Politics meets sports as the two key figures in the European debt crisis - the continent’s largest debtor Greece and Europe’s main creditor Germany – meet on the soccer pitch for their quarter final match of the Euro 2012 Championships. European TV and newspaper outlets are playing up the “ultimate grudge match” as Greece struggles to stay in Euro 2012 against the country that could kick them out of the Euro single currency.http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/euro-2012-crisis-greece-germany-340998
The Amazing Spider-Man European Tour
Sony’s reboot of its Spider-Man franchise got off to a swinging start in Europe as The Amazing Spider-Man leapt from capital city to capital city on a nearly eight-legged promo tour. Cast members Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans, along with director Marc Webb, started in the U.K. on Monday before casting their web over Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Rome. The Spider-Man crew then hopped a plane for U.S. premieres in New York and L.A..
English actor Nicholas Read, who played an Ewok in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, showed a less cuddly side this week, when he was convicted of exposing himself to a college student on a train bound for Manchester, England. It was Read’s second offence, meaning he will now serve jail time and is banned from using British railways except to attend court or see his lawyer.http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/star-wars-ewok-nicholas-read-flashing-338566
German Banker confesses to Formula One Bribes
In a late confession, German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky admitted to taking $50 million in bribes from Bernie Ecclestone, the head of the Formula One racing circuit, in exchange for approving a dubious deal for his bank, BayernLB, to sell a 48 percent stake in Formula One to the Ecclestone-friendly investment group CVC. The revelation could step up pressure on German authorities to pursue legal action against Ecclestone himself.
Ken Loach, other Julian Assange supporters, could lose bail money
British film director Ken Loach is one of several prominent supporters of WIkiLeaks founder Julian Assange who could lose up to £240,000 ($376,000) in bail money they provided when he first faced extradition from the U.K. in 2010. After Assange earlier this week lost an appeal to the U.K. Supreme Court against his extradition to Sweden, he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, breaching the terms of his bail.
You’d think the citizens of Bangkok would have seen it all. But a provocative outfit by Pop shockster Lady Gaga proved too much for official in Thailand. Thailand’s Culture Ministry this week said the get-up the singer wore at a concert in the country last month – involving a revealing outfit, a motorcycle and the Thai flag lashed to her back – was “inappropriate” and “disrespectful” to the Thai people.
Red-hot Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive) will take on sexy hot sci-fi icon Barbarella in a planned television makeover of the French comic-book character made famous in the 1968 film starring Jane Fonda. Gaumount International Television and Martha De Laurentiis will produce the series, with Refn acting as director and executive producer.
The trial of Rebekah Brooks, the ex-CEO of News Corp’s News International U.K. newspaper arm and a key figure in the ongoing phone hacking scandal, kicked off in London Friday. Brooks, along with her husband Charlie and four employees, is charged with conspiracy in connection with the police investigation into the phone hacking case.
Radiohead’s touring company is one of four companies under investigation by Canadian authorities after a stage collapse before a Radiohead concert in Toronto on Saturday lead to the death of the band’s drum technician Scott Johnson and injuries to three other crew members. Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke and the rest of the band paid tribute to Johnson on their website.
European lawmakers said non, nein, nay, no and nee to the controversial anti-counterfeiting treaty ACTA this week. The European Parliament’s powerful International Trade Committee voted to reject the U.S.-backed treaty, which would crack down on Internet piracy and the trade in copyright-protected goods. This is the fifth European committee to reject ACTA and all but insures the European Parliament will derail the treaty when it comes to a plenary vote next month.
Problems with his U.K. operations haven’t tamed Rupert Murdoch’s ambition. News Limited, the Australian arm of Murdoch’s News Corp., made a $1.94 billion takeover bid this week for Consolidated Media Holdings. If the deal goes through, it would give News Corp 50 percent of Aussie payTV giant Foxtel and full control of sports network Fox Sports Australia.