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The sixth installment in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise represented a series best .

By Rebecca Rubin   LOS ANGELES (Variety.)

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“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” amassed $153.5 million worldwide, including $92 million from 36 international markets. In North America, it opened with a record $61.5 million.

The film — which holds a $178 million price tag — has also received the some of the best reviews for the franchise. Its 97% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes is the highest for both the series and of any Cruise movie. Audiences seem equally enthusiastic, as “Fallout” holds an A CinemaScore.

“Rogue Nation” filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returned to write and direct “Fallout,” making him the first person to take the reins of more than one movie in the franchise. Cruise, returning as globe-trotting special agent Ethan Hunt, reunites with Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan, Sean Harris, and Alec Baldwin. Henry Cavill joined the cast, along with Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby.

Fellow new offering, Warner Bros.’ “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” generated $1 million when it opened in eight markets. It launched domestically with $10.5 million. Overseas, “Teen Titans Go!” saw the biggest debut in Argentina with $464,000 from 194 screens.

“Teen Titans Go!,” with a surprising 91% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, is based on the DC Comics television series created by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath. It bows next in the United Kingdom, followed by Germany and Mexico.

Among holdovers, Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” brought in $31 million, where it’s open in 55 abroad markets. That takes its total to $165 million internationally and $284.2 million globally. In North America, the animated threequel has pocketed $119 million. It launched this weekend in the U.K. with $4.2 million and in France with $4.1 million.

Another animated title, Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” is nearing $1 billion globally. The animated sequel has earned $997 million worldwide, including $424 million internationally. It added $20 million this weekend from 41 abroad territories, along with $7.2 million in North America.

Meanwhile, Universal’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” picked up $26.6 million from 46 markets, taking its international total to $96.8 million. The jukebox musical has made $167.3 million worldwide, including $70.4 million in North America. France brought in $1.6 million, while Poland opened with $1.2 million. As expected, the “Mamma Mia” sequel had the best returns in the United Kingdom and Ireland, pocketing $8.5 million.

Sony’s “The Equalizer” — the first sequel of Denzel Washington’s career — took in $1.9 million from 11 territories for an international tally of $6.1 million

 

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Omarosa’s Book: 7 Most Contentious Claims About Team Trump

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White House officials are  reportedly “terrified” of what Omarosa Manigault Newman has in store next for the promotional tour for her new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”

By Ted Johnson  LOS ANGELES (Variety) – WASHINGTON —

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In interviews, she has claimed to have heard a tape, apparently made on the set of “The Apprentice,” in which Donald Trump uses the n-word multiple times.

He denies that claim, but it has again revived questions of whether such a recording actually exists, and on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she cannot guarantee that such audio will never surface.

In the book, Manigault Newman identifies Trump as her mentor and someone who had a huge role in shaping her public fame and persona, yet who, as the book title suggests, is now suffering a mental decline and is hugely unfit to occupy the Oval Office.

Like Trump, though, Manigault Newman has a penchant for generating an extra amount of publicity for her own story — something we’ve seen this week as networks have obtained tapes she secretly recorded with White House figures. On MSNBC on Tuesday, she told Katy Tur that Trump knew of hacked Democratic National Committee emails before they were released in 2016, but offered no proof to back it up.

Trump, his White House team, and the Republican National Committee are blasting Manigault Newman. Trump has called her uncredible and a “dog.” Sanders suggested that the White House response was motivated by the fact that the media is giving her so much exposure . As Manigault Newman was just starting her tour, Sanders put out a statement saying that the book was “riddled with lies and false accusations.”

“It’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks, and even worse that the media would now give her a platform, after not taking her seriously when she had only positive things to say about the President during her time in the administration.”

Manigault Newman writes in her book that “no doubt, you’ve come here with prejudice about who you think I am. But all I’m asking is that you hear me out.”

Some of her claims are salacious. Some are trivial. Some are hard to determine if she has proof to back them up via other recorded conversations or documentary evidence. A number are getting pushback from the White House.

