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Schwarzenegger recovering after getting pacemaker

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is in recovery after undergoing a surgical procedure to get a pacemaker.

On Monday’s episode of his Arnold’s Pump Club podcast, the 76-year-old shared that he underwent surgery to have a pacemaker implanted.

“I have some personal news to share. Last Monday, I had surgery for a pacemaker and became a little bit more of a machine,” he announced.

Despite admitting that opening up about his health so publicly “goes against so much of my upbringing in Austria,” he said he wanted to be transparent given so many have shared with him their own heart health stories and by sharing his story it gives “them courage and hope to deal with their own” and “it only feels right to talk about this.”

“First of all, I want you to know I’m doing great! I had my surgery on Monday, and by Friday, I was already at a big environmental event with my friend and fellow fitness crusader Jane Fonda,” he continued, praising Fonda as someone who is “healthy” and “looks fantastic.”

“Nobody would ever have thought I started the week with a surgery. I want to thank my whole team at the Cleveland Clinic. All of the doctors and nurses took amazing care of me and made the surgery as painless as possible,” he added.

The surgery was prompted by some scar tissue from Schwarzenegger’s previous procedures, he said, which made his heartbeat irregular and he went to get a full check-up every year. “That’s life with a genetic heart issue. But you won’t hear me complaining,” he said.

Schwarzenegger credited his being “diligent and staying in touch with my doctors and listening to them” for him being in the healthy condition he’s in today. He then shared that his mom did not get the valve replacement surgery and died in 1998.

“I had my valves replaced for the first time in 1997, which required open heart surgery. They told me both valves would last 12 to 15 years,” he reflected. He then went in for surgery to get both replaced again in 2018 and 2020. After his surgeries, he said he would check in “all of the time” with his doctors to share his heart rate information from home and that they would advise when a pacemaker was needed.

After going in for a normal checkup at the beginning of March when headed to the Arnold Sports Festival, Schwarzenegger said doctors did “a full series of tests” to monitor his heart. He said that “all the extra work your heart does” from having an irregular heartbeat “wears you out.” He added, “If could be honest with you I struggled with those 16-hour days at the Arnold Sports Festival.”

Schwarzenegger’s doctor later told him that based on his results, he needed to get the pacemaker, especially given he was going to film season two of FUBAR. “Monday I went under and got my new machine part installed,” he said.

“I can’t do my serious training in the gym for a while, but I will be 100 percent ready for FUBAR next month,” he shared.

“I could have kept it a secret. But I know that we have more than 750,000 subscribers now on the daily newsletter. … I know a lot of you are probably dealing with your own health challenges and I want you to know you aren’t alone,” he said. “And if you’re putting something off out of fear, I hope I inspire you to listen to your doctors and take care of yourself.”

(hollywoodreporter.com)

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2024 Bon Odori festival held in Colombo

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The National Youth Services Council (NYSC), in collaboration with the Japanese Solidarity Association (JSA) and the Embassy of Japan, successfully hosted the Bon Odori Festival 2024 at the NYSC premises in Maharagama. Despite the rainy weather, a significant crowd of both Sri Lankan and Japanese nationals attended the festival, highlighting the strong cultural ties between the two nations.

A customary Japanese festival, the Bon Odori Festival honours and says adieu to ancestor spirits. The event this year included a diverse array of acts and events that highlighted the lively customs of Sri Lanka and Japan.

The festival featured a Bon Odori dance to popular songs “Tokyo Ondo” and “Tanko Bushi,” which were performed by students from the Japanese School in Colombo and the Lanka Nippon BizTech Institute (LNBTI). In addition to the Bon Dance, the following performances have given the cultural event a captivating touch:
• Traditional Japanese drum performances (Wadaiko) by students from the Japanese School in Colombo and NYSC
• The Japanese dance “Nanchu Soran,” performed by students from the Japanese School in Colombo
• Karate performances by NYSC students
• J-Pop dance routines by LNBTI students
• Japanese and Sinhala songs performed by JICA Volunteers and
• A blend of traditional Japanese and Sri Lankan dances by NYSC students.

