‘Woman In Gold’ Tells The True Story Of A Priceless Stolen Klimt Painting

Even if you don’t know it by name, I’d wager a bet you’ve laid eyes on Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.

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Perhaps you’ve caught glimpses of the gold-flecked Gustav Klimt painting in passing while browsing through coffee table books at your local mega-bookstore, or a display of classical art-themed greeting cards at a gift and trinket shop. Maybe, just maybe, you’ve beheld the real thing, whether at the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna, or the Neue Galerie in Manhattan. To many of us, Klimt’s iconic work is simply a thing of beauty (as it was originally intended to be). But if a picture is worth a thousand words, this painting is worth millions (as are many others of its era), not for its obvious aesthetic merits, but for what it represents: The restitution of a precious heirloom to its rightful owner.

 

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The Woman in Gold tells just one story out of many about the theft of Jewish family property at the hands of Nazis during WWII, but what a story it is. Helen Mirren stars as Maria Altmann, an Austrian Jewish woman who fled Nazi-occupied Vienna in the late 1930s for California, vowing never to return—that is, until the discovery of old family information regarding stolen artwork prompts Maria to confront her long-buried past. Ryan Reynolds costars as Randol Schoenberg, a struggling Los Angeles lawyer of prominent Austrian descent, who aides Maria in bringing the art restitution case to the US Supreme Court in an unprecedented battle to return Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I and several other valuable Klimt paintings to their intended heiress.

 

With strong performances all around, not to mention a riveting timeline of events, Director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) has quite a prize piece of clay to mold into a film. For the most part, he does just that, seamlessly weaving vignettes dramatizing the upheaval of the Altmann and Bloch-Bauer family in the face of Nazi annexation of Vienna with scenes of contemporary court proceedings in Los Angeles and Vienna. At times, the film’s grandiose score overwhelms the action at hand; there is one exception, which involves a stirring string performance in one of Vienna’s world-renowned concert halls. Mirren and Reynolds play well off each other, infusing just the right amount of humor into their relationship; so do Tatiana Maslany and Max Irons, as the German-speaking Altmann newlyweds (an impressive feat for Irons, who spoke no German before taking this role). Katie Holmes, Daniel Brühl, and Allan Corduner also turn in memorable supporting performances.

The Woman in Gold opens in theaters on Wednesday, April 1.

Washington Bans Government-Funded Trips To Indiana As Arkansas Copies That Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Bill — At Least One State Hasn’t Lost Its Mind

We really hope Indiana ends up losing some tourism income over this.

We told you about how Governor Mike Pence, pictured above, passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that would allow businesses to discriminate against people on the basis of faith, which was clearly targeting the LGBT community.

Well, it seems like Arkansas didn’t like that Indiana was getting all of the publicity, because they went ahead and passed a similar bill on Tuesday.

Luckily, not every law maker wants to limit their citizens’ rights, because the Mayor of Seattle and Governor of Washington made a move of their own!

[ Related: Indianapolis Mayor Promises Equality For All! ]

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Thanks to Ed Murray and Jay Inslee, Washington’s government funding cannot go towards travel to Indiana.

We’re glad some people still have their heads on straight!

Following the controversial act, Governor Pence, a Republican, vowed that he would ‘fix’ the law to make it clear it wasn’t targeting queer folk.

It’s unclear who else the law was intended to harm in that case, but hopefully someone steps in to give every person in Indiana equal rights.

[Image via Getty Images News.]

2016 Scion iM is the return of the Corolla Wagon

Filed under: 2015 New York Auto Show, Scion, Hatchback, Budget

Scion softened up its iM Concept for production, but the result is still a handsome take on the Euro-market Auris hatchback.

Continue reading 2016 Scion iM is the return of the Corolla Wagon

2016 Scion iM is the return of the Corolla Wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2016 Scion iA arrives with price tag ‘in the $16,000 range’

Filed under: 2015 New York Auto Show, Scion, Sedan, Budget

Scion introduced its first ever sedan, with the 2016 iA, a rebadged, four-door version of the upcoming Mazda2.

Continue reading 2016 Scion iA arrives with price tag ‘in the $16,000 range’

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NYPD Detective Caught On Video Berating Uber Driver

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Uber cab driver was caught on video getting berated by an NYPD detective on the West Side Highway this week.

But as CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, investigators late Tuesday confirmed that the man was indeed with the NYPD, and later confirmed that he was a detective with the NYPD Intelligence Division.

A passenger in the Uber cab recorded the traffic stop on the West Side Highway near 14th Street Tuesday afternoon and posted it to YouTube.

“Stop it with your mouth. Stop it with your: ‘For what sir, for what sir.’ Stop it with that bulls**t, and realize there are three vehicle traffic violations that you committed, OK?” the detective says. “Do you understand me? I don’t know what f***ing planet you think you’re on right now.”

Warning: Strong Language

The detective apparently leaves, and the passenger tells the driver he has the encounter on video, calling it “crazy” and “inappropriate” and advising the driver not to say anything.

The detective then returns.

“I don’t care what you have to say. You understand that? People are allowed to park their cars on the side of the street without your interference, and then your opinion about what’s going on, OK? Especially when the person you’re doing it to are the police,” he tells the driver.

“The only reason why you’re not in handcuffs and going to jail, and getting summonses in the precinct, is because I have things to do. That’s the only reason that’s not happening, because this isn’t important enough for me. You’re not important enough,” the man claiming to be the cop says.

The detective is wearing a suit and no badge. He is driving an unmarked Hyundai with flashing blue and red lights in the windshield, and supposedly pulls over the driver for honking at him because the detective not use a blinker.