Here’s a glimpse:

Trump used the n-word. In the book, Manigault Newman relays the details of an October 2016, campaign conference call in which press staffers discuss the potential fallout if a Trump tape is released in which he uses the racial epithet.

In the book, Manigault Newman claims that Katrina Pierson, a campaign spokesman, was on the conference call and said, “Someone she knew, who knew political strategist Frank Luntz, told her that Luntz had heard it.” Luntz has called the claim “flat-out false” and questioned why Manigault Newman didn’t call him to try to verify the claim.

Manigault Newman also writes that Lynne Patton, an aide to Eric Trump, “reported that she asked Trump about it on the plane, specifically whether it was possible that such a tape might exist, and he said ‘no.’ Then, she asked him what he wanted her to do, and he said, ‘Put it to bed.’”
“Katrina cursed and said, ‘He said it.’” Manigault Newman writes.
On Tuesday, CBS News ran a recording of a portion of that conference call. On CNN, Pierson claimed that Manigault Newman took “two different audios” that were “conflated into one story.” She said it was “false” that she ever claimed that Trump said the n-word, and that the audio excerpts provided to CBS News did not include “hours upon hours” of Manigault Newman talking about the alleged Trump tape.

Trump’s daughter-in-law tried to buy her silence. After Manigault Newman was fired, she said she was contacted by Trump’s daughter in law, Lara Trump, with an offer to come work for the Trump 2020 campaign at a salary of $15,000 per month. In exchange, she was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The Washington Post reviewed the agreement and reported that it included a non-disparagement clause about Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and their families.

“I turned down the president’s offer to work for the 2020 campaign. In my response declining the position, I explained that I was not interested in working for his campaign, his company, his family, or for him directly in any capacity,” Manigault Newman writes.

Lara Trump told Fox News this week that Manigault Newman wasted an “incredible opportunity” to make a difference at the White House and was showing her “true colors.”

Trump questioned why Harriet Tubman’s “face” should be on the $20 bill. In the “long horrible month” after the Charlottesville riots, Manigault Newman noted that secretary of the treasury Steven Mnuchin was non-committal when it came to replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, as had been proposed by the Obama administration.

“I know Trump wanted to dismantle Obama’s legacy, but this, too?” Manigault Newman writes. “I quickly wrote a decision memo about the matter and gave it to Trump. While flipping through the folder, he came to the picture of Tubman, the woman who personally brought more than three hundred slaves to freedom, risking her own life every time, and said to me, ‘You want to put that face on the twenty-dollar bill?’”
In an interview with “Today” in 2016, Trump said he thought Tubman was “fantastic,” but called the idea of replacing Jackson “pure political correctness.” “I would love to leave Andrew Jackson and see if we can come up with another denomination,” he said.

Mike Pence “was too perfect to be genuine.” Manigault Newman writes that after spending time with the vice president, “The first thing I noticed was that people on his staff kept slipping up and calling him president — accidentally sometimes.” She said that he “asked him explicitly if he had any ambitions for the highest office after Donald completed his two terms. Pence said, ‘two terms? You think two terms? That’s good, I like the way you think, Omarosa. I’m here to serve the president. I’m only loyal to the president.’”

