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Sean Connery, the legendary Scottish actor who defined an era, dies at 90

Sean Connery, the beloved Scottish actor and first actor to portray British super-spy James Bond in cinema, has died at the age of 90.

Elias Marat

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Sean Connery, the beloved Scottish actor who was seen as a sex symbol well into his 70s and endeared himself to global audiences as the first actor to portray British super-spy James Bond in cinema, has died at the age of 90, it was announced Saturday morning.

Connery is survived by his wife Micheline Roquebrune and his sons, Jason and Stephane. According to Jason, he died peacefully in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas after having been “unwell for some time.”

Connery, whose career spanned five decades, will be remembered for his epic roles including the starring role in 007 films Goldfinger, From Russsia With Love, and Diamonds Are Forever, as well as his outstanding supporting roles in The Highlander, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock and other classics.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery was born August 25, 1930, in Edinburgh, Scotland to truck driver Joseph and cleaner Effie. His early jobs included being a milkman, a coffin polisher, and a nude model for artists before finding his career on the stages of London and later in feature films.

The celebrated actor’s awards and plaudits are almost too numerous to list here, and are as wide-ranging as his own background.

Connery won his first and only Oscar for his memorable role in 1988’s The Untouchables, where he portrayed the tough-as-nails Chicago cop Jimmy Malone. The belated recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences elicited a humorous and punchy acceptance speech from the actor, who was already seen as a venerable elder thespian.

“Patience truly is a virtue,” Connery joked.      

“In winning this award, it creates a certain dilemma because I had decided that if I had the good fortune to win, that I would give it to my wife, who deserves it. But, this evening, I discovered backstage that they’re worth $15,000 — now I am not so sure,” he added. “Micheline, I am only kidding. It’s yours.”

Connery also received the Kennedy Center Honor, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He was also hailed as “The Greatest Living Scot” by Scottish newspaper The Sunday Herald, while People Magazine not only named him the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1989 but “Sexiest Man of the Century” a decade later.

At the height of his fame, Connery is said to have despised the attention he received for portraying the world’s most recognizable secret agent, which began in 1962.

He twice quit the role of James Bond, once while making You Only Live Twice in 1967 and again after starring in Never Say Never Again in 1983.

However, he is still widely seen as synonymous with the iconic role.

“Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more,” said Daniel Craig, the current actor portraying 007, who added that Connery was “one of the true greats of cinema.”

“He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster,” Craig added. “He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

The actor lived out his last days in a very low-profile fashion, spending his time in a gated community in New Providence in the Bahamas, where much of the Bond film Thunderball had been filmed. He spent his years there free of the annoyances that accompanied dealing with those he derided as “idiots” in the movie industry. He spent his time preoccupied by a truly Scottish passion: golf.

In a statement to the BBC, Connery’s son said that his father had enjoyed visits from much of his family in the Bahamas prior to his death.

“We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time,” Jason Connery said. “A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”

According to his publicist, Nancy Seltzer, his family will hold a private ceremony that will be followed by a memorial due to be held once the ongoing pandemic has ended.

News

Adam Toledo: Chicago Police Video Shows 13-Year-Old’s Hands Were Up When Cops Shot Him

Elias Marat

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The Chicago Police Department has released gruesome footage depicting the moment that police officers fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo while his hands were up.

In new bodycam footage from the March 29 slaying, an officer pursuing Toledo can be heard shouting at the young boy to show his “f*cking hands” before shooting him a single time, leaving the boy covered in blood and gasping for air.

While the officer can be heard shouting “drop it,” the teenager appeared to have empty hands when he raised his arms in the moment before he was shot. Video also shows officers discovering a handgun near the scene.

Adam was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The video released Thursday by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability the footage from the officer who shot Toledo, along with 16 other body-warn camera video clips, two recordings of 911 calls, an incident report, and a response report, along with other materials.

The mother of Adam, Elizabeth Toledo, reported the boy one week prior to the shooting, although he did return hom on March 27 before leaving that night, reports WBEZ.  Because Adam did not have any form of identification, the family wasn’t informed by police about his death until March 31. In a GoFundMe page set up by Elizabeth, it was noted that one of Adam’s “dreams was to become a police officer.”

