In a post on their website today, Queen has confirmed that their long-rumored official biopic, appropriately dubbed Bohemian Rhapsody, is officially in the works, with Egyptian-American Rami Malek (best known for his Emmy-winning turn in USA Network‘s Mr. Robot) slated to star as the band’s iconic vocalist, Freddie Mercury.Remembering Freddie Mercury’s Last Queen Show On The Anniversary Of His DeathAs the post states: “Yes folks, it IS finally happening…here’s what we can confirm at this stage: Award winning director Bryan Singer is the man who will be bringing the Queen and Freddie story alive. If you’ve ever seen Singer’s X-Men films, or the groundbreaking movie The Usual Suspects, you’ll know this is a director with extraordinary imagination and style. A perfect choice to recreate the fabulous Queen years which brought us such unforgettable moments as Live Aid, which we can reveal will be faithfully recreated for a key sequence the film.”The post on Queen Online continues: “Rami Malek has signed up to take on the challenging rôle of Freddie Mercury. Who could imagine a more perfect fit than this brilliant actor? Roger [Taylor] and Brian [May] told QOL: “Rami has great presence and he’s utterly dedicated to the project. He’s completely living and breathing Freddie already, which is wonderful.” Taylor and May will be serving as the film’s executive music producers. The film is close to beginning production, with pre-production meetings taking place this week in UK and principal photography beginning in London in mid-September.As for the roles of the other band members, Queen’s camp isn’t letting that info slip just yet: “You are probably wondering, who will play Roger, Brian and John??? That, friends, is news for another day.”The band is encouraging fans to keep up with Queen Online and the Queen Facebook page for more updates as the project goes on. They even hinted at a potential casting call: “Hint: Fancy being in the film?”[h/t – Queen Online]
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Citing the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended segregation, a California judge ruled Tuesday that tenure and the traditional “last in, first out” teacher employment practices support an unequal public education system that violates the Constitution.Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu determined in Vergara v. State of California that the protections of tenure and seniority should not apply because ineffective teachers were being concentrated in California’s low income/high minority areas. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supports the ruling, calling it a “mandate to fix these problems.” But critics, such as National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel, called the decision “deeply flawed.”“Today’s ruling would make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in our classrooms,” Van Roekel said in a press release, adding that it “ignores all research that shows experience is a key factor in effective teaching.”The implications of this court decision are far-reaching, teachers advocates say, because federal education reforms, No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, place teachers—and their unions—under enormous pressure to perform to “effective” standards. These standards are determined in part by controversial state standardized tests, such as the Common Core curriculum.Professor Mark Naison, co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association and the chairman of the African and African-American Studies Department at Fordham University, said: “This is a sign of a nation that has lost its moral compass.”He called the ruling a “declaration of war on teachers around the county who depend on tenure to protect them from abusive administrators, self-interested parents and intolerable interference with their jobs from elected officials. It will help drive the best teachers out of the profession and make recruiting talented people to the profession far more difficult. Children will suffer while teachers work in fear!”New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) spokesman Carl Korn called it a “horrendous decision.” He said it’s important for people to understand what tenure means for public school teachers.“It’s not a guaranteed job for life,” he told the Press. “For the first three years, a teacher is on probation and can be terminated for [almost] any reason. Tenure simply means that if a district wants to bring charges against a teacher, those teachers are entitled to due process.”The California Teachers Association has said it will appeal the ruling. Korn believes that it will be successful in appealing this “meritless” decision when a more “even-handed judge” weighs in. NYSUT doesn’t want New York lawmakers to follow suit and weaken tenure protections here.“Especially in New York, with all of the protests [over the Common Core curriculum and education cutbacks], how can a teacher speak out about public concerns over the budget?” Korn asked. “How could they speak out to challenge the [state] commissioner of education if they could be fired at the whim of their administrators? Without this protection, what’s to stop administrators from firing their most highly paid teachers? How does that benefit children?”Judge Treu said he was ruling in behalf of disadvantaged children, but how striking down teachers’ tenure will help them in the classroom is far from clear.