“It seemed obvious that he was too perfect to be genuine. His and Trump’s personalities and worldviews were diametrically opposed,” she writes. “And yet, Pence agreed with everything Trump said or did. In real life, no one beams worshipfully at you all the time like that. If someone looked at you that way, you’d be disturbed and think about a restraining order.”
A spokeswoman for Pence did not immediately comment.
Trump called secretary of education Betsy DeVos “ditzy DeVos.” Manigault Newman describes several incidents she had with secretary of education Betsy DeVos, with whom she worked on education issues and in outreach to historically black colleges and universities.
She writes that she went with DeVos on a trip to Florida, where the education secretary gave a speech at Bethune-Cookman University and was booed. She claims that afterward, DeVos said that the speech went “great,” but then said of the booing students, “They don’t have the capacity to understand what we’re trying to accomplish.” Manigault Newman writes that she took that to mean that “all these black students were too stupid” to comprehend was DeVos was trying to do.
She also claims that the next day, she was supposed to go with DeVos to an event, but DeVos didn’t show at the hotel. DeVos, she said, eventually called her and told her to tale an Uber.
“We’d been booed by the entire auditorium. People were angry. There were protesters. I’d been getting death threats daily. And she’d left me completely alone with no security?” Manigault Newman writes.
She said she told Trump about the incident and “he shook his head in disgust.”
“He said, ‘She is Ditzy DeVos, what do you expect? In a very short period of time, I will get rid of her. Believe me, believe me.’”
Manigault Newman claims that DeVos plans to “replace public education with for-profit schools.”
Liz Hill, the education department’s press secretary, said in a statement, “This disgraced former White House employee is peddling lies for profit. The book is a joke as are the false claims she’s making about Secretary DeVos.”
Trump is militant about his tanning bed. Manigault Newman writes that, in addition to a diet of Diet Cokes and fast food, Trump “allegedly” tans in the morning in a tanning bed in the personal quarters. She said she heard that the dismissal of the chief White House usher Angella Reid had something to do with how she handled the procurement of the bed. Manigault Newman writes that she had concerns that his consumption of Diet Cokes could be affecting Trump’s mental health, including his memory, and once tried to slip him an article on on recent research of the topic.

Trump got Omarosa to drop legal action against National Enquirer’s parent company. After her brother’s murder in 2011, Manigault Newman writes that National Enquirer sent a reporter, posing as a mourner, to the funeral. The Enquirer took portions of her eulogy and branded it an “exclusive” interview, she writes, and she pursued legal action against American Media, the Enquirer’s parent company.

Manigault Newman claims that Trump, a friend of American Media’s David Pecker, called her to broker a settlement.
“It came out that Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer, had called and said, ‘Isn’t Omarosa one of your mentees? Can you tell her to drop this lawsuit?’” she writes. “As a personal favor to Pecker, Donald agreed to call me and talk me out of the lawsuit, but I was so angry they’d portrayed me as someone who’d seek publicity over my dead brother’s body that I was reluctant to drop it.”
She took the deal, in which she got a job with AMI as West Coast editor. She used the story to point out the relationship between Trump and Pecker, and noted that AMI also made a deal with Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Trump. AMI bought her life rights but never published a story, according to a lawsuit she filed this year.
A spokesman for AMI did not immediately return a request for comment.

Trump Kim Kardashian

On the set of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Trump engaged in “vile” exchange with Gene Simmons in front of Trump’s daughter Ivanka. Manigault Newman claims that during one long break on the set of “Celebrity Apprentice,” and Trump “engaged in language so profane, it would have raised eyebrows in prison.” It took place in front of Ivanka Trump.

Britain Trump Visit, Stansted, United Kingdom – 12 Jul 2018

Simmons, she writes, was “leering openly at her breasts.”
“He said, ‘She’s a very, very sexy, desirable young woman who I’m looking forward to getting to know much better, if you know what I mean, with all due respect.’” Trump “egged him on,” Manigault Newman writes, and Ivanka “groaned dismissively and tried to get them to change subjects.”
“Everyone else in the room was shocked, not by Gene’s language (we knew he was a disgusting pig), but by Donald’s obvious delight in hearing it. He had complete control of the boardroom. He could have shut it down at any point. But he didn’t,” Manigault Newman writes.

 

 

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Big Name Wrestlers Who Went Into Politics

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The crossover from the entertainment world into politics is no longer considered an anomaly. Bodybuilding champion Arnold Schwarzenegger went from Mr. Olympia to governor of California. Many remember him as “The Governator.”