At one point, he asks the Uber driver how long he has been in this country. The driver replies, “almost two years.”

Sources initially told CBS2 the man claiming to be the cop was not with the NYPD at all, and authorities did not know who he was. But police later followed up and said the man was, in fact, with the NYPD and was a detective.

NYPD Detective Caught On Video Berating Uber Driver

west village traffic stop 0331 NYPD Detective Caught On Video Berating Uber Driver
Alex Silverman reports

Police said the detective’s behavior most likely did not constitute any criminality.

But as WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, Mayor Bill de Blasio said there should be no tolerance for such behavior among police.

“There’s just no place for any public servant to use discriminatory or negative language,” the mayor said. “Again, I’m saying that not having seen the nuances, not having seen the exact language, but I’ll state the obvious principle.”

As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, retired NYPD Sgt. Joseph Giacalone said all law enforcement officers should realize any behavior can be caught on camera.

“If, you know, cops haven’t gotten that idea that they’re going to be on video — everything they do, whether it’s a traffic stop, or whether it’s a domestic violence call — you’re really doing yourself an injustice,” Giacalone said.

CBS2 tried talking to the passenger who posted that video at his office in Union Square. He would not speak with CBS2, but on his Twitter account, he said it was a matter between law enforcement and Uber.

According to Uber, the driver did not want to comment. But company spokesman Matt Wing issued a statement: “The behavior in this video is wrong and unacceptable, and we appreciate the NYPD investigating the incident.”

The case has been turned over to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, police said. The board will meet on Wednesday to begin looking in to the allegations.

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State Department: Only 4 Hillary Clinton Emails Found About Drone Strikes, Surveillance

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that it can find only four emails sent between former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff concerning drone strikes and certain U.S. surveillance programs, and those notes have little to do with either subject.

She asks for a phone call in one, a phone number in another. She seeks advice on how best to condemn information leaks, and accidentally replies to one work email with questions apparently about decorations.

The messages also reveal Clinton used an iPad to email while secretary of state in addition to her BlackBerry, despite her explanation she set up a private email account and homebrew server while she was the nation’s top diplomat so that she could carry a single device.

The four emails were obtained by The Associated Press under a 2013 Freedom of Information Act request and offer one of the first looks into Clinton’s correspondence at the State Department. It is the first time it has provided Clinton-related documents in response to several outstanding FOIA requests, the first of which AP filed in 2010.

The response also came about three weeks after AP filed a federal lawsuit against the State Department, seeking to force the release of materials during Clinton’s tenure.

Clinton is widely expected to announce her candidacy for president next month, and will enter the race as the favorite to win the Democratic nomination.

The 2013 request sought correspondence between Clinton and her advisers over a four-year period that contained keywords such as “drone,” “metadata” and “prism.” The latter was among several code words for controversial U.S. surveillance programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Although Clinton left office four months before the Snowden leaks were first published in June 2013, the AP’s request sought messages about those programs before they were publicly disclosed. The request also asked for certain emails about government programs to eavesdrop on terror suspects believed to be foreigners.

Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said the low number of emails provided to AP could be because the State Department uses different words to describe its operations — such as “UAV,” or unmanned aerial vehicle, instead of “drone.”

It’s also possible that Clinton and her advisers’ emails are not in the department’s archives, he said.

“If there are four, one would expect there to be quite a few more than that,” Aftergood said. “And it looks like another indication of faulty records management and retrieval at the State Department.”

Clinton has said she exchanged about 60,000 emails while secretary of state, about half of which were work-related. She said none contained classified information, and that her private email system did not suffer any security breaches.

“Looking back, it would have been better for me to use two separate phones and two email accounts,” Clinton said earlier this month. “I thought using one device would be simpler, and obviously it hasn’t worked out that way.”

The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email server gave Clinton complete control over access to her message archives. She deleted emails — some 30,000 in total — she described as personal in nature, and has declined the request of Republicans that she turn –over her server for an independent review.

Among the four emails obtained by AP is one in which Clinton accidentally mingled personal and work matters. In reply to a message sent in September 2011 by adviser Huma Abedin to Clinton’s personal email account, which contained an AP story about a drone strike in Pakistan, Clinton mistakenly replied with questions that appear to be about decorations.

“I like the idea of these,” she wrote to Abedin, the wife of former U.S. Congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. “How high are they? What would the bench be made of? And I’d prefer two shelves or attractive boxes/baskets/ conmtainers (sic) on one. What do you think?”

Abedin replied, “Did u mean to send to me?” To which Clinton wrote, “No-sorry! Also, pls let me know if you got a reply from my ipad. I’m not sure replies go thru.”

Earlier this month, Clinton said she chose a personal account over a government one out of convenience, describing it as a way to carry a single device, rather than a State Department-issued BlackBerry for work emails and a second device for personal messages.

“Looking back, it would have been probably, you know, smarter to have used two devices,” Clinton said. Her spokesman, Nick Merrill, said Tuesday that the secretary used her iPad from time to time, primarily to read news clippings.

Also Tuesday, Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said he wants to interview Clinton by May 1.

Gowdy said the recorded interview would help the committee better understand decisions she made related to the creation, maintenance, retention, and ultimately deletion of public records _ namely her emails.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said Tuesday that Clinton told Gowdy’s committee months ago that she was ready to appear at a public hearing.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Workers making Nike and Adidas shoes in Vietnam go on strike – video

Workers employed to make products for Nike, Adidas and others have staged a fifth day of strikes over social insurance cover. Vietnam is seeking to sign a free trade deal with the European Union and push ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership but the continuing strike presents a hurdle for the one-party state Continue reading…







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Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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