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Epic 'Muhammad' Film Represents Iran at the Oscars

The epic film "Muhammad" by director Majid Majidi, which portrays the childhood of the Muslim prophet, will represent Iran in next year's competition for an Oscar for best foreign film, media reported Saturday.

With a budget of nearly $40 million (€34 million), partly funded by the state, "Muhammad", is the most expensive film in the history of Iranian cinema.

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New Bond Theme Song Hailed as Instant Classic on Release

The new James Bond theme song, "Writing's On The Wall", was released Friday, with singer Sam Smith's nerves over how it would be received proving unfounded as fans hailed it as a classic.

The release comes a month before "Spectre", starring Daniel Craig as Bond, is released in Britain and Ireland on October 26 before a worldwide release on November 6.

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Singer and Mom Shakira Promotes Early Childhood Development

Shakira, a longtime promoter of early childhood development and education, says being a mother has given her an even stronger connection to the issue.

The Grammy-winning performer and her soccer pro-partner Gerard Pique are the parents of 2-year-old Milan and 8-month-old Sasha.

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Space Experts Swoon for 'The Martian' despite Inaccuracies

Surviving in space is hard and scientists say "The Martian" shows precisely what challenges astronauts will face on a pioneering mission to Mars, even though it contains some big inaccuracies right from the get-go.

Case in point -- the colossal storm that causes the crew to abandon the movie's main character, botanist Mark Watney played by Matt Damon, would not have packed much of a punch on the Red Planet.

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Australia Warns on Chris Brown Visa amid Domestic Violence Crackdown

Australia on Thursday warned U.S. rapper Chris Brown could be denied a visa for an upcoming tour because of his criminal record, as it unveiled a Aus$100 million (US$70 million) package to end the "national disgrace" of domestic violence.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's first policy initiative since coming to power last week underscores the national debate that has erupted over family violence, which is claiming lives at the rate of nearly two women per week.

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Syrian Rock Musicians on Unexpected 'Exile Tour'

Like tens of thousands of their fellow countrymen fleeing war, members of a Syrian rock group exiled in Lebanon undertook a perilous journey to reach Europe.

But their trek, which has already taken them through five countries, has led to an unexpected 'exile concert tour', on the way to their hoped-for final destination of Germany.

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Leonardo DiCaprio Says He's Shedding Fossil Fuel Investments

Leonardo DiCaprio is joining a campaign to use investment decisions to fight global warming: He's planning to shed his own investments in fossil fuels, an activist group said Tuesday.

The star of "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "Blood Diamond" joined members of the Divest-Invest Coalition as it announced his plans and highlighted growth in such pledges during the past year. Advocates say their effort to put pocketbook and social pressure on traditional energy producers is gaining momentum; industry groups say the campaign is misguided and its impact negligible.

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Sean Penn Files $10 Million Suit against 'Empire' Co-creator

Sean Penn on Tuesday filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against "Empire" co-creator Lee Daniels over comments Daniels made comparing him to the show's star Terrence Howard, who's been repeatedly accused of domestic violence.

Daniels' comments appeared online about a week ago in the entertainment publication The Hollywood Reporter in a story about the upcoming season of the popular Fox television show.

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Strait Releases New Album, will Play Las Vegas in 2016

Country music king George Strait wants to be clear.

His upcoming four shows and likely more at MGM Resorts' new Las Vegas Arena next year aren't some re-emergence from retirement.

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Cosby Seeking Defense Lawyer for Pennsylvania Criminal Probe

Comedian Bill Cosby is seeking to hire a criminal defense lawyer as suburban prosecutors revisit a 2005 sexual-assault complaint against him.

Lawyer Edwin Jacobs said late Tuesday that Cosby's agents had contacted him in the past few days about a pending investigation in Montgomery County. Jacobs, who had represented Cosby in a review of another accuser's complaint in New Jersey, said he referred Cosby's agents to another high-profile Philadelphia-area lawyer.

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