bablu Santra in Howrah, West BengalImage copyright
Reuters

An elderly woman cries as she hugs Bonomala Santra (R), mother of Bablu Santra, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper killed on Thursday, at Bauria village in Howrah district, West BengalImage copyright
Reuters

CRPF officers bow in tribute (top) to colleague Bablu Santra in Howrah, West Bengal, as his mother (above right) mourns him in the village of Bauria.

Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel stand as a guard of honour for colleagues Sudip Biswas and Bablu Santra at Kolkata airportImage copyright
AFP

CRPF personnel stand guard over the coffins of Sudip Biswas and Bablu Santra at Kolkata airport.

People attend a vigil in front of India Gate war memorial in Delhi, for personnel killed on ThursdayImage copyright
Reuters

People attend a vigil in front of the India Gate war memorial in Delhi.

Mourners touch the coffin as they take part in the funeral procession for Indian Central Reserve Police Force trooper Mahesh Kumar Meena at Meja village, near AllahabadImage copyright
AFP

A large number of mourners gather on the bank of the Ganges river to attend the funeral procession for trooper Mahesh Kumar Meena near AllahabadImage copyright
AFP

The coffin of Mahesh Kumar Meena arrives near Allahabad (top) and hundreds gather on the bank of the Ganges for his funeral procession.

Villagers gather in large numbers as body of slain Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldier Tilak Raj arrives at his home in village Dhewa Jandroh, some 90km from DharamsalaImage copyright
EPA

Dozens more gather for the return of the body of CRPF member Tilak Raj at his home in the village of Dhewa Jandroh, 90km (55 miles) from Dharamsala.

An Indian army soldier looks from the vehicle as they carry out a flag march during curfew in JammuImage copyright
EPA

Tension remains high in Jammu, Indian-administered Kashmir, amid a curfew.

All pictures copyright

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Watch Kacey Musgraves crown RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 winners at L.A. concert

The reigning queen of the Grammys has crowned a pair of her fellow royals.

Following Friday night’s jaw-dropping RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4 finale — which saw Mama Ru inducting two winning queens into the Drag Race Hall of Fame for the first time in series history — country singer Kacey Musgraves invited the freshly minted champions onstage for their first public crowning during the Los Angeles stop of her Oh, What a World Tour.

“If you’re here tonight, it means you’re missing out on the season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars,” Musgraves told the audience gathered at L.A.’s Theatre at Ace Hotel. “And I was lucky enough to go hang out with Ru and the queens this season. Tonight we have not one, but two queens!”

All-Stars 4 champions Monét X Change and Trinity The Tuck then joined Musgraves for a rendition of her 2018 single “High Horse” while she presented them with their crowns and scepters.

Photographer Catherine Powell later posted an adorable backstage photos she snapped at the concert, which shows Musgraves applying lipstick in a makeup mirror next to Trinity and Monét.

Musgraves, whose 2018 LP Golden Hour won the Grammy for Album of the Year last Sunday, has long supported RuPaul‘s Emmy-winning reality competition series: She previously expressed interest in casting All-Stars 3 champion Trixie Mattel in one of her music videos and subsequently appeared as a guest judge on All-Stars 4 in December.

RuPaul’s Drag Race returns for season 11 Thursday, Feb. 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET on VH1. Watch Musgraves crown Monét and Trinity above.

Related: 

RuPaul — as host, mentor, and creative inspiration — decides who’s in and who’s out.

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Anthony Davis: ‘I Never Said’ Celtics Weren’t on List of Preferred Trade Spots

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

Anthony Davis has a list of preferred destinations, and it’s good news for Boston Celtics fans.

Davis, speaking to reporters as part of his All-Star media availability, confirmed the previously reported list of Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks is “true.” When asked specifically about the Boston Celtics, though, Davis made it clear they are a contender for his services.

“They are on my list…I never said Boston wasn’t on my list,” Davis told reporters, before repeating the latter sentence when asked for clarification.