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Pres. Ronald Reagan went from cowboy and chimp films to the White House. But perhaps nothing could be more of a culture shock than people in professional wrestling being voted into public office.

Kane Lays the Smack Down in Tennessee

Listed at 7 feet and weighing in at 323 pounds, former WWE superstar Kane made a successful political bid to become mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.

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Born Glenn Thomas Jacobs and originally hailing from  Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain, the 51-year-old Republican was an A-list talent in the squared circle beginning in 1992.

He remains listed as an active wrestler and quite possible the biggest American mayor of all time!

Jesse was “The Body” Politic in Minnesota

Jesse Ventura led an exhilarating life. The decorated Navy Seal was an elite member of an underwater demolition team during the Vietnam War. He dove into pro wrestling in 1975 as Jesse “The Great,” later changed to “The Body.”

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His career on the mat ran until 1984 and he then became a commentator with occasional match appearances. He later appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movies “Predator” and “The Running Man.”

He beat out a popular Democrat and Republican to win Minnesota’s governorship in 1999 as a Reform Party candidate.

Donald J. Trump: From WWE To The White House

Many remember the meme that circulated with Pres. Donald J. Trump body slamming Hillary. That bit of cut and paste was pulled from live footage of the Republican president slamming WWE’s Vince McMahon in 2007.

reasons not to elect trump

Pres. Trump was no minor player back in the day. Trump participated in the Battle of the Billionaires against McMahon. The loser head to shave his head. Of course, The Donald had the barber tools.

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All things considered, the next big league politician might just be at the next WrestleMania!

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Trump Responds to ‘The Apprentice’ Claim: ‘I Don’t Have That Word in My Vocabulary’

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“It sounded as if he used it every day,” Manigault Newman said.

President Donald Trump has responded to Omarosa Manigault Newman’s claim that there is a recording from the set of “The Apprentice” in which he uses the n-word, writing on Twitter that he doesn’t “have that word in my vocabulary.”

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By Erin Nyren  LOS ANGELES (Variety) –

Omarosa

The president said that Mark Burnett, who produced “The Apprentice,” called him and assured him there are “no tapes of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged .”

He went on to assert that Manigault Newman made up the tape — she claimed three unnamed sources told her of the tape and its contents — and pointed to her “many recent quotes saying such wonderful and powerful things about me – a true Champion of Civil Rights – until she got fired” as evidence that her claims about him from her upcoming book, “Unhinged,” are only those of a disgruntled employee, as White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has categorized them.

Omarosa new book

On Monday evening, Manigault Newman appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball” and continued to claim that she heard a tape of Trump using the n-word. She said that those who have the tape plan to use it for a “politically motivated” reason and that they used to be part of the production staff for “The Apprentice.”

“They took it upon themselves to actually document this so that they could actually expose him for the racist that he is,” she said. She said that she heard Trump on the audio tape using the word multiple times and that it was in reference to Kwame Jackson, who was on the show in the first season.

“It sounded as if he used it every day,” Manigault Newman said.

Donald Trump

Burnett’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Jackson also did not immediately respond to an email for comment.

The rumors of the existence of the recording of Trump making such a remark date to the 2016 campaign, and Manigault Newman said that they were serious enough for the communications staff to even hold a conference call. She said that Katrina Pierson, one of Trump’s campaign spokespersons, denied Manigault Newman’s claim that she confirmed the existence of the tape.

“That was an absolute lie, in fact, the first that any of us ever heard about this ‘Apprentice’ tape was from Omarosa,” Pierson told Fox News.

 

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Hundreds of Stolen Passwords for Netflix, HBO & Hulu Discovered for Sale on ‘Dark Web’

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The stolen account info it discovered was available for an average one-time price of $8.81, while some dark-web sellers also offered bundles of credentials for several services at higher prices.

Pirates are selling hundreds of stolen login details for popular over-the-top services on “dark web” marketplaces, according to new research by content-security firm Irdeto.

