Paramount gets Chinese investment worth a reported $1 bn
US movie studio Paramount said Friday it was partnering with two Chinese film-industry companies in a deal that would reportedly see $1 billion in cash injected into the Hollywood giant. The deal is the latest move into Hollywood by deep-pocketed Chinese enterprises, following forays by China property-to-entertainment conglomerate Wanda and e-commerce leader Alibaba. Paramount signed a three-year agreement with Shanghai Film Group (SFG) and Beijing-based Huahua Media to co-finance and co-produce all of the US studio's films, Paramount said in a statement on China's twitter-like Weibo platform.
NTSB: Pilot certified 21 days before Lake Erie plane crashCLEVELAND (AP) ? The pilot of a plane that crashed into Lake Erie last month received his certification to fly that type of aircraft just 21 days before the fatal crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report.
UK retail sales dive as inflation weighs, jolting sterling
By Andy Bruce and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - British retail sales suffered their biggest slump in more than four years in December, denting what had been a promising fourth quarter and rattling sterling as more signs emerged of a pick-up in inflation since June's Brexit vote. Consumer spending has been the main driver of Britain's economy since June's referendum decision to leave the European Union, with other sources of growth like investment and trade lagging. Friday's data showed retail sales volumes dropped 1.9 percent month-on-month in December, far below economists' forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 0.1 percent decline and the biggest fall since April 2012.
IS wreaks new destruction in Syria's ancient Palmyra
The Islamic State group has demolished more treasured monuments in Syria's ancient Palmyra, a month after recapturing it from government forces, the country's antiquities chief said Friday. The news is a fresh blow for the UNESCO World Heritage site, which had already been ravaged by the jihadist group during the nine months it held the site before being expelled in March last year. "Local sources told us that 10 days ago Daesh destroyed the tetrapylon," a 16-columned structure that marked one end of the ancient city's colonnade, Maamoun Abdulkarim told AFP using an Arabic acronym for IS.
British police use stun-gun on their own black race relations adviserBritain's police watchdog is to hold an investigation after officers were filmed firing a stun-gun at their own local black race relations adviser who they apparently mistook for a wanted suspect, the force involved said on Friday. Judah Adunbi, 63, who is a founder member of an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) which works with Avon and Somerset Police in western England to improve relations with the local black community, was shot with the high-voltage Taser gun last Saturday outside his home in Bristol. Avon and Somerset Police said they had referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Up to six survivors of massive Italy avalanche found
By Antonio Denti and Valentina Consiglio PENNE, Italy (Reuters) - Rescuers are digging to free up to six people found alive under the avalanche that buried a luxury mountain hotel in Italy almost two days ago, a fire department official said on Friday. Cari said six survivors had been found, while an Alpine Rescue official said there were five. One of the survivors is a young girl, Deputy Interior Minister Filippo Bubbico said, speaking in the nearby town of Penne, where he is monitoring the rescue for the government.
Murray, Wawrinka advance to 4th round at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) ? Andy Murray showed no signs of trouble with his sore ankle as he advanced to the Round of 16 at the Australian Open for the ninth straight year, avoiding any chance of an upset against Sam Querrey.
Venus takes out Chinese, hungry for more at the Australian Open
Venus Williams ended Chinese hopes at the Australian Open on Friday, swatting aside Duan Yingying to make the fourth round for a 10th time -- and said she was still hungry for more. The 13th seed was in a different league, spanking Duan 6-1, 6-0 on Margaret Court Arena and showing no signs of the elbow injury that forced her out of the doubles with sister Serena. It's never enough," said Williams on still making her mark at Grand Slams.
Despite campaign to-do list, Trump team coy about his plans
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Donald Trump campaigned on a detailed and extensive to-do list for his first day in office. A day before his swearing-in, his team was being coy about when and how he plans to cross items off it.
Russian political elites revel in Trump's inauguration
MOSCOW (AP) ? Russian officials and lawmakers lauded Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, hoping it will herald a period of better ties with the United States, while revelers in Moscow and elsewhere gathered for celebrations as bar and club owners sought to cash in on public excitement.