TIME Music

Former Grateful Dead Manager Rock Scully Has Died

10th Anniversary Billboard Touring Conference & Awards - Day 2
Former Manager of The Grateful Dead Rock Scully attends the 10th Anniversary Billboard Touring Conference & Awards at the Roosevelt Hotel on November 14, 2013 in New York City. Daniel Zuchnik—WireImage/Getty

Scully managed the seminal psychedelic rock band for 20 years and wrote a tell-all biography

Rock Scully, who managed the Grateful Dead between 1965 and 1985, died Wednesday after a long bout with lung cancer, the Monterey County Weekly reports.

Scully signed on as the Dead’s manager after seeing the band play at one of Ken Kesey’s Acid Tests in San Francisco under the name the Worlocks. Within a couple of years, he was booking them into major gigs like Woodstock and the Monterey Pop Festival.

In 2001, Scully co-authored with David Daulton a biography that surely has one of the most memorable names in rock literature, Living with the Dead.

Scully died peacefully and without suffering, allowing family members to say their farewells the night before, his brother wrote in an email to the Weekly.

[Monterey County Weekly]

TIME South Korea

Former Korean Air Exec Reported to Prosecutors Over ‘Nut Rage’

In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Cho Hyun-ah, who was head of cabin service at Korean Air and the oldest child of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho, speaks to the media upon her arrival for questioning at the Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board office of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Seoul, South Korea. Lee Jin-Man—AP

Heather Cho may have violated aviation safety law when she berated cabin crew and forced the delay of her flight

South Korea’s transport ministry will report to prosecutors the former Korean Air Lines executive who was so outraged by the way she was served nuts on a plane that she caused the flight to be delayed.

“As it has been confirmed that [Heather] Cho raised her voice and used abusive language as testified by some flight crew members and passengers, we will report her to the prosecution for potential violation of aviation safety law,” the ministry said in a statement Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The incident took place on Dec. 5 when Cho, the daughter of the airline’s chairman and previously head of its in-flight services, complained about being served macadamia nuts in a bag and not on a dish as the Korean Air plane was taxing away from the gate at John F. Kennedy airport in New York.

The jet was brought back to the gate to expel the cabin crew chief. He later said that Cho had jabbed his hand with a document folder, swore and pointed her finger at him while he kneeled to apologize.

Koreans have been angered after the airline issued an apology seemingly rationalizing Cho’s conduct by terming the cabin crew chief’s performance inadequate.

[Reuters]

TIME Germany

10,000 People Protest Against Islam in the German City of Dresden

Participants hold a banner during a demonstration called by anti-immigration group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida) in Dresden, Germany, on Dec. 15, 2014 Hannibal Hanschke—Reuters

Protesters demand immigration-policy overhaul, ruling politicians label them "Nazis in pinstripes"

A march against the “Islamization of the West” in the German city of Dresden attracted about 10,000 people on Monday.

Participants gathered under banners reading “Protect our homeland” and “No Shari‘a law in Europe,” but also the famous slogan “We are the people,” used during the demonstrations that led up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, reports the BBC.

“There’s freedom of assembly in Germany, but there’s no place for incitement and lies about people who come to us from other countries,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

“Everyone [who attends] needs to be careful that they are not taken advantage of by the people who organize such events.”

It is the ninth week in a row that a movement called Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida) is organizing protests in the German state of Saxony, but Monday’s march is the biggest by far.

Frauke Petry, Dresden leader of the Pegida-sympathetic party Alternativ für Deutschland, said the march was “protesting against inadequate legislation on asylum rights.”

Germany accepts more asylum seekers than any other country, and immigration rates have surged because of the wars in Syria and Iraq. However, a mere 2% of Saxony’s population is foreign, and only a fraction of them Muslim, the New York Times points out.

Considering the country’s troubled past with extreme right-wing politics, the protests have shocked many Germans. Justice Minister Heiko Maas has called them “a disgrace” and the Social Democrats, part of the ruling coalition, have branded them “Nazis in pinstripes.”

TIME ebola

Here Is the Lie of the Year from PolitiFact

Vaccine Research At Bavarian Nordic A/S Pharmaceuticals
An employee uses a microscope during research in a laboratory used to detect contamination in employees' clothing at the Bavarian Nordic A/S biotechnology company, where the research into infectious diseases, including the ebola vaccine, takes place in Kvistgaard, Denmark, on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Guess what spawned a "dangerous and incorrect narrative" in 2014?

PolitiFact has named the panicked response to Ebola as the 2014 Lie of the Year.