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For the month of April 2018, Irdeto discovered 854 listings of OTT credentials from 69 unique sellers across more than 15 dark web marketplaces. The purloined usernames and passwords on sale were from 42 different streaming services including Netflix, HBO, DirecTV and Hulu.

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By Todd Spangler  LOS ANGELES (Variety) –

According to Irdeto, the stolen account info it discovered was available for an average one-time price of $8.81, while some dark-web sellers also offered bundles of credentials for several services at higher prices.

It’s not clear how many of the stolen OTT accounts illegally available for sale represent legitimate, active accounts — or just scams from cybercriminals. Irdeto said it did not buy or test the stolen credentials but discovered other buyers who commented that the accounts they had illegally purchased worked.

On dark web marketplaces, which are cloaked using secret access protocols, a wide range of illicit products, accounts and services are available for purchase, including account credentials for a range of pay-TV services.

Of course, Irdeto has an interest in publicizing piracy and other illicit activities — in order to sell media and entertainment customers on its content security and monitoring solutions and services. The Amsterdam-based company is a subsidiary of media group Naspers.

FILE PHOTO: A man types into a keyboard during the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas

In the past, execs at streaming-subscription companies have downplayed the problem associated with password-sharing for their services. In fact, , for example, has made account-sharing among multiple users into a revenue opportunity: In the U.S. the company’s $13.99-per-month Premium plan offers access to up to four simultaneous streams, compared with two for the standard $10.99 monthly tier.

The findings of the sale of OTT login credentials is part of Irdeto’s Global Consumer Piracy Threat Report 2018.

The vendor also found that illegal live-streaming is a global problem, with an average of 74 million global visits per month to the top 10 live-streaming sites in Q1 2018. Most traffic came from the U.S. (2.93 million average monthly visits), the U.K. (1.71 million) and Germany (1,52 million). The company cited a report about  a British man who received an £85,000 ($108,500) bill from Sky after a friend illegally streamed a championship boxing match on Facebook Live using his subscription.

In addition, Irdeto found numerous ads for “fully loaded” illegal streaming set-top boxes on ecommerce sites including eBay. The company said that year-to-date in 2018, it has worked to remove nearly 7,000 ads for such illicit set-tops across 60 sites.

“Content theft by pirates has become a full-fledged criminal enterprise, with some providing illegal subscriptions in an attempt to compete with established pay-TV operators,” said Mark Mulready, Irdeto’s VP of cybersecurity services.

In releasing the report’s findings Monday, Irdeto advised consumers to be vigilant of any unusual or unfamiliar activity on their account and recommend changing passwords regularly.

 

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Michael J. Fox on Parkinson’s, Overcoming Fear and the Race for a Cure

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It’s a cool june afternoon in New York and Michael J. Fox is sitting in his Upper East Side office, his dog, Gus, a lumbering rescue mutt — Great Dane, hound, Chow, some Lab — napping underfoot. The pale gray walls are decorated with rustic signs from some of Fox’s favorite vacation spots — Vermont, Martha’s Vineyard — and a photo of Fox and Boston Bruins hockey great Bobby Orr is propped up on a bookshelf, along with Fox’s Emmys and Golden Globes and his Grammy award for spoken word album, an adaptation of his 2009 memoir “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.”

By Malina Saval

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LOS ANGELES (Variety)

Fox, who is being honored by Variety as philanthropist of the year for his work on Parkinson’s disease research, is deeply optimistic at 57. A military brat raised on various bases across Canada, Fox was a plucky, free-spirited kid, prone to recklessness and adventure. At school and at home, he was willful and precocious, never doubting that someday he would make a name for himself.

“I was built to overcome,” says Fox, a nod to both his short stature and emotional tenacity. “I was built to survive.”