With her live performance, a renowned Japanese singer and long-time supporter of JICA, Ms. Mayo Shono, who was in Sri Lanka for the third time, brought this year’s Bon Odori event a splash of colour and vibrancy with her dulcet voice.
Distinguished participants graced the occasion, including Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, H.E. Mr. MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, Mr. Pasindu Gunaratne, Chairman of NYSC, and Mr. HOTTA Mikinaga, President of JSA.

Numerous food vendors from well-known Japanese eateries, such as Nihonbashi, Sushi Bar Samurai, Yamato, Ginza Hohsen, Kuuraku, Minori, Shikisen, and Sakura Coffee Farm, were present in the festival grounds. In addition, the NYSC cooking class also had its stall, offering a diverse range of Japanese cuisine and popular Sri Lankan dishes. The event also featured stalls from the Origami Folders Association of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Bonsai Association, JICA volunteers, Japanese Solidarity Association Bazaar, and the Japanese local government promotion by the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR).

The Bon Odori Festival 2024 was a resounding success, where even the heavy rain not just could not douse the enthusiasm but rather turned out to be stoking log for further strengthening the cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and Sri Lanka. The organizers extend their heartfelt thanks to all participants, sponsors, and attendees for their support and participation, which made the event a memorable celebration of friendship and cultural heritage.

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Stars to return for first Shrek film for 16 years

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Shrek’s long-awaited return has been confirmed, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz all set to return for the lovable green ogre’s first film for 16 years.

A plotline for the movie is yet to be revealed, but Myers will play the title character, Diaz will voice Shrek’s wife Princess Fiona and Murphy will return as sidekick Donkey.

Announcing the news, DreamWorks Animation said on X: “Not too Far, Far Away… Shrek 5 is coming to theatres on July 1 2026 with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz.”

The first film was released back in 2001, and won the first Oscar for best animated feature film.

It was a huge hit for DreamWorks, making $487m worldwide at the box office.

Shrek 2 was released in 2004, Shrek The Third came out in 2007, and Shrek Forever After hit cinemas in 2010.

Shrek 5 will in fact be the seventh film in the wider franchise, after Antonio Banderas’ character had two spin-off films – Puss In Boots and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish.

It is unknown whether Bandreas will be back for Shrek 5.

Murphy hinted in an interview with Collider last month that Donkey could also be getting his own spin-off movie.

He also said work on Shrek 5 started “months ago”.

“I recorded the first act, and we’ll be doing it this year, we’ll finish it up,” he said.

“Shrek is coming out and Donkey’s gonna have his own movie.”

(BBC News)

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Hollywood icon Paramount agrees $28bn merger deal

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One of Hollywood’s oldest companies, Paramount Global, has agreed to merge with independent film studio Skydance Media.

Under the deal, Paramount’s non-executive chair Shari Redstone will sell her family’s controlling stake in the company in a complex transaction that will result in a new firm worth around $28bn (£21.9bn).

It marks the end of an era for the Redstone family, whose late patriarch, Sumner Redstone, transformed a chain of drive-in cinemas into a vast media empire.

As well as Paramount, the group includes the television networks CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

“Our hope is that the Skydance transaction will enable Paramount’s continued success in this rapidly changing environment,” Ms Redstone said in a statement.

According to the company its TV channels have a global reach of over 4.3 billion subscribers across more than 180 countries.

The merger would combine Paramount, home of classic films such as Chinatown and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, with its financial partner on several recent big releases, including Top Gun: Maverick and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Under the agreement, Skydance will invest around $8bn in Paramount, including paying $2.4bn for National Amusements, which controls the group.

National Amusements owns just 10% of Paramount Group’s shares but accounts for almost 80% of its voting rights.

Paramount said it expected to close the deal by the summer of next year.

Paramount Global traces its origins back more than a century to the founding of Paramount Pictures Corporation in 1914.

The studio has made many hit films, including the Godfather, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible series.

But the entertainment giant has struggled over the past decade. Paramount Global’s shares have fallen by more than 75% in the last five years.

Skydance is owned by David Ellison, the son of Larry Ellison, who founded US technology giant Oracle.

The announcement came after eight months of negotiations that saw Redstone holding talks with a number of potential partners including Sony and private equity firm Apollo.

In April, Paramount’s chief executive Bob Bakish left the company after clashing with Ms Redstone over the planned Skydance deal.

The deal comes as the global entertainment industry is being transformed by the video-streaming revolution.

(BBC News)

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