The website, which fact-checks the statements of public figures, noted 16 erroneous claims made for Ebola last year, which together produced “a dangerous and incorrect narrative.”

Those included Fox News analyst George Will’s false assertion that Ebola could spread through a sneeze or cough, Senator Rand Paul’s description of the disease as “incredibly contagious,” “very transmissible” and “easy to catch” and Congressman Phil Gingrey’s warning that migrants could carry Ebola across the U.S.’s southern border.

“When combined,” PolitiFact writes, “the claims edged the nation toward panic. Governors fought Washington over the federal response. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stumbled to explain details about transmission of the virus and its own prevention measures. American universities turned away people from Africa, whether they were near the outbreak or not.”

[PolitiFact]

TIME The Philippines

The Philippines Is Facing a Terrifying Typhoon Once Again

Residents with their belongings wait for a government vehicle to bring them to the evacuation center in Tacloban city, central Philippines, on Dec. 4, 2014 Reuters

Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, is threatening parts of the Philippines still recovering from 2013's catastrophic Typhoon Haiyan

Thousands of people are being evacuated from coastal areas of the eastern and central Philippines as Typhoon Hagupit approaches.

The massive storm, called Typhoon Ruby in the Philippines, is packing maximum sustained one-minute wind speeds of 257 km/h (160 m.p.h.) and threatens the very regions that were devastated by Supertyphoon Haiyan just 13 months ago.

The new storm has the potential to cause massive damage with storm surges, heavy rainfall and landslides, meteorologists say. That could lay waste to areas still recovering from last year’s catastrophic storm.

At least 6,300 people died, and 4 million were displaced, when Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Yolanda) crashed into the Visayas with wind speeds exceeding 300 km/h last November. Some 25,000 people in the area are still living in temporary shelters and tents.

Forecasters previously believed that Hagupit would veer north toward Japan, but on Thursday it appeared increasingly likely that it would track through the central Philippines. Hagupit’s intensity has decreased, but the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center still grades it as a Category 5 hurricane — the highest level.

The Philippines’ weather agency has issued public storm signals for 21 geographic areas, mainly along the eastern seaboard, spanning from Luzon in the north to Mindanao in the south. Schools and government offices have closed and people are lining up outside shops and gas stations to stock up on supplies.

“There’s extreme nervousness and anticipation,” says Renee Lambert, who heads the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) office in Tacloban, provincial capital of Eastern Visayas. “However, the memory of what happened during Haiyan has also increased people’s awareness and preparedness.”

Lambert says that people started preparing in earnest on Thursday, and that CRS and other relief organizations are working in close coordination with the local government, schools, churches and communities to find safe shelters.

“There’s no movement of the air at all at the moment, but it’s really heavy and humid,” she says. “People who survived Haiyan say it felt just like this in the days before Haiyan struck.”

Hagupit is expected to make landfall Saturday evening and then move extremely slowly over rugged island terrain toward the capital Manila, increasing the risk of heavy rainfall, landslides and flash floods.

TIME Italy

Disgraced Costa Concordia Captain Insists He Saved Lives

Costa Concordia Trial
Captain of Costa Concordia Francesco Schettino stands during the hearing in the court for his trial, where he gave evidence for the first time, on December 3, 2014 in Grosseto, Italy. Laura Lezza—Getty Images

He tells the court that the evacuation was delayed in order to reach shallower waters

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino claims that his decision to delay evacuation of the cruise ship saved lives.

“Had I sounded the nautical signal for abandon ship — seven long whistles and one short one — people would have thrown themselves into the water,” he said Wednesday in court, reports Sky News.

Schettino is being tried for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship after the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy in January 2012, killing 32 of its 4,299 passengers.

After hitting rocks near the island of Giglio, Schettino says he believed the ship would drift into shallower waters, which would facilitate an evacuation. He claimed to be in full control of the situation, stating that: “I was number one on the ship after God,” but also seemed to spread the blame: “It’s not like the captain is alone on a ship, it’s not like I’m a truck driver.”

Earlier in the day, a video emerged showing Schettino prepared to abandon ship, apparently contradicting his claims that he “tripped and stumbled into a lifeboat.”

During his first day on the stand on Tuesday, the former captain admitted that he had tried to impress passengers by navigating the ship closer to the coast than usual.