All 29 other teams are on my list,” Davis later said on NBATV. “I don’t have a preferred destination. I just want to win. Big market, small market, I don’t care. I want to win.”

Davis publicly requested a trade through his agent, Rich Paul, last month. He informed the Pelicans he would not sign a supermax extension this summer and would leave the franchise in 2020 if he is not traded. 

The timing of the trade request seemed to be a concerted effort from Paul and Davis to get the six-time All-Star to the Lakers, where he’d pair with LeBron James. The Celtics cannot trade for Davis until after July 1 when Kyrie Irving becomes a free agent because they are both currently playing under Rose Rule extensions.

Irving will be a free agent this summer and can sign a new contract with the Celtics that would allow Boston to trade for Davis. The Celtics are widely seen to have the best trade package to offer the Pelicans, provided they’re willing to offer Jayson Tatum as part of the deal.

The Davis situation has been a complete fiasco from every perspective since his trade request went public. The Lakers ploy never worked. New Orleans appeared to have no interest in negotiating seriously ahead of the deadline, and Lakers president Magic Johnson said he did not believe he and the Pelicans had good faith talks.

Davis, who sat out prior to the deadline, returned to the lineup after not being traded despite the Pelicans preferring to continue holding him out. The NBA intervened on Davis’ behalf in discussions with New Orleans, and the result has been awkward at best and tragic at worst.

The 25-year-old is averaging just 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in four games since the deadline, highlighted by a three-point, six-rebound performance in Tuesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic.

Davis suffered a shoulder injury in Thursday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and left the Smoothie King Center with Paul before the game’s conclusion. The optics of Davis leaving—it was later revealed he went to get an MRI—ultimately helped spur the firing of general manager Dell Demps, who was let go Friday. 

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Kelly Clarkson is a star reborn with this cover of Lady Gaga’s ‘Shallow’

Kelly Clarkson is far from the “Shallow” now.

During Green Bay, WI tour stop on Friday night, the Meaning of Life singer, 36, delivered a powerhouse cover of Lady Gaga’s Oscar-nominated hit from the film A Star Is Born. Clarkson shared it online as part of her latest “A Minute and a Glass of Wine” segment.

“This song, I love it… I thought she and Bradley Cooper did an awesome job,” she told the crowd, adding, “We’re gonna do our version of it ’cause obviously, I don’t have a Bradley Cooper here. So I’m just holding it down.”

Just call Clarkson the cover queen with all the covers she delivered over the years. We wouldn’t be mad if she decided to release a new album purely of covers, like with “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman, “It’s Quiet Uptown” from Broadway’s Hamilton, and The Guess Who’s “American Woman.”

Gushing of Lady Gaga, Clarkson said on stage, “We’re really different but we’re really similar in the fact that she loves music and that’s why she’s doing what she’s doing. Honestly, I remember her first single, we actually did a show together combined for some event and she is one of the only artists that has ever [sent] me a hand-written letter saying, ‘Thank you so much, it was an honor to open for you.’ She’s the nicest lady ever.”

Watch a clip of the cover in the video above, and for the full 20-minute “A Minute and a Glass of Wine,” check out Clarkson’s Facebook below.

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The Awardist podcast: Oscar controversies, final predictions, and Kevin Feige

Voting is underway for the 91st Academy Awards, the ceremony is just over a week away, and the drama is at a fever pitch.

First, there was the Kevin Hart hosting controversy, then the flap over which nominees for Best Original Song would be performed, then questions about who would be presenting, and then the back-and-forth over handing out some Oscars during commercial breaks — and that’s just the behind-the-scenes stuff. At the same time, the race for Best Picture seems as wide open as it’s been in years, with contenders including the lush black-and-white drama Roma, the superhero smash Black Panther, the controversial racial dramedy Green Book, and the crowd-pleasing musical romance A Star Is Born.