Two companies that had joined together to improve transportation in Florida are now on different tracks.Brightline is set to stop using the “Virgin Trains” branding, after its parent company suddenly terminated a licensing agreement with Virgin Enterprises Limited late last month. Officials with Brightline, which is majority owned by Fortress Investment Group, said that the parent company delivered a termination notice tied to its license agreement on July 29. “Virgin has disputed the validity of the termination notice,” according to the report.As part of the partnership, Virgin Trains was set to make a minority investment in Brightline.However, its own parent company has been experiencing financial difficulties.Earlier this week, Virgin Atlantic Airways filed for bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, as part of a $1.5 billion restructuring plan, according to The Wall Street Journal.Brightline currently has three stations completed. It is also working on expanding in Miami-Dade County, and plans to operate a high-speed rail system between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.Until service stopped in March, 271,778 passengers rode Brightline this year, amounting to just $6.6 million in revenue, according to the report. The rail line announced the move Friday afternoon, and says that Virgin is now disputing the validity of the termination notice.The company will change its name back to Brightline Trains LLC following the expiration of the applicable notice period for the name changes under the senior load agreement, the company stated in its monthly report, which was released on Friday.According to the report, Brightline’s additional inline station in Boca Raton continues to progress in its construction, as does an expansion to Orlando.Brightline had been operating as Virgin Trains USA since late 2018, and was expected to complete the rebranding by this summer. It stopped service on March 25 and laid off 250 employees due to the pandemic.Ever wonder what it takes to build a high-speed rail system connecting Miami to Orlando? Take an inside look as we make our way to @MCO. Read more @TrainsMagazine: https://t.co/891VmAVmo0#OnTrackToOrlando #GoBrightline pic.twitter.com/ciRoLI70Qo— Brightline (@GoBrightline) August 5, 2020
That they didn’t break somewhere along the line represents a significant change for the Clippers, whose league-wide reputation coming into this season was they crumbled when alternate paths to victory needed to be forged.Or to be more blunt, the Clippers were easily intimidated.“In the past, people came in here trying to push us around,” Clippers forward Matt Barnes said. “And mentally I think it worked.”That’s happening less and less under Rivers and with a more mature Blake Griffin elevating his game physically and mentally.There is an undeniable resiliency to these Clippers, who continue to defy injuries and multiple roster additions to continue their ascent in the Western Conference.Their win against the Warriors was their ninth in a row and strengthened their hold on the third seed in the Western Conference — and with it, home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.And they are playing without J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford, two key role players.Yet they continue to win.Better yet, they continue to find ways to win.Like Wednesday, when they overcame the slow shooting nights of Chris Paul and Darren Collison and others to beat the Warriors.“I’m proud,” Griffin said. “Proud of the way we fought. Proud of the way guys handled themselves. Guys were fighting. I’m just proud of the way we played.”In years past, that probably didn’t happen.Not long ago, the knock on the Clippers was they were front runners, just a high-flying, high-wire act that was fun to watch when things were going well.But the minute someone turned up the heat and took them out of their comfort zone with some hard fouls or aggressive defense, the trouble started. They’d get angry or down on themselves. The body language changed, their flow slowed to a crawl. The defense and communication waned and the silly fouls and mental errors mounted.At that point, the Clippers would crumble.This year, that no longer seems to be the case.The Warriors were a prime example.“It was one of those games you just had to keep fighting and finally it kind of broke our way,” Rivers said. “To me, that’s growth. I don’t know if we win this game earlier in the year. It’s one of those games where some teams let go of the rope. But I thought we hung in there, and I’m proud of them.”There is a reason for that, according to Barnes.“Now that we’re mentally locked in, I think it’s harder to (get in our head),” he said,” “You’re going to have to beat us playing basketball, and that’s hard to do.”As one of the Clippers’ noted agitators, even Barnes openly questioned their toughness last year. It all came to a head in the first round of the playoffs against Memphis when he blasted the Clippers for getting punked by the Grizzlies.The Clippers lost that series, and over the summer sweeping changes were made — not the least of which was getting rid of Vinny Del Negro as coach in favor of Rivers, the hard-driving force behind the Boston Celtics’ championship run in 2009.Rivers didn’t just bring instant credibility to a locker room starving for proven leadership. He brought a no-nonsense, no-excuse philosophy in which misfortune is quickly dealt with and overcome — not the justification for failure.The Clippers are acquiring a similar taste for adversity, having won in a variety of fashions with an ever-changing lineup.“We’ve had so many injuries, so many ups and downs, and we’re still getting guys acclimated,” Barnes said. “But with all that being said, we’re able to win tough games and blowouts. All different kinds of wins.”Said Griffin: “To have J.J. hurt for so long and (Paul) and Jamal and Matt Barnes hurt, to have all the guys we’ve had hurt this year, yet to be where we are, it’s great.”The true test comes in the playoffs, of course.But the more the Clippers show they can win when Plan A and Plan B aren’t working, the better off they’ll be in April and May.“Listen, in the playoffs every game’s not going to be pretty,” Collison said. “It’s going to be hard, especially against a very good team.“There’s going to be times you aren’t playing well, but you have to do whatever it takes to win.”The Clippers are doing that now. The source of which dramatically increases the odds of a long playoff run by the Clippers.Despite so many factors working against them, they dug deep enough to forge a path to victory against one of the best teams in the Western Conference — not to mention their recent nemesis.It wasn’t pretty or artistic or imaginative.But in many ways, it was better than all of those things combined.They won ugly, relying more on mental toughness than physical prowess. It didn’t come easy. They had to keep chipping away until the game tilted their way long enough to prevail. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Doc Rivers wasn’t quite done listing everything that didn’t work for the Clippers against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, yet already he was running out of breath.“We were awful offensively. We just scored on happenstance. Guys found the ball and made a shot,” Rivers said. “We had no rhythm. We had no pace. We had no execution. And we were fighting ourselves.”It was a bleak assessment, to be sure.But behind the raspy voice detailing the woes, an unmistakable sense of satisfaction grew more and more obvious.