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Harry Potter cast set to reunite for a 20 year anniversary special TV episode

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The original cast of the Harry Potter series including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are set to reunite for a TV special 20 years after the first film screened.

HBO Max said the Return to Hogwarts will be released on 1 January 2022 – making a magical start to the New Year.

The trio will join American filmmaker Chris Columbus to discuss the films and explore their creation in depth.

However, the creator of Harry Potter, author JK Rowling, does not appear to be joining them for the milestone. It comes after she made some controversial comments about the trans community last year.

Rowling, 56, was involved in the making of the films, with Warner Bros taking considerable notice of her desires – including the films being shot in Britain with an all-British cast.

The special was announced exactly 20 years on from the US release of the first film, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, on 16 November 2001.

Fans will be invited “on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time”, HBO Max said.

The retrospective will see the cast return to the original Hogwarts boarding school sets that were featured in the first film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (“Philosopher’s Stone” in the U.K.) released in November 2001.

The film franchise based on J.K. Rowling’s stories about an orphaned boy with magical powers took in some $7.8 billion at the global box office.

The special is one of several 20th anniversary events planned by Warner Bros, including a TV quiz contest for Potter fans hosted by Helen Mirren, which will include cameo appearances by some of the cast and celebrity fans including comedians Pete Davidson and Jay Leno.

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Panama Papers case: Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan summoned by ED

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for questioning in a case linked to the 2016 ‘Panama Papers’ global tax leaks case, officials said on Monday.

Aishwarya Bachchan, 48, the daughter-in-law of superstar Amitabh Bachchan, has been asked to depose before the agency in Delhi.The ED has been probing the case since 2016 when the global leaks came to light. It later issued notices to the Bachchan family asking them to explain their foreign remittances since 2004 under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the RBI.

 

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Kareena, Amrita tests positive for coronavirus, authorities seal house over violation

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Bollywood superstar Kareena Kapoor and Amrita Arora have tested positive for the COVID-19. The duo were reportedly seen at different parties violating several COVID guidelines.

“I have tested positive for Covid,” Kareena informed her followers on Instagram. “I immediately isolated myself while following all medical protocols.”

Kareena requested everyone who came in contact with her to get tested.

“My family and staff are also double vaccinated. They are currently not showing any symptoms.”

Kareena hoped she would recover soon.

A few hours later, however, the BMC sealed Kareena’s residence for reportedly violating the coronavirus guidelines. According to a tweet by ANI, Kareena has not provided proper information to the authority yet.

“She has not given proper information yet but our officers are trying to find out how many people came in contact with her.”

The BMC then confirmed the reports in a statement.

“Actors Kareena Kapoor Khan and Amrita Arora tested positive for Covid-19,” it stated. “Both of them had violated Covid norms and attended several parties. BMC has ordered people, who came in contact with the two actors, to undergo RT-PCR test.”

Kareena’s representative remarked that she has been “extremely responsible” through the lockdown and follows all guidelines.

“Unfortunately, this time she and Amrita Arora contracted COVID at an intimate dinner where a few friends had gathered to catch up,” the representative said. “It wasn’t a big party as being reported. Among that group, there was one person who seemed unwell and was coughing, and who eventually passed it on. This person should have been responsible enough to not attend the dinner and put others at risk.”

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India’s Harnaaz Sandhu wins Miss Universe contest held in Israel

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Harnaaz Sandhu of India has been crowned the 70th Miss Universe, topping a field of some 80 contestants in a pageant that was touched by politics and the pandemic.

The previously reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned her successor, a 21-year-old model, early on Monday in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

The pageant was held in the middle of the night, wrapping up at 5am (0300 GMT) on Monday to accommodate the primetime schedule in the United States.

The pageant included traditional displays of national costumes, swimwear and a series of interview questions to test contestants’ public speaking skills. The top 10 showed off intricately bedazzled full-length gowns in either gold, silver or bronze.

The Philippines’s Beatrice Luigi Gomez wore an asymmetrical cut dress with one sleeve, highlighting a new tattoo she said “celebrates her womanhood”.

Before Sandhu, two Indians have won the Miss Universe title: Bollywood actresses Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.

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