(CNN)Here is a look at the life of actor Morgan Freeman.

Birth date:
June 1, 1937
Birth place: Memphis, Tennessee
    Birth name: Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Jr.
    Father: Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Sr., a barber
    Mother: Mayme Edna (Revere) Freeman, a teacher
    Marriages: Myrna (Colley-Lee) Freeman (June 16, 1984-September 15, 2010, divorced); Jeanette Adair (Bradshaw) Freeman (October 22, 1967-November 18, 1979, divorced)
    Children: with Jeanette Adair Bradshaw: Deena (adopted by Freeman); Morgana, 1971; Saifoulaye, 1960 (mother’s name unavailable publicly); with Loletha Adkins: Alphonso, 1959
    Education: Studied acting at Los Angeles City College in the early 1960s
    Military service: U.S. Air Force, 1955-1959
    Other Facts:
    Nominated for one Tony Award and five Academy Awards; winner of one Academy Award: Best Supporting Actor for “Million Dollar Baby,” 2004.
    Co-founder of the movie production company Revelations Entertainment.
    Has narrated two Academy Award winning documentaries: “The Long Way Home,” 1997 and “March of the Penguins,” 2005.
    Since January 2010, his voice can be heard on the introduction of the CBS Evening News.
    1970s –
    Plays Count Dracula on “The Electric Company.”
    1990s – Starts the Rock River Foundation for education in Mississippi.
    2004 – Wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for “Million Dollar Baby,” 2004.
    2008 – Receives Kennedy Center Honors.
    2012 – Receives the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

    Source article at => http://edition.cnn.com/

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    Today, there are more campaigns than ever designed to get kids outside and playing instead of staying indoors in front of screens. The NFL has the “Play 60” movement that encourages kids to go outdoors for at least 60 minutes per day, the Wilderness Society has an aptly named campaign, “Go Outside and Play,” and there are a litany of studies suggesting that the reason children are so obese nowadays is the lack of physical stimulation and the prevalence of video games.

    Tyson Leavitt looks to combat all of that. He is the creator of Charmed Playhouses, a company that builds elaborate little houses for children.

    Leavitt takes his inspiration from the families he builds the houses for — each design caters to the kids’ interests.

    The playhouses are extraordinary, and sometimes the cost can reflect that. Charmed has playhouses that go for anywhere between $7,000 and $100,000.

    With the customized nature of the product and the handcrafted designs, Leavitt’s company is really taking off considering it’s only been around for a year. He has clients all over the country and the rest of North America.

    Their team has grown from three employees to 15 in a relatively short amount of time.

    They also now have an impressive warehouse complete with all the necessary tools and machinery.

    The company even has a TLC TV deal set up for later this year. It’s sure to solidify Leavitt’s team and their awesome designs in the industry.

    He already has tons of orders in the pipeline. Some are for celebrities (Steph Curry is a client), while others are just for normal families.

    It just goes to show that a “stupid idea” — Leavitt’s words — can become great if it’s well executed with a passionate team helping out.

    (via BuzzFeed)

    Leavitt says that the best part of the job is seeing people’s faces when the job is finished. I can believe that! These playhouses are amazing.

    Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/charmed-playhouse/

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    Military spokesman says US-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces carried out 20 strikes over the past four days, leading to the death of Isis commander there

    US-led coalition strikes supporting Iraqi forces in the push to recapture Falluja have killed 70 Islamic State militants including the groups commander in the city, according to the US military.

    Maher al-Bilawi, commander of Islamic State fighters in Falluja, was killed on Wednesday, said Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led military campaign against Isis.

    Warren said the coalition had carried out 20 strikes in support of the campaign over the past four days.

    Meanwhile, a Shia militia leader said the final battle to recapture the Islamic State stronghold near Baghdad will start in days, not weeks, as new reports emerged of people starving to death in the besieged Sunni city.


    The first phase of the offensive that started on Monday is nearly finished, with the complete encirclement of the city that lies 50km west of the Iraqi capital, said Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the Iranian-backed Badr Organisation.

    Wearing military fatigues, Amiri spoke to state TV from the operations area with the prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, standing by his side in the black uniform of Iraqs counter-terrorism force.

    At the end of last year, Abadi said 2016 would be the year of the final victory over Islamic State, which declared a caliphate two years ago in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.

    Falluja is a bastion of the insurgency that fought the US occupation of Iraq and the Shia-led authorities that replaced Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, a Sunni.

    It was the first city captured by Islamic State in Iraq, in January 2014, and is the second-largest still held by the militants after Mosul, their de facto