By his mid-20s, the gifted comic actor was a bonafide star, capturing America’s attention as brash Reaganite Alex P. Keaton on “Family Ties” before securing worldwide fame as time-traveling teen Marty McFly in the “Back to the Future” trilogy. By 1985, Fox was everywhere, a Hollywood heartthrob featured on the covers of magazines ranging from Tiger Beat to GQ. Fox’s celebrity became so explosive that he and wife, actress Tracy Pollan, whom Fox met while shooting “Family Ties,” married under the whir of paparazzi helicopters overhead. There were sports cars and boozy soirees and a slate of big-screen projects in which Fox would take a dramatic turn, from “Bright Lights, Big City” to Brian De Palma’s “Casualties of War.”

“It was all a big party,” says Fox. “It was all about me and what I would do and what I was going to do and what I had done and what I could remember doing last night.”

That changed one Tuesday morning in November 1990. Fox was in Gainesville, Fla., filming “Doc Hollywood” when he awoke in his hotel room to a raging hangover and a relentlessly twitchy pinky finger that presaged a life-changing medical diagnosis: “The doctor told me, ‘you have Parkinson’s disease.’”

Parkinson’s, a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement and is characterized by tremors, muscle rigidity and changes in speech, as well as a host of other debilitating symptoms, is typically diagnosed in patients around the age of 60. Of the roughly 6 million people worldwide (1 million in the U.S.) fewer than 10% are diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s at age 50 or younger. Linda Rondstadt, Alan Alda and Leonard Maltin were all diagnosed well past their 50th birthday; Fox was diagnosed at the age of 29.

“I got this diagnosis, and it freaked me out, and I ran from it,” says Fox. “I drank to obliterate it, to make it go away.” Then he reached a point where he decided to try and deal with the disease, asking himself, “why don’t I just try to understand what it’s telling me, what it means?’ I said, ‘I need to learn more about this.’ And after it was alarming and freakish and scary and nightmarish, Parkinson’s was settling. I was able to accept the fact of it, accept the truth of it. But acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means accepting and then moving on.”

In 1998, during his run on the hit ABC sitcom “Spin City,” Fox revealed his diagnosis publicly. Overnight, he became the face of a disease that had thus far been lost in the shadows, considered by society to be a “shaky old person’s disease.” Fox testified before Congress, urging the government to allocate more funding for Parkinson’s research. He reached out to the Parkinson’s community and the Parkinson’s foundations already in existence and saw what they were accomplishing, and also what was missing.

Fox went from believing his life was over to thinking “not only can I live with this, but I need to commit to this community and take advantage of the attention that I get. Whether it’s bidden or unbidden, it’s there and it’s powerful.”

In 2000, Fox left “Spin City,” for which he won his fourth lead actor Emmy, and dove full time into his newfound role as activist. Later that year, he established the Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. To date, MJFF, with foundational partnerships in Europe, Asia and North America, has funded more than $800 million in research grants and projects worldwide, more than any other Parkinson’s foundation of its kind.

 

Michael J. Fox became a star on “Family Ties,” left, and exited “Spin City,” above right, to work on his Parkinson’s foundation.
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“I wanted to identify the research and have the money go out right away,” says Fox of MJFF’s driving philosophy. “I wanted to inspire scientists to do the work now. We’re not here to sit on the money, we’re here to put it out. And it’s just fantastic because it’s grown from just that instinct to immeasurable heights and dynamically new possibilities.”

With a staff comprising pioneering neuroscientists, research scientists, public policy experts and geneticists, MJFF has launched and sustained myriad breakthrough initiatives that have radically changed the face of Parkinson’s disease research, propelling the medical and scientific communities closer to a cure. The foundation provides webinars and seminars for patients and their caregivers.

From Fox Insight, an online clinical study designed to amplify patient voice in Parkinson’s research, to Team Fox, a grassroots community fundraising program that spawns such nationwide events as Fox Trot 5K walk/runs and Pancakes for Parkinson’s breakfasts, MJFF is 100% patient-focused, empowering individuals to play an active role in combating the disease.

