Bud Luckey: Toy Story Woody's designer dies

Bud Luckey: Toy Story Woody's designer dies

Bud Luckey, the Oscar-nominated animator who designed Toy Story’s Woody, has died, his son has announced.

Luckey, who was born in 1934, also worked on films like A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc and Cars.

He also voiced characters including Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3, Rick Dicker in The Incredibles and Eeyore in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh film.

He made his name working for Sesame Street, where he was responsible for the popular animated counting songs.

Luckey died after a long illness at a hospice in Connecticut on Saturday. He was 83.

“He loved his work but got even greater satisfaction from seeing others enjoy it,” Andy Luckey wrote on Facebook.

Bud Luckey joined Pixar in 1992 – he was the fifth animator hired by the company.

Pixar and Disney animation chief John Lasseter has previously called Luckey “one of the true unsung heroes of animation”.

Before the first Toy Story film came out in 1995, he suggested making Woody – voiced by Tom Hanks – a cowboy instead of a ventriloquist’s dummy, which was the original idea.

“People had kind of a spooky feeling about ventriloquists after The Twilight Zone,” Luckey said.

He was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 for his short film Boundin’.

Toy Story 3 and Coco director Lee Unkrich was among those paying tribute.

Prior to Pixar, Luckey created and animated educational number cartoons for Sesame Street including The Ladybugs’ Picnic, featuring the number 12.

In a 2004 interview Luckey said: “I like to think 30 years ago, I used animation to teach kids their numbers and now these kids are teaching me how to animate with numbers. So it was a good deal.”

Fugitive Chihuahua governor César Duarte's bison seized

Fugitive Chihuahua governor César Duarte's bison seized

Prosecutors have seized four ranches belonging to César Duarte, the fugitive former governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Mr Duarte, who fled Mexico in March after being accused of embezzling millions of pesos, is believed to be in the United States.

Investigators also confiscated a number of exotic animals kept on the ranches such as buffalo, llamas and wild boar.

In total, 20 properties of Mr Duarte’s have been seized since he fled.

They add up to more 40,000 hectares, which prosecutors say were bought through illegal means.

Among the animals found on the ranches were 450 cattle, some of which Mr Duarte is accused of having stolen from a consignment of animals imported for poor farmers.

Mr Duarte, from the governing PRI party, was governor of Chihuahua from October 2010 to October 2016.

He was known for his lavish lifestyle and is accused of using an official helicopter to fly friends and family to his ranch at weekends.

He is suspected of embezzling 79m pesos ($4.2m; £3.2m) during his term.

His successor in office, Javier Corral from the rival PAN party, ran on a promise to bring Mr Duarte to justice.

Mr Duarte has been reportedly spotted in Texas, New Mexico and Florida since he fled.

He is one of a number of high-ranking fugitive former PRI politicians facing corruption charges:

The ex-governor of Tamaulipas, Tomás Yarrington, was arrested in Italy in April and the former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, was extradited to Mexico from Guatemala in July.

Bollywood star Sridevi Kapoor's death 'accidental drowning'

Bollywood star Sridevi Kapoor's death 'accidental drowning'

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Superstar Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor died of accidental drowning according to a Dubai forensics report.

It had earlier been reported that the actress, 54, known simply as Sridevi, died of cardiac arrest on Saturday while at a family wedding in Dubai.

Over five decades, Sridevi featured in almost 300 films, including classics Mr India, Chandni, ChaalBaaz and Sadma.

Top Bollywood figures, sporting giants and leading politicians reacted with shock to the death.

The forensics report has been released by Dubai police to Sridevi’s family and the Indian consulate, the Gulf News says.

The paper said the report could mean a delay to the repatriation of the body. It had been expected to be flown home on Monday.

The final post-mortem report, which is not yet completed, is expected to reveal the results of toxicology tests.

It will also be expected to explain how the original report of cardiac arrest and the listing of “accidental drowning” on the forensics report are linked.

What has the reaction been to Sridevi’s death?

  • Actress Priyanka Chopra tweeted: “I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi. A dark day. RIP”
  • “The world has lost a very talented person who left behind a huge legacy in film,” said another big Bollywood name, Madhuri Dixit
  • Leading actor Akshay Kumar tweeted: “A dream for many, had the good fortune of sharing screen space with her long ago and witnessed her continued grace over the years”
  • Cricket great Sachin Tendulkar said: “We all grew up watching her and suddenly to hear that she is no longer with us is hard to digest”
  • Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said her death had left millions of fans heartbroken
Bollywood star Sridevi Kapoor's death 'accidental drowning'

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Karen Gillan: 'I really, really want to direct'

Karen Gillan: 'I really, really want to direct'

Actress Karen Gillan has spoken of her behind-the-camera ambitions following the premiere of her first feature film as writer and director.

The Inverness-born star also played the lead role in The Party’s Just Beginning, which debuted at the Glasgow Film Festival at the weekend.

She told BBC Scotland that her career was split between acting and directing.

“I’m trying to jump between the two but I know that I really, really want to direct,” she said.

Ms Gillan, 30, found fame as Amy Pond, the companion of the 11th Doctor Who, Matt Smith.