Here to make sense of the Oscar landscape is the latest episode of EW’s The Awardist podcast, hosted by EW digital director Shana Naomi Krochmal. This week, Shana is joined by EW deputy editor Bill Keith and EW senior writer Piya Sinha-Roy to get in some last looks, make one final set of bold predictions about what will happen and who will win, and take a look back at the people who get the very last word on Hollywood’s biggest night: the producers who accept the award for Best Picture.

Plus, Piya talks to Roma producer and Alfonso Cuarón whisperer Gabriela Rodriguez, and EW’s Anthony Breznican asks Marvel chief Kevin Feige who will get the mic if Black Panther wins the top prize.

The Awardist podcast is part of EW’s comprehensive awards coverage, online and in the magazine. Listen to the full discussion below, or on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Even NBA All-Star Game Can’t Escape Latest Twist in Ongoing Anthony Davis Saga

General manager of the New Orleans Pelicans Dell Demps, second from left, presents the All Star Game jersey to forward Anthony Davis, right, before an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in New Orleans, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. Jazz won 127-94. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Max Becherer/Associated Press

CHARLOTTE — In the second year of scheduling the NBA trade deadline before All-Star Weekend, the expectations were that transactional distractions would not overshadow the league’s marquee event.

Anthony Davis’ pre-deadline trade demand created an interesting precedent. Could the league hold its signature All-Star festivities without Davis’ desire to be traded to the Lakers getting in the way?

Yeah right. 

Saturday at the NBA All-Star media availability, all eyes shifted again to Davis, who was asked in a very public setting about his preferred trade destinations: Lakers, Knicks, Clippers, BucksOh and the Celtics, too. 

Wait, since when?

“I never said Boston wasn’t on my list,” Davis told reporters Saturday.

This, just a day after the Pelicans fired GM Dell Demps. So much for limiting the collateral damage.

“The timing’s odd,” a Western Conference executive told Bleacher Report. “I think [Demps] handled it well in terms of just being patient. I think the majority of us in front offices thought he did the right thing. There was no rush.”

Indeed, why should Demps have rushed to trade Davis to the Lakers when, in a few short months, the Celtics could come calling with an offer flush with draft picks, plus possibly Jayson Tatum?

Now it’s clearer than ever that’s a viable option. Demps could have also better bargained with the Knicks, who in July could come calling with, perhaps, No. 1 pick Zion Williamson and other assets?

“For them to fire him at this time is interesting,” the Western Conference exec said. “I guess they got frustrated with the way things were handled and the fact that he walked out of the arena.”

Turns out, the last straw for Temps’ tenure in New Orleans came Thursday night, when Davis hurt his shoulder in a collision and came out of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He then went to a local hospital for an MRI with his agent, which infuriated Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Benson fired Demps on Friday and installed former Hawks and Cavs GM Danny Ferry as his interim replacement. The team will hire a search firm to find a permanent replacement, league sources confirmed to B/R.

“As Alvin [Gentry, the Pelicans coach] put it, it’s a dumpster fire,” a prominent agent in the league told B/R. “It had to be the last straw, because obviously they had been thinking about firing him. You don’t fire someone over that incident alone.”

So to recap: Demps didn’t cave to the power play from James, Davis and their common agent to get the Pelicans’ All-Star shipped to the Lakers. And the Pelicans and Lakers have both suffered as a result, as half of James’ teammates have been dealing with hard feelings from seeing their names floated in trade possibilities.

Davis—whose status for the rest of the season was already a question mark—left the arena Thursday night to be examined outside the team’s medical protocols. And the next day, the GM was fired.

So much for off-court storylines no longer overshadowing All-Star Weekend.

“You can’t let agents dictate the law of the land right now; this is crazy,” the Western Conference exec said. “If [Demps] would’ve caved on that, you would’ve seen more of the top agents doing the power play. And that would be a big issue in our league.”

During Demps’ tenure, which began with the 2010-11 season, New Orleans made the playoffs three times and won one series. In 2014-15, then-coach Monty Williams was issued a playoff mandate with a team that hadn’t won more than 34 games in any of the past three seasons.

