TIME movies

VIDEO: Brittany Murphy’s Final Movie to be Released in Theaters, Years After Her Death

The film is the final addition to a long list of movies featuring the Clueless actress

Brittany Murphy’s last performance will finally hit the big screen — more than four years after her death in 2009.

The film, Something Wicked, is a psychological thriller in which Murphy plays a psychiatrist attempting to uncover sinister forces causing a newlywed couple’s relationship to deteriorate.

Producer Joe Colleran praised Murphy’s acting in a 2011 interview with USA Today, calling a moment in the film “one of the best scenes of her career.”

The movie will first be released in on April 4 in Eugene, Oregon — in honor of where it was filmed — and will then spread to various theaters in the following weeks.

TIME Music

Rolling Stones Cancel Show After L’Wren Scott’s Death

2011 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals
L'Wren Scott and Mick Jagger arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party hosted by Graydon Carter held at Sunset Tower on February 27, 2011 in West Hollywood, California. Mark Sullivan—WireImage/Getty Images

The rock group has canceled the first concert of its Australian tour after the unexpected death of L'Wren Scott, the fashion designer and long-term partner of Mick Jagger, who was found dead in her Manhattan apartment on Monday

The Rolling Stones have canceled the first concert of their Australian tour following the sudden death of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott.

Scott—a former model who reinvented herself as a sought-after stylist and critically acclaimed designer—was found dead in her New York apartment on Monday, in an apparent suicide. The same day, Mick Jagger, her partner of 13 years, landed in Perth with his band to kick off a tour of Australia and New Zealand. The group’s first concert, scheduled for Wednesday, was canceled after Jagger learned about Scott’s death. Jagger posted a note on his Facebook page Tuesday saying he was “struggling to understand” his partner’s death.

The Stones are scheduled to play five more concerts in Australia, but it’s not clear what will happen for the rest of the tour’s scheduled dates. According to The Guardian, organizers released a statement that simply said, “No further information is available at this time and ticket holders are asked to hold on to their tickets until a further update.”

[Guardian]

TIME fashion

A Look Back at L’Wren Scott’s Relationship With Mick Jagger

The famous designer who dressed Michelle Obama was found dead in her New York home Monday from an apparent suicide

MORE: L’Wren Scott Found Dead In Apparent Suicide

TIME Syria

Report: More Than 146,000 People Killed in Syrian Civil War

Syrians look at the destruction following an airstrike by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on March 5, 2014.
Syrians look at the destruction following an airstrike by government forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on March 5, 2014. Baraa Al-Halabi—AFP/Getty Images

The latest figure from the U.K.-based anti-government group, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, helps quantify the massive toll of Syria's three-year civil war, with about half of those reported deaths consisting of civilians

More than 146,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year civil war, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday.

The report from the Observatory, an anti-government group that tracks violence across Syria, offers an updated death toll since the United Nations said in July that at least 100,000 people had been killed.

The UN said in January that it would stop updating the figure, and it is impossible to verify the Observatory’s figure, collected from a network of sources in Syria.

Roughly half of the 146,065 deaths were civilians, including 7,796 children.

UNICEF said in a report this month that 1.2 million children have fled the country and 5.5 million Syrian children in and outside the country are in need of humanitarian assistance.

TIME Turkey

Turkey Prepares To Bury Teenage Victim of Protests

Berkin Elvan, the teenager who died on Tuesday, months after being struck in the head by a police teargas canister during demonstrations in Istanbul, will be laid to rest Wednesday. His death has rekindled protests across the city

Thousands of people gathered in Istanbul on Wednesday in preparation for the funeral of a teenage boy who died this week after being hit by a police teargas canister during demonstrations last year.

The death of Berkin Elvan, 15, on Tuesday sparked demonstrations in cities across the country. The teenager fell into a coma after a blow to the head from a police teargas canister during clashes between demonstrators and security forces in June 2013, reports the BBC. At the time, Elvan was on the way to buy bread for his family. After his funeral in Cemevi, a march is due to take place through the center of the city.