TIME sweden

Sweden Is Holding Snap Elections for the First Time Since 1958

Sweden Government Defeat
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven talks at a press conference at Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday Dec. 2, 2014. Pontus Lundahl—AP

Extraordinary measure comes after anti-immigrant party derails the Prime Minister's budget proposal

Sweden’s new Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called for snap elections, the country’s first in nearly 60 years, after a populist anti-immigration party trashed his attempt to build support for his first budget proposal.

The decision was announced Wednesday, a day after the Sweden Democrat party chose to back the opposition’s alternative budget, a move almost unheard of in a country long known to seek broad, political consensus, Wall Street Journal reports.

Lofven’s minority government, formed between his Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Green Party after the election on Sept. 14, was weak from the start. He has since reached out to center-right parties to find support for his budget, but the Sweden Democrats, who placed third in the election, were systematically shut out of the discussions.

This week, the Sweden Democrats said they planned to derail future budget proposals that continue current spending on immigration.

The snap election will be held on March 22.

[WSJ]

TIME Music

James Blunt’s Record Label Tried to Stop Him Mocking Twitter Trolls

James Blunt Performs At Top Of The Mountain Concert
James Blunt performs live on stage during the 'Top Of The Mountain Concert' on November 29, 2014 in Ischgl, Austria. Jan Hetfleisch — Getty Images

But the British singer will continue with his comic comebacks

British singer James Blunt, famous for the single “You’re Beautiful” and his humorous takedowns of Twitter trolls, says that his record label has tried to make him stop tweeting.

“My record label wanted me to be on [Twitter] to market myself and my albums,” Blunt told the Radio Times. “Then I went on there I saw how people could be quite abusive — not just to me but to everyone online — and I was amazed that I even considered taking it seriously … I think it’s remarkable that in this day and age we allow people to voice their opinions as if they were fact, and the fact that people take it seriously is remarkable.”

MORE: Top 10 Best Songs of 2014

Nevertheless, Blunt has tackled Twitter with serious panache, countering abusive users with often well-founded witticisms.

“I thought: I am not going to take that seriously; I am going to laugh at them and I am going to laugh at myself,” Blunt says. “So as soon as I was on Twitter I started doing that. My record label immediately asked me to stop as it opened Pandora’s box.”

MORE: Top 10 Worst Songs of 2014

Fortunately, for the sake of comedy (and to Ricky Gervais’ delight), Atlantic Records didn’t manage to talk Blunt out of tweeting, and the singer has continued blessing his feed with snappy comebacks.

[Radio Times]

Read next: The 11 Best Celebrity Twitter Bios

TIME movies

Jean-Claude Van Damme Joins the Cast of Kickboxer Remake

Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme in Turkey
Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme attends the closing ceremony of the 51st International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival on October 18, 2014 in Antalya, Turkey. Anadolu Agency — Getty Images

The "Muscles from Brussels" returns not as the student, but in the role of Master Chow

The original star of the 1989 martial arts classic Kickboxer, Jean-Claude Van Damme, is set to feature in an upcoming remake of the movie.

Van Damme is currently in final negotiations to join the cast as Master Chow, teaching a talented martial artist — played by Alain Moussi from X-Men: Days of Future Past — who has come to Thailand to learn kickboxing in order to avenge his brother’s death, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“We are so excited to have Kickboxer roll into production and to have JCVD in the role of Master Chow, passing the torch to Alain, to have him lead the franchise to a new generation ” said Ted Field of Radar Films, who is co-producing the movie.

The movie, which starts shooting this week will also feature UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who played Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Shooting is slated to begin this week and the movie is expected to hit theaters in 2015, reports Rolling Stone.

TIME Military

Bipartisan Push for Military to Improve Handling of Sex-Assault Cases

Senators Hold Briefing To Propose An Independent Military Justice System
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (2nd R) speaks during a news conference on changing the military justice system, as U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (L), U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (2ndL) and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (R) listen December 2, 2014 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson — Getty Images

The bill needed only five more votes last time

The former chief prosecutor of the Air Force has thrown his weight behind Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s second push to change how the military handles sexual assault allegations.

Retired Col. Don Christensen joined a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, to support Gillibrand at a news conference Tuesday, reports USA Today.

“The reality is, the commanders cannot solve this problem because too often they are the enablers,” said Christensen, who quit the Air Force in September after concluding that it was impossible to change the service from within.

The bill would prevent commanders from playing a part in choosing which sexual assault cases will lead to prosecution. Introduced in the Senate earlier this year, the bill was five votes short of getting passed.

Gillibrand says she hopes Christensen’s advocacy and the lack of significant improvements by the military over recent months will persuade senators to switch position.

A new version of the bill could arrive at House and Senate floors this week.

[USA Today]

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