The Pelicans won 45 games, made the playoffs and got swept by the eventual champion Warriors in the first round. Demps fired Williams after the season anyway in a move that may well have doomed him and the franchise going forward.

On the flip side of that argument, Demps needed to be more creative than he was in putting winning pieces around Davis for the limited time that he had such a superstar on his roster. He wasn’t able to.

Despite the additions of Elfrid Payton (far left) and Julius Randle, GM Dell Demps saw the Pelicans parlay a 4-0 start dissolve in to a 26-33 mark by the All-Star break.

Despite the additions of Elfrid Payton (far left) and Julius Randle, GM Dell Demps saw the Pelicans parlay a 4-0 start dissolve in to a 26-33 mark by the All-Star break.Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

“With small-market teams, you’ve got to be real creative,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “You’re not going to get the big stars [in free agency]. Your job was to get that team good now with him. Guys make all this money, but they want to win championships. They want to win now. AD sees LeBron and Kevin Durant moving around and winning championships, and he says, ‘I want to do that too.’”

The general consensus among rival front-office executives who spoke with B/R is that Demps was well-liked and tried to do the right thing. The general consensus also was a sense of surprise that Demps lasted as long as he did in the job.


Rachel Nichols, host of ESPN’s “The Jump,” chats with Howard Beck about the All-Star Game, the latest twists in the drama surrounding LeBron James and how small market teams can avoid the same fate as the Pelicans.


While no one could fault Demps for bringing in Jrue Holiday in 2013, the Pelicans also made their share of curious moves. Solomon Hill and E’Twaun Moore are capable complementary pieces, but when they help clog your cap without advancing your playoff hopes significantly, that’s a problem. Demps proved capable of building a playoff contender, but that only gets you to trade demands when free agency is visible in the distance. 

“My first reaction was, ‘What took so long?’” one agent said.

But that’s beside the point. The question other agents and executives have to ask themselves is, “What do we do about the growing perceived power of Paul and his Klutch Sports Group?” And the question the NBA has to ask itself is, “Has player power grown to the point where we can no longer keep it from ruining our sacred All-Star Weekend and interfering with our sport?”

On the latter point, the evidence is already in.

   

Ken Berger covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @KBergNBA.

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Karl Marx monument vandalised again

Karl Marx GraveImage copyright
PA

Image caption

Karl Marx’s memorial in Highgate Cemetery has been vandalised for the second time in two weeks

Karl Marx’s memorial in north London has been vandalised for the second time in two weeks.

The words “Doctrine of Hate” and “Architect of Genocide” are scrawled in red on the Grade I-listed grave in Highgate Cemetery.

This latest incident follows a “deliberate and sustained” hammer attack on 4 February that left the memorial badly damaged.

There have been no arrests in connection with either attack.

Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust said the German philosopher’s memorial would “never be the same again” following the previous attack.

Image copyright
Maxwell Blowfield/PA

Image caption

The words “Doctrine of Hate”, “Architect of Genocide” and “Memorial to Bolshevik holocaust” were painted in red on the memorial

Maxwell Blowfield, from the British Museum, said he was “quite shocked” to see the most recent act of vandalism when he visited the cemetery earlier with his mother.

The 31-year-old said it was particularly sad because tourists regularly visited the site.

“It’s a highlight of the cemetery”.

“It’s a shame. The red paint will disappear, I assume, but to see that kind of level of damage and to see it happen twice, it’s not good,” he continued.

“I am just surprised that somebody in 2019 feels they need to [go] and do something like that.”

Image copyright
Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust

Image caption

The marble plaque on the memorial was attacked with a hammer on 4 February

In 1970 a pipe bomb blew up part of the plaque’s marble face, that was first used for Marx’s wife Jenny von Westphalen in 1881.

The plaque was subsequently moved when both Marx and his wife were exhumed and moved to a more prominent location within the cemetery in 1954.

It has also been covered in Swastikas and emulsion paint has been thrown at it, in the past.

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