Since then she has starred in Hollywood blockbusters like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Guardians of the Galaxy.

However her latest project saw her return to her hometown to explore the issue of suicide in the Highlands.

The Party’s Just Beginning is a dark but sometimes funny story about a young woman whose life goes wrong after the death of her best friend.

Ms Gillan said she was inspired to write the screenplay after discovering that suicide among young men in the Highlands was far higher than in other parts of the country.

She told BBC Scotland’s arts correspondent Pauline McLean: “I was really interested to find out why that was the case and also why in this part of the world because I grew up in Inverness.

“It’s just the most idyllic, beautiful, picturesque place to grow up yet there’s this strange, interesting contradiction so this film is me exploring that.”

She added: “For me, I wanted to take the postcard image and look beyond that so we still have the picturesque quality but we’re telling a much darker tale.

“We do have a tendency to show Scotland in a very particular light – and it’s a great light, it’s beautiful, and traditional and touristy, almost.

“But films like Trainspotting, and hopefully my film, show a different side to the country because we have many stories to tell from this country, in many different ways.”

The Party’s Just Beginning was filmed around Scotland last year, including in Inverness.

Ms Gillan said she loved the job, in which she worked with “brilliant people”, but she found it difficult juggling the roles of actor and director.

“It was definitely tough in terms of the multi-tasking that was involved because I was playing the lead role as well so I was running about like a headless chicken,” she said.

“But I was so stimulated mentally that I just loved the whole experience and I want to do it more and more.

“But maybe I wouldn’t act in it again because that was the tough part, being the lead actress and also the director.”

And she revealed her plans for the future.

“I’m currently in this weird spot in my life where I’m on two different trajectories almost – there’s the directing and also the acting,” she said.

“So I’m trying to kind of jump between the two but I know that I really, really want to direct.

Why many Nigerians are in Chinese Prisons – Envoy

Why many Nigerians are in Chinese Prisons – Envoy

Prison inmates

Mr Wale Oloko, the Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Guangzhou, China, on Monday said that many Nigerians were in various Prisons in Guangdong Province for overstaying their visas.

Oloko told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos that some other Nigerians were also arrested for engaging in drug trafficking and other criminal offences that had led to their detention.

According to him, there are currently about 600 Nigerians arrested for overstaying their visas and in detention for other offences.

“There is no doubt that there are currently a number of Nigerians in various Chinese prisons, at least those under our consular jurisdiction in Guangzhou.

“’These our nationals are in different Chinese prisons for various offences.

“There are those that were arrested for overstaying their visas, while others were convicted for drug trafficking and other offences,’’ he said.

Oloko also said that some the Nigerian nationals currently in Chinese prisons were being prepared for deportation to Nigeria.

The consul-general, therefore, enjoined Nigerians desirous of visiting any part of China to always obey the Chinese immigration and general laws when in the province or other provinces in China.

“Any Nigerian wanting to visit any part of China must first know something about the country’s immigration requirements, and should be ready to obey laws in such places when they eventually arrive there.

“It is not advisable for any Nigerian to overstay his or her visa in any part of China or engage in any form of criminal act,’’ he said.

Guangdong is a province in South China, located on the South China Sea coast.

The province surpassed Henan and Sichuan to become the most populous province in China in January 2005, registering 79.1 million permanent residents and 31 million migrants.

The capital and largest city is Guangzhou and it has a GDP (2016)‎: of 1.2 trillion US dollars.

Source: PM News

Ancient Egyptian necropolis contains 'message from afterlife'

Ancient Egyptian necropolis contains 'message from afterlife'

An ancient necropolis containing dozens of stone coffins and a necklace bearing a “message from the afterlife” has been discovered in Egypt.

The site near the city of Minya, south of Cairo, is more than 2,000 years old and is expected to take another five years to excavate.

Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany said it contained 40 sarcophagi, jewellery, pottery and a gold mask.

He said there were burial shafts dating from the late Pharaonic period to the early Ptolomaic era of around 300BC.

“This is only the beginning of a new discovery,” he told reporters. “We are very soon going to add a new archaeological attraction to Middle Egypt.”

Mostafa Waziri, head of the archaeological mission, said eight tombs had been found over the past three months but he expects more to be uncovered.

“Evacuation work is scheduled to last for five years in an attempt to uncover all the burials in the cemetery,” he said.

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Mr Waziri said many of the tombs and artefacts belonged to priests of the ancient Egyptian god Thoth.

Four well-preserved jars with lids designed to look like the faces of the four sons of the god Horus were also found.

“They still contain the mummified inner organs of the deceased. The jars are decorated with hieroglyphic texts showing the name and titles of their owner,” Mr Waziri said.

He described the “wonderful coincidence” of discovering a necklace charm on New Year’s Eve that had “happy new year” inscribed on it in hieroglyphics.

“This is a message sent to us from the afterlife,” he said.

Earlier this month, archaeologists unveiled the tomb of an ancient priestess that dates back 4,400 years.

It was adorned with well-preserved and rare wall paintings depicting the priestess, Hetpet, in a variety of scenes.