associated press photos

Colin Farrell tapped to play Oliver North for Amazon

Colin Farrell is slated to star as Oliver North in a limited series from Amazon.

Yorgos Lanthimos, who directed Farrell in the film “Lobster,” will direct the untitled, one-hour series that will cover the Iran-Contra scandal. Ben Stiller is among the executive producers.

North, a decorated U.S. marine and a Fox News commentator, was at the centre of the scandal over the sale of weapons to Iran and the channeling of proceeds to the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s during Republican President Ronald Reagan’s second term.

Lanthimos says he’s excited to be working with Farrell again and that the story feels “very fresh and relevant to our times.”

Farrell, active in films, starred in the second season of HBO’s “True Detective.”

The Associated Press

An unidentified woman uses the end of a ribbon to dry her eyes as she mourns her husband, one of at least 41 people killed in the Kielce Pogrom, an outbreak of violence against the Jewish community centre gathering of refugees in the city of Kielce. It was Poland’s bloodiest postwar Pogrom. Associated Press Photo from New York - 1946.

HBO sets 'Game of Thrones' 7th season debut for July 16

LOS ANGELES — “Game of Thrones” will be back in action in July.

HBO said Thursday that the series will return for its seventh season on July 16.

The season will be the next-to-last for the fantasy saga based on George R.R. Martin’s novels. It will include seven episodes instead of the usual 10 and is debuting later than seasons past. They had usually begun in spring.

Returning cast members include Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke.

The delayed debut date for “Game of Thrones” means it will miss the deadline for the 2017 Emmy Awards, a contest it routinely dominates. Last year, the drama series scored a dozen Emmys.

The Associated Press

Marianne’s Boots Go Up With The Hemline | August 14th 1967

“Couple who caught the eye of travellers at Heathrow Airport, London, to-day (sic) - Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, carrying a guitarcase, and his singer friend Marianne Faithfull, in a mini dress and knee-high boots. They had just flown back from Dublin.” 

Original caption by Press Association Photos. Andrew Loog Oldham can be seen in the background.

'You'll Be Back' - Brian d'Arcy James returns to 'Hamilton'

NEW YORK — The first King George III from “Hamilton” is ready to put on his crown again.

Brian d'Arcy James, who originated the sly and hysterical monarch singing the song “You’ll Be Back,” will indeed be back — he’ll play him on Broadway starting April 14.

Others who have played the king include Jonathan Groff, Andrew Rannells, Rory O'Malley and Taran Killam.

James most recently was Tony Award-nominated for “Something Rotten!” He was in the show “Shrek The Musical,” on NBC’s series “Smash” and was part of the Oscar-winning cast of the movie “Spotlight.”

Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press

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Sevilla stunned Liverpool with a 3-1 comeback win to take a record third straight Europa League title on Wednesday. Swept aside in the first half yet trailing only 1-0, the Spanish club equalized 18 seconds after the restart with Kevin Gameiro’s goal from close range and Coke striking twice in the 64th and 70th minutes.

The third goal was furiously disputed by Liverpool after an assistant signalled an apparent offside against Coke, then lowered his flag. Liverpool had led on Daniel Sturridge’s beautifully curled shot with the outside of his left foot in the 35th.

Defeat leaves Liverpool with no European football next season and dealt coach Juergen Klopp a fifth straight loss in a cup final. Victory in the second-tier competition, for the fifth time in 11 seasons, lifts Sevilla into the Champions League group stage next season.

The Associated Press (Photos by AFP and Getty Images)

Teacher stress is killing my profession

The reality of every teacher trying to make even a modest go at this profession is a life of almost constant stress, overwork and, at times, emotional exhaustion.

Anyone who enters the teaching profession thinking otherwise is in for a rude awakening.

So why am I griping? I chose this profession and I enjoy what I do.

Well, it is because a storm of new and increasingly unrealistic demands, coupled with a noticeable decline in support from many principals and parents, is contributing to a growing incidence of illness among teachers, including mental illness due to work-related stress.

I should note that teaching has not broken me. But it has broken the sanity and soul of some very motivated teachers I know.

Burn-out profession? A Saskatchewan study says almost 60 per cent of teachers face job stress. (Associated Press file photo)

“I think that the whole idea of teaching has changed in the last 15 to 20 years,” says Emily Noble, past-president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.

“People are dealing with more high-need students, with more multicultural issues and with no-fail policies.

"Teachers want to make a difference, but the supports are just not there.”

Deferred authority

People outside of the profession are invariably shocked when I describe exactly what today’s teachers have to put up with.

There is a general understanding that things “are not the same as they once were.”

But many non-teachers still do not understand just how much the moral tone and foundational standards of public education have been compromised in recent years in the name of individual freedom, diversity and accommodation.

The idea of one lesson, one class has long disappeared.

What this has also meant for teachers is the progressive deterioration of authority over students and their issues, while the onus of responsibility and accountability, on us, remains very much the same.

These days, I can’t expect the student who disrupts class, bullies other students (or teachers) and vandalizes property to be disciplined effectively by school administrators.

I cannot set enforceable deadlines, deduct marks for poor spelling and grammar, or set the same tests for a growing cohort of “identified students” as this might harm their morale or ruin their willingness to consider college or university.

Health warning

How much of a toll are these new demands and loss of control placing on teachers?

A recent study of urban teachers in Saskatchewan by professors Ron Martin and Rod Dolmage of the University of Regina found that 61 per cent had reported becoming ill due to work-related stress.

As well, almost 40 per cent of those surveyed had to take time off work because of stress.

Even more astonishing, though, was that 51 per cent of the teachers in this sample stated that, if they found a viable career alternative, they would leave teaching!