The demonstrations started last year in response to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempts to close down a park in the center of Istanbul, paving the way for a shopping mall, but spiraled into widespread protests against his leadership. Elvan’s injury became a rallying point for anti-state protesters. His death is the eighth linked to clashes between demonstrators and state security forces.

President Abdullah Gül sent a message to Elvan’s family, admitting that “the mind of the state has become overwhelmed by anger and hatred.”

[AP]

TIME

Congress to Investigate GM’s Recall of 1.6 Million Vehicles

General Motors-Recall
David Goldman—AP

A U.S. Congressional committee says it will investigate General Motors amid reports that its employees knew, as early as 2004, of a potential lethal defect involving 1.6 million vehicles that would quickly turn off the engine

A U.S. congressional committee said it would investigate General Motor’s delayed recall of 1.6 million vehicles with a potentially lethal defect.

The BBC reports that as early as 2004, GM employees knew of a fault in the ignition that could suddenly switch off the car’s engine. Over the course of 11 years, safety regulators received 250 complaints from drivers who had suddenly lost control of their cars, according to the New York Times. Neither the car maker nor the regulators reacted to the warning signs until last month, when an internal GM investigation linked the deaths of 13 drivers to the faulty ignition.

Rep. Fred Upton said Congress would hold a hearing in the coming weeks to seek “detailed information” from both GM and safety regulators.

[BBC]

TIME strange news

Mummified Body Discovered in Foreclosed Detroit Home

Neighbors say she might have been there for years

A Detroit contractor was going through a foreclosed home on Wednesday only to find its owner’s reportedly mummified body in the back of her car, parked in the garage.

Neighbors told the local CBS affiliate it had been years since they had seen their 40-something neighbor—some said three and others as many as six years since last sighting—but they hadn’t thought about it since she traveled frequently and might have moved.

Police are investigating the cause of her death, although remains frozen to the vehicle have complicated the autopsy process.

[CBS]

TIME Dementia

Alzheimer’s Bigger Killer Than We Realize, Study Says

Research found that medical staff often lists people's immediate cause of death, such as pneumonia, on death certificates, when Alzheimer's was the underlying cause. If properly accounted for, Alzheimer's could rival heart disease and cancer as a leading cause of death

Alzheimer’s disease kills more Americans than we realize, researchers say.

Death certificates often do not list dementia as the underlying cause of death. Instead, the immediate cause, like pneumonia, is listed, obscuring Alzheimer’s-related deaths, according to Bryan D. James of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and lead author of a study published in the journal Neurology.

The researchers followed 2,566 people between the ages 65 and older who had yearly tests for dementia. After about eight years, 1,090 of the participants died, and 559 of the participants who did not have dementia at the start of the study developed Alzheimer’s disease. The death rate among participants was four times higher after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in people between 75 to 84, and almost three times higher in people over age 85.

The researchers say this equates to an estimated 503,400 deaths from Alzheimer’s in Americans over age 75 in 2010. This is six times greater than the 83,494 deaths from Alzheimer’s disease the CDC reported. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC. Heart disease and cancer are numbers one and two, at 597,689 and 574,743 deaths, respectively.

“Determining the true effects of dementia in this country is important for raising public awareness and identifying research priorities regarding this epidemic,” said James in a statement.

TIME Biology

How to Know If Someone’s Really Dead

Walter Williams in the hospital.
Walter Williams in the hospital in early March. Courtesy of Eddie Hester

A close call at a funeral home has anyone who plans to die one day worrying

Correction added Feb. 28, 2014

Dead is dead—except when it isn’t. That’s the lesson 78-year old Walter Williams of Holmes County, Miss., learned late Wednesday night when he woke up in a body bag on an embalmer’s table, a wee bit more alive than the coroner had declared him to be. Williams, by all accounts, was the victim of bad luck, a sputtering pacemaker and a coronor who maybe hadn’t read the How To Know Someone’s Really Dead chapter when the rest of the class was studying it.