“It weighs heavy on our hearts to be planning our last goodbyes instead of watching him grow up and live out those dreams,” the family noted on the page.

The child has been described as having a “big imagination” and was a fan of children’s shows and zombie movies.

“Adam was really into zombies. And the zombie apocalypse. He even had this zombie apocalypse bag packed and ready to go. Some of his favorite movies and TV shows were ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’ ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Cars,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’” Elizabeth told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has appealed for calm over the release of the gruesome footage while businesses in the area have boarded up their windows in anticipation of large protests.

“We live in a city that is traumatized by a long history of police violence and misconduct,” the mayor told reporters. “So while we don’t have enough information to be the judge and jury of this particular situation, it is certainly understandable why so many of our residents are feeling that all too familiar surge of outrage and pain.”

The release of the video comes amid continuing anger and grief over the April 11 shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in a Minneapolis suburb.

It also comes as authorities fear a new wave of protests as communities await the outcome of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer accused of killing George Floyd last May after kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

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Music

Lil Nas X Song Is #1 In Saudi Arabia, Where Homosexuality Is Illegal Under Sharia Law

Elias Marat

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Lil Nas X has been on top of the world for weeks now, whether it’s living rent-free in the heads of homophobes or topping the Billboard charts after his smash hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” dominated playlists.

And ironically, the anthem has become the most-played song in Saudi Arabia, the conservative kingdom where open expressions of same-sex love and even private acts of gay sex are punishable by death.

The song, whose video features the artist giving Satan himself a lap dance have dominated news conversations all over the globe, smashed through to the top of the Billboard Global 200, which ranks top tracks in over 200 territories, on Monday.

According to Apple Music, the song is also leading Saudi Arabia’s top 100 charts as the most-played song in the country.

Apparently overjoyed by the ranking, Lil Nas X tweeted: “WE NUMBER 1 IN SAUDI ARABIA WTF LETS GOOOO”

The autocratic kingdom, which has long been governed by a strict yet uncodified interpretation of Sharia law, has an atrocious record on LGBTQ rights and classifies homosexuality as a variety of extremism. N many circumstances, gay sex is punishable by death.

As the Human Dignity Trust explains, “The punishment varies depending on the circumstances: married men and interfaith sex are punished with the death penalty, while non-married men are punished with flogging. Sharia law principles underpinning the criminal law in Saudi Arabia also impose strict dress codes that impact on the gender expression of transgender people.”

However, this does not mean that Saudi citizens abstain from these “illicit” acts. As one fan wrote on Twitter: Period!!!! Let’s correct the narrative about the Middle East! Shoutout Saudi Arabia.”

However, another user responded: “I lived in Saudi Arabia my whole [life] and if I come out I will literally get stoned and people will be happy about it, saying it’s a ‘narrative’ doesn’t help anyone in the contrary, the middle IS homophobic and change NEEDS to happen.”

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Corruption

Cop Who ‘Accidentally’ Killed Daunte Wright Arrested on 2nd-Degree Manslaughter Charges

Elias Marat

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The former Minnesota cop who shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man, during a traffic stop will now face charges of second-degree manslaughter, a prosecutor announced on Wednesday.

The brutal killing of Wright, which comes amid the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for last May’s killing of George Floyd, threatens to spark a new round of nationwide protests against police brutality and discriminatory policing.

On Wednesday, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput confirmed that Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, would be charged.

On Wednesday morning, agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Potter, the bureau announced in a statement.

Potter was taken into custody in St. Paul and will be booked at Hennepin County jail.

On Tuesday, Potter resigned as demands for justice for Wright reverberated nationwide. Her resignation coincided with that of the city’s former police chief, who claims that Potter accidentally grabbed her Glock when she thought she was reaching for her Taser during the Sunday traffic stop.

Wright’s family and attorneys have rejected the claim that Wright’s death was merely the result of an “accident” and are demanding accountability and sweeping reforms of policing in Minnesota.

Potter could face up to 10 years in prison along with a $20,000 fine, per Minnesota law.

“While we appreciate that the district attorney is pursuing justice for Daunte, no conviction can give the Wright family their loved one back,” said Wright family attorney Ben Crump in a statement.

“This was no accident. This was an intentional, deliberate and unlawful use of force,” the statement added.

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