It was no surprise then when the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation stated in a recent health bulletin that “stress, anxiety, depression and other psychological conditions are the leading causes of workplace absences.”

In fact, the largest cost to the Saskatchewan teachers’ drug benefit plan were medications for depression and blood pressure (11 per cent of the total each).

The best are falling

Add to this the largely undocumented group of what I call the walking wounded, those teachers whose energy levels have been sapped so much by all the new administrative demands that they have little left over to give directly to their students.

I have occasionally heard it said that these increasing demands and stresses are a positive development because they will weed out those whose commitment to the profession may be problematic.

But in my experience, it has been the most highly motivated and committed teachers who undergo the most stress and who break down simply because they truly care for their students and, against the odds, try to deliver.

Mediocre teachers, it seems, have less of a problem in detaching their personal well-being from that of their students. And that is not just my view.

“Burnout is more common in the young, highly motivated, energetic, hard-working teacher,” says Prof. Martin. “The people who burn out are the people who pour everything into it without balance.”

The real world

Teachers, it should be said, are partly to blame for this problem.

The profession inherently breeds a culture of self-sacrifice and endurance, which often dissuades many from seeking help. The notion that teachers will “always pull through” seems to be assumed in the demands and directives of school administrators.

When I raise this issue with non-teachers, I often hear the mantra that things are tough all over and teachers should “just suck it up like the rest of us.”

Fine. I’m not unaware of what is going on in the so-called real world.

But the difference between what I do and the majority of other professions is that I deal directly with the growth, health, and transformation of human lives.

As a result there is a much more intimate link between my health and mental attitude and the health of my so-called clients than there is in many other professions.

Other grumpy, overworked Canadians may feel a modicum of satisfaction knowing that teachers, too, are increasingly succumbing to stress.

But will they still feel that way when their children start bringing these school problems home with them, because there is no teacher around for extra help with assignments or to coach the school team?

Yes, we have the summers “off.” And some are smart enough to use the time to unwind from all those long evenings marking papers, dealing with school issues and planning classes.

But many of us either work, teach summer school or take additional courses during the summer, all in the name of contributing more to our jobs and to those we are committed to. Some days you have to wonder why.

Queen unveils memorial to those who served in recent wars

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II has joined Britain’s political leaders to unveil a memorial to soldiers and civilians who have served in recent wars.

The statue unveiled Thursday honours those who served Britain during the Gulf War and recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prime Minister Theresa May and predecessors Tony Blair, John Major and David Cameron were among about 2,500 guests.

Prince William and his wife Kate attended and Prince Harry spoke at the start of the ceremony, quoting from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes: “A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.”

The queen was accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip.

Some relatives of servicemen and women complained they were not invited to the event in central London.

The Associated Press

British artist Howard Hodgkin dies at 84

LONDON — Renowned British artist Howard Hodgkin, whose bold paintings fused abstraction with the glorious beauty of nature, has died at the age of 84.

The Tate group of galleries says Hodgkin died peacefully Thursday at a London hospital.

Born in London in 1932, Hodgkin studied at Camberwell School of Art and Bath Academy of Art, and his work has been shown in solo exhibitions around the world.

Many of the bold, colorful works were inspired by the landscapes of India, which he visited often. Tate director Nicholas Serota said Hodgkin’s paintings “radiate the emotions of life: love, anger, vanity, beauty and companionship.”

Hodgkin won the Turner Prize in 1985 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992.

An exhibition of Hodgkin’s portraits opens this month at Britain’s National Portrait Gallery.

The Associated Press

University launches Biden policy institute

NEWARK, Del. — Former Vice-President Joe Biden is joining officials at the University of Delaware, his alma mater, for the launch Monday of the Biden Institute.

The Institute is a new research and policy centre focused on domestic issues including economic reform, environmental sustainability, criminal justice and civil rights.

Biden will be the founding chair of the Institute, which will be part of the university’s School of Public Policy and Administration.

Biden will be splitting his time between the University of Delaware and the University of Pennsylvania, where he will head a foreign policy institute called the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. The foreign policy institute will be located in Washington, D.C., but Biden also will have an office on the Penn campus in Philadelphia.

The Associated Press

Shemar Moore returning to 'Criminal Minds' for season finale

LOS ANGELES — Shemar Moore is set to return to “Criminal Minds” for the season finale of the CBS drama, a year after leaving the series.

Moore starred as FBI agent Derek Morgan for 11 seasons before stepping away last year.

CBS announced Thursday that Moore will reprise his role in the May 10 finale of the 12th season. The network says Moore will help the show’s criminal behavioural analysis team with a lead in a case.

Moore posted an enthusiastic message on social media to share the news, writing, “My secret is out !!!! I’m excited to say your Baby Boy will be back to play with my Criminal Minds family for the season 12 Finale!!”

The Associated Press

B.B. King dies aged 89 

New York Times: B.B. King has died in his sleep in Las Vegas after being admitted to hospital with a diabetes-related illness. Fellow musicians including Buddy Guy, Lenny Kravitz, Richie Sambora and Ringo Starr paid tribute on social media to the “King of the Blues”.

Photo: Associated Press

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The Beatles arrive at JFK Airport in New York to begin their second U.S Tour, August 13, 1965 Disembarking behind The Beatles is the flight hostess, Gisa Kothe.

TWA commissioned bags as well for the flight that said, ‘The Beatles To The USA - August 1965′ George is seen in the top photo carrying his special flight bag which read ‘George Harrison M.B.E.’  in recognition of the recent announcement of The Beatles being awarded the M.B.E from Buckingham Palace.

Top Photo Credit - Associated Press I Bottom Photo Credit - Legendary Auctions I Photo Source & Information - Ted Schaar