A Quiet Place: The horror movie shaming cinema snack-eaters

A Quiet Place: The horror movie shaming cinema snack-eaters

A Quiet Place – a newly released horror film about sound-sensitive monsters that hunt humans – is causing cinema goers to shun their snacks.

The film centres around a family trying to stay alive by living as silently as possible. It is directed by the star of US version of The Office, John Krasinski, who plays a lead role alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt.

The script has very little dialogue and lots of dramatic (and quiet) tension.

It has already topped the US box office, but is unlikely to be great for cinema popcorn sales, as people have been shaming other movie-goers for eating, or even breathing, too loudly during screenings.

Here are a few of the best social media posts from people complaining about others crunching and munching.

Other users shared their own anxiety about chewing too loud during the horror flick.

A lot of people said the film as a very unique, but positive, cinema experience and celebrated the film for using a real-life deaf actress for the daughter character.

The film’s creators have said they pushed for the casting choice on purpose.

Actress Millicent Simmonds has been celebrated for her performance. The 14-year-old also starred in drama Wonderstruck alongside Julianne Moore.

“She came to set and taught everyone sign language. It was really amazing and brought an extra depth to the film,” said Scott Beck, co-screenwriter of A Quiet Place.

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Brazil ex-leader Lula's supporters camp outside jail

Brazil ex-leader Lula's supporters camp outside jail

Hundreds of supporters of the former Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have set up camp outside the cell where he is being held.

Lula has been sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison for corruption and money laundering.

He handed himself in to federal police on Saturday in São Paulo and was flown to the southern city of Curitiba.

The former leader says he will continue to fight against his conviction, which he says was politically motivated.

Polls conducted before he was jailed suggested that Lula, who governed from January 2003 to December 2010, was the frontrunner in October’s presidential election but his imprisonment has left the race wide open.

As a convict Lula would normally be barred from standing for election in October, but Brazil’s top electoral court will make the final decision if and when he submits his candidacy.

Lula’s routine in jail for the first 10 days of settling-in

  • Morning coffee with bread and butter
  • Lunch and dinner tray with plastic utensils
  • No outside food allowed during the settling-in period
  • No visits except for those from his lawyers in this 10-day period
  • Allowed into the prison courtyard for two hours a day
  • Cell measures 15 sq m (160 sq ft) with access to private toilet and shower

Supporters of the former leader say they will not budge from the “Free Lula” camp until he is released.

Security around the federal police building in Curitiba where he is being held was strengthened after some of Lula’s supporters clashed with police on Saturday night. Nine people were injured.

Police estimated the numbers of people camping around the building on Sunday afternoon at about 700, with more due to arrive.

The leader of the Workers’ Party, Gleisi Hoffmann, said Lula was “a political prisoner” and that his party would not give up the fight to have him released.

Ms Hoffman said she hoped his release could come as early as Wednesday, when the Supreme Court could revisit its decision, taken only last Thursday, that defendants whose first appeal has failed can be jailed.

The ruling on Thursday was close, with six Supreme Court Justice in favour of jailing Lula and five against.

It would only take one of the justices to change their mind for Lula to be released to pursue his appeals against his conviction, which could take months if not years.

However, if the appeals were to go against him, he would still face jail eventually.

Lula is still also facing six separate pending trials for corruption.

Good Friday Agreement – at 20, is it broken?

Good Friday Agreement - at 20, is it broken?

If you had planned to organise a 20th birthday party for the Good Friday Agreement, you would not do it this way.

No Assembly. No power-sharing executive. No north-south ministerial meetings. Stormont unrepresented when east-west British Irish Council gatherings take place.

It feels like someone forgot to bake a cake.

Few can question the importance of the 1998 deal in human terms.

It didn’t bring a complete end to violence – indeed terrible atrocities, such as the Omagh bombing, came after the people endorsed the agreement in a referendum.

But the casualty figures tell their own story.

Nearly 1,500 people died in Northern Ireland’s “Troubles” during the 20 years before the deal.

By contrast there have been fewer than 150 victims of conflict-related violence over the past two decades.