“[Michael] has led by example to be engaged and not just to say ‘I have Parkinson’s,’ but this is what we can do as a community,” says Deborah W. Brooks, MJFF co-founder & executive vice chairman. “And it’s really him as a peer speaking to other peers, whether it’s a Parkinson’s patient or their families or our organization as a whole. Our whole organization is part of that voice, which is, that this is not something that happens to you and then you sit by idly and hope good things fall from the sky, but that there are a variety of ways in which patients and families can step into this and be active. He has become such a role model and our organization has really become a platform for many, many patients and families to not be passive observers.”

That people are even talking about Parkinson’s on such a global scale is revolutionary, and an advancement for which Fox and the foundation deserve credit. Wherever Fox goes in the world, whether it’s Greece on vacation, or Sweden, where the Karolinska Institute awarded him an honorary doctorate in medicine, he’s bringing knowledge of the disease to
people in those countries.

More than that, he’s bringing them hope.

It’s important to Fox that he communicates information about the disease without people feeling uncomfortable. “I want to say to them, ‘I know what you’re thinking. It’s OK,’” he says. “We’re always afraid of stuff we don’t understand. People would look me in the eye and say, ‘how are you?’ and expect to see fear in my eyes and they just see their own fear reflected back at them. It didn’t make me angry, it made me feel kind of responsible. I want to relieve people of that burden so we can get to the conversation. We give these people as much as we can. We’re sharing this. This [foundation] is an act of fellowship.”

What makes Parkinson’s tricky to treat, and somewhat complicated to approach, is that no two patients with the disease suffer alike. It manifests itself in a variety of nefarious ways. Where depression and anxiety might strike one person, another might develop digestive function problems, cognitive issues or insomnia. While there are genetic links — there are clusters, for example, within the Ashkenazi Jewish community — the cause of the disease is unknown. As people continue to live longer, scientists predict the global prevalence of Parkinson’s to double by 2040, making the foundation’s work ever more urgent.

“Everyone’s got their own disease, everyone’s got their own Parkinson’s. It’s to the point where we suspect it’s a number of different diseases,” says Fox, who takes L-Dopa, a dopamine-replacement medication, to help control his tremors and shakes. Sometimes it works well, other times it wears off too quickly. “Sometimes, I have too much dopamine,” says Fox. “I miss the mark. I miss my timing.” Like most drugs, L-Dopa carries with it adverse side effects, another motivating factor in MJFF’s search for cutting-edge treatments.

“One thing we’re super excited about is that in the last 10 years we’ve seen a lot of new drugs being tested in the clinic and a lot of new drugs on the market,” says Brian Fiske, MJFF senior vice president, research programs. “A lot of them are a twist on what we have, optimizing delivery of the dopamine medication. And there are new drugs on the market that aren’t classically thought of as Parkinson’s medications. They are treatments directly targeted toward lesser-known symptoms and side effects of the disease. With all this R&D activity, there is tremendous cause for hope and optimism about what’s to come in our ability to improve treatment options for people with Parkinson’s in the near future.”

One of MJFF’s latest and most breakthrough programs is its Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a landmark clinical study to identity biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease. Biomarkers are disease indicators that are critical missing links in the search for better Parkinson’s disease treatments.

“After it was alarming and freakish and scary and nightmarish, Parkinson’s was settling.”
Michael J. Fox

“We are getting closer to being able to recognize the disease before symptoms are evident and treat it early,” says Fox. “And I love this idea that you could still have Parkinson’s, but it never gets to the point where it’s obvious, where it’s symptomatic, where we try to figure out how to fix this wreck, how to prevent the wreck before it happens. People will say to me, ‘are you going to find a cure in time for you?’ I say, ‘I honestly don’t think about it.’ It’s essential that we find a breakthrough, period. I’m just put in a position where I can help motivate people in the scientific community and the patient community to solve this problem before future generations wake up at 57 and find they are in this situation.”