So how often does this happen and what are the odds that you will ever find yourself Zip-Locked for freshness when you’ve still got a bit of life in you?

Pronouncing someone dead has always been an inexact art. The tradition of the wake—or at least a day or two’s mourning period before the funeral—began as a way to give a body a fighting chance to show if it was alive. “The point was to make sure the dead guy is indeed a dead guy,” says Thomas Lynch, a funeral director and best-selling author of The Undertaking: Life Studies From the Dismal Trade, upon which the TV series Six Feet Under was based. “The living have been getting mistaken for the dead for a long time.”

But that was then (OK, if you’re Walter Williams, that was Wednesday) and methods have improved. When someone dies in a hospital, attending physicians do what’s known as “running a tape,” hooking the suspected deceased up to equipment that reads brain waves, heartbeat and respiration. When things go flat line—and stay that way—you’ve probably got yourself a body. Paramedics and other first responders have portable equipment that does the same thing, with the results getting beamed back to a hospital for confirmation.

Further tests make things more certain still. Bedside ultrasound can confirm lack of heart activity, says Dr. Robert Glatter of the department of emergency medicine at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. Brain death can be confirmed by the absence of brainstem reflexes, among other things, as well as the “doll’s eye test,” in which the head is moved from side to side with the eyes open. When the brain is dead, the eyes will not fix on the person in front of them, and will instead simply move with the head.

So what went wrong in Williams’ case? Everything. After he appeared to have suffered heart failure, the local coroner was duly called, and, according to Sheriff Willie March, did a less exacting job than he might have. “The coroner checked for wounds, didn’t get a pulse, and declared he had crossed over,” says March.

In some respects the rules were obeyed, since laws in all 50 states forbid a funeral home to take possession of a body until an authorized medical officer certifies the death. The problem is, not every state has the same definition of what such a person is.

“A coroner is not a medical officer,” says Lynch. “Often it’s just the local undertaker or the local favorite of whoever is in charge.” That may well not have been the case in the current mix-up, but the betting is that the standards will be tightened in the future. Until then, if you must die—and, says Lynch, “the numbers are right around 100% on that”—at least do it outside of Holmes County.

The reassuring news for most of us: The chances of a mix-up happening are exceedingly slim.

-with reporting from Charlotte Alter

An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the Lenox Hill Hospital emergency care physician. He is Dr. Robert Glatter, not Glattner.

TIME europe

World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor Dies Aged 110

Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest-known survivor of the Holocaust, who died in London on Sunday morning at the age of 110, in July 2010.
Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest-known survivor of the Holocaust, who died in London on Sunday morning at the age of 110, in July 2010. The Lady in Number 6/Bunbury Films/AP

Alice Herz-Sommer spent two years in a Nazi concentration camp in WWII

The oldest survivor of the Holocaust passed away on Sunday aged 110, the BBC reports.

Alice Herz-Sommer, born in 1903 in Prague, was detained in the concentration camp Terezin for two years during WWII. Although her 73-year-old mother was sent to the extermination camp Treblinka, Herz-Sommer and her son Stephen were among the fewer than 20,000 people set free during the liberation of the camps by Soviet forces in 1945.

In the years after her release she became a successful pianist and music teacher at the Jerusalem Conservatory, before relocating to London in 1986. Her love of music was said to have sustained her and her fellow inmates while in the camp, where they would occasionally manage to organize concerts. A film about her life entitled The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life has been nominated for an award in the category of Best Short Documentary in next month’s Academy Awards.

Herz-Sommer stated that music was “our food. Through making music we were kept alive.” Her grandson Ariel Sommer stated that “she was an inspiration and our world will be significantly poorer without her by our side.”

[BBC]

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