One victim is one too many, but the radically improved trend is clear.

The agreement has provided a welcome, if imperfect, peace. But it has a more chequered record when it comes to stability and good governance.

The first power-sharing executive led by the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP was plagued by difficulties.

Sharing power with enemies

These stemmed from the failure of republicans to disarm or to co-operate with the police, and the disruptive influence of a sizeable group of unionists who had always rejected the compromises made over emotive issues like early prisoner releases.

The answer, a decade ago, was to bring in those reluctant parties.

International monitors verified IRA and loyalist disarmament, Sinn Féin voted to recognise the police and the DUP agreed to what had seemed unthinkable in 1998 – sitting down to share power with their sworn republican opponents.

The new deal had its high points, as Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness chuckled their way into a new era.

But there were lows too, like the failure to deliver a European peace centre at the site of the old Maze jail.

Dissident republican groups tried to do their worst, loyalist paramilitaries continued to organise, while the sporadic disruption to Belfast during a dispute over limiting the days on which the Union flag could be flown at the City Hall illustrated the fragility of the new dispensation.

The latest arguments, over dealing with the legacy of the Troubles and legislating for Irish language rights, appear far more limited than the challenges overcome back in 1998. Then, both the IRA and loyalist ceasefires seemed to hang in the balance.

That said, the system of government inherited from 20 years ago has made resolving contentious issues far from straightforward.

To ensure nationalist buy-in, the 1998 deal guaranteed all the major parties a foothold in the government.

It tied the fortunes of the first and deputy first ministers inextricably together, and created a backstop called the petition of concern under which 30 assembly members can insist a controversial decision must get cross-community approval.

This network of safeguards – referred to by the former SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, as the deal’s “ugly scaffolding” – provided reassurance for reluctant power sharers.

But it made for an unwieldy “lowest common denominator” form of government.

Tales abounded of decisions not taken and important pieces of paper languishing unsigned in the murky recesses of Stormont Castle.

Robin Wilson is strongly critical of the system bequeathed to Northern Ireland by the Good Friday Agreement negotiators.

The author of The Northern Ireland Experience of Conflict and Agreement: A Model for Export? compares the requirement for Stormont politicians to designate themselves as unionists, nationalists or others to ruling that they must wear Rangers or Celtic tops.

What has been the outcome?

Mr Wilson points out that when voters have been asked in surveys what they think the assembly has achieved they tend to say “little or nothing”.

He argues that polarisation, rather than reconciliation, has been a perverse, unintended outcome of the Good Friday Agreement.

As a senior Ulster Unionist negotiator 20 years ago, Lord Empey remains proud of what he achieved.

However, he believes that the structures created in 1998 were weakened by changes introduced to facilitate the DUP-Sinn Féin deal in 2007.

Those changes meant the first and deputy first ministers were no longer elected by MLAs as a cross-community team.

They also turned successive assembly elections into a race to the top spot with the biggest party always guaranteed the first minister’s job.

On the vetoes which have been blamed for making modern-day Stormont a byword for deadlock, Lord Empey still supports the petition of concern in principle as “an insurance policy”.

But he acknowledges that the mechanism “has been abused like many other things have been abused and that’s unfortunate”.

What can be done?

Some point to the fact that Northern Ireland’s councils are still continuing to function as proof that unionists and nationalists can rub along with each other, if they must.

Local government has its own community safeguard – the so-called “call in” procedure.

This allows a concerned group of councillors (at least 15% of the overall membership) to delay a controversial decision rather than block it altogether.

Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Alliance politician Nuala McAllister, believes Stormont can learn a thing or two from the more “collegiate” spirit in many council chambers.

Ms McAllister, who was still at primary school when the 1998 deal was being negotiated, doesn’t think the Good Friday Agreement has failed “but I do think that politics has failed the Good Friday Agreement”.

She added: “When you look at it from the perspective of the Northern Ireland Assembly, quite frankly it’s embarrassing that we may not have an assembly on the 20th anniversary of the agreement”.

In recent weeks, MPs on Westminster’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee have been taking evidence on how to move forward in the absence of an assembly and executive.