And while Fox’s situation is not without its challenges, there is also great beauty, as evidenced not only by the success of the foundation, but his three best-selling books and kudos-filled career as an actor. Since his diagnosis, Fox has won a guest actor Emmy for his recurring role as a wheelchair-bound drug addict on FX’s “Rescue Me”; played a manipulative attorney with dyskinesia (a Parkinson’s-like movement disorder) on the hit CBS drama “The Good Wife,” earning yet another Emmy nom; and played a news anchor with Parkinson’s disease on NBC’s “The Michael J. Fox Show.” Most recently, Fox completed a five-episode arc as Ethan West, a conniving, shark-like power attorney, on ABC’s “Designated Survivor.”

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“I love to show that people with disabilities, that people with Parkinson’s can be assholes, too,” says Fox. “And that’s important. I feel for the disabled community and I feel part of that community. We are fully rounded people, we just have this issue that we deal with.”

Fox’s life, he maintains, is punctuated by joy. “I’m a lucky man,” he says, and that’s not despite his illness, but, at least in part, “because of it.” The foundation, and its mission to help millions of people, has infused his life with meaning. Each year, Fox plays guitar at MJFF’s fundraising gala, strumming Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Good” (a reference to his role in “Back to the Future”) with the likes of Chris Martin and Brad Paisley. He plays golf and is working on a fourth book. “I literally wear out the rug,” he jokes of his writing process, which includes pacing the floor and dictating to a writer’s assistant. More than anything, he says, it’s his family — Pollan and their four children — on whom he relies for strength and inspiration.

“If I were to use one word to describe my kids it’s kind. They are really kind people,” says Fox, tearing up. “They take it in, it’s just natural. It just is what it is. I don’t know how we got so lucky that they turned out that way but they apply that to everything they do. They didn’t get anxiety from [my Parkinson’s]. They got peace from it. And it’s kept them honest. They pour orange juice for me. It’s great. You understand there’s bigger stuff going on than just yourself. Compassion is really important, and empathy and understanding and openness. You boil it down to what’s important now, what’s important in that moment.”

As the Michael J. Fox Foundation strives tirelessly to find a cure for Parkinson’s, Fox’s advice for others living with the disease is “to accept it, to own it.”

“There’s no good answer for how to deal with Parkinson’s,” he says. “There’s no flat thing. You experience it and you push through it and you try to make as many friends as you can along the way. You can’t depend on other people’s kindness, but in recognizing it’s in there you can elicit it. So why have a glib outlook?” he queries. “If you obsess on the worst-case scenario and it happens, then it’s like it’s happened twice. So stay as positive as you can, because it might make the difference.”

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‘Homeland’ to End With Season 8 at Showtime

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Showtime president and CEO David Nevins made the announcement at the TCA summer press tour on Monday, noting that “Alex [Gansa] and Claire [Danes] both started talking about it last season.” programming president Gary Levine also noted that the show “is not limping into the sunset. Last season was one of its best ever.” Season 8 will premiere in June 2019. Showtime had previously renewed the show for Seasons 7 and 8 back in 2016.

By Joe Otterson  LOS ANGELES (Variety)

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The news was not unexpected, as series star Claire Danes previously told Howard Stern that the eighth season would be the last.

“Now we’ve got one more season after this and then we’re wrapping it up,” Stern told Danes in the interview, to which Danes responded, “Yeah.” When Stern asked, “How do we feel about this?” Danes replied, “Really conflicted.” She added, “I’ll be ready for a reprieve from that,” noting that her character, Carrie Mathison, is “a lot.”

“” was developed for American television by Gansa and Howard Gordon, and is based on the original Israeli series “Prisoners of War” by Gideon Raff. Along with Gansa and Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Lesli Linka Glatter, Patrick Harbinson, Danes, Michael Klick, Ron Nyswaner, Gideon Raff, Avi Nir and Ran Telem also serve as executive producers.

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