They’ve heard arguments about replacing the current “mandatory coalition” at Stormont, in which all the big parties get ministers, with a “voluntary coalition” where willing parties form a government and the others go into opposition.

Another idea is to ditch the cross-community majorities required for issues like same sex marriage to make progress through the assembly with a weighted majority in which, for example, the backing of 60% of MLAs might be sufficient to move forward.

Mr Wilson suggests that if a section of the 1998 deal that provided for a Northern Ireland “Bill of Rights” had been implemented, this could have been enforced through the courts.

He thinks this might have proved a better minority safeguard than the controversial petition of concern. .

But here is the conundrum – if the Stormont parties aren’t able to resolve their differences over matters such as the Irish language, how likely are they to agree wholesale changes to the structures endorsed by a referendum 20 years ago?

Performers are ‘blaming their instruments’

And how willing would the government be to override the wishes of any one of the key power brokers?

In her Belfast home, former Women’s Coalition negotiator Monica McWilliams shows me a vibrant picture by the Belfast cartoonist Ian Knox, depicting all the 1998 negotiators as players in an orchestra.

She thinks it’s not good enough for the Stormont performers to blame their instruments for the bad notes they have been hitting lately.

Pointing to the conductor she tells me: “It’s political leadership that’s needed and we did have it (at the time of the Good Friday Agreement) and I saw it and it worked and it needs to come back again.”

Mrs McWilliams believes the challenge is less about changing the Stormont structures and more about changing the attitudes of the politicians working the system.

“Genuinely, what people need to do is sit down and work hard to see what the other side needs” she tells me.

“It’s no longer about what you want, of course we want lots of things, we know that as parents with kids, it’s about what do we need?

“And it’s time for us now to sell that message – that our peace agreement is still working, but this is what it needs to finish it”.

Uganda court hears challenge to presidential age-limit move

Uganda court hears challenge to presidential age-limit move

The High Court in Uganda is hearing an opposition attempt to annul a constitutional amendment which removes presidential age limits.

MPs voted overwhelmingly last year to scrap the age limit of 75.

It meant 73-year-old President Yoweri Museveni, in power for more than 30 years, could seek re-election in 2021.

Opposition lawyers argued that the amendment was “smuggled” into law, and parliament had not followed proper procedures when adopting it.

Security has been increased at the court in the eastern city of Mbale, and some roads have been shut to prevent any unrest.

The opposition has repeatedly accused Mr Museveni of being an authoritarian ruler who wants to cling to power.

His allies say he is a democrat who has guaranteed stability in the East African state.

Shares in Russian oligarch firms crash

Shares in Russian oligarch firms crash

Shares in firms controlled by Oleg Deripaska have plunged after the US imposed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and their companies on Friday.

Shares in the Russian aluminium giant Rusal nearly halved on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday.

EN+, another firm controlled by Mr Deripaska, dived by 25% in London.

The sanctions follow a diplomatic crisis sparked by the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

The US has accused Mr Deripaska of operating for the Russian government. Other magnates hit by sanctions include Alexei Miller, director of state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

Russia has vowed that there will be a “tough response” to the new sanctions.

The US sanctions affect the seven oligarchs, 12 companies they own or control, as well as 17 senior Russian government officials.

The Russian individuals and companies were targeted for profiting from a Russian state engaged in “malign activities” around the world.

Shares in Russian oligarch firms crash

Shares in Russian oligarch firms crash

Shares in firms controlled by Oleg Deripaska have plunged after the US imposed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and their companies on Friday.

Shares in the Russian aluminium giant Rusal nearly halved on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday.

EN+, another firm controlled by Mr Deripaska, dived by 25% in London.

The sanctions follow a diplomatic crisis sparked by the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

The US has accused Mr Deripaska of operating for the Russian government. Other magnates hit by sanctions include Alexei Miller, director of state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

Russia has vowed that there will be a “tough response” to the new sanctions.

The US sanctions affect the seven oligarchs, 12 companies they own or control, as well as 17 senior Russian government officials.

The Russian individuals and companies were targeted for profiting from a Russian state engaged in “malign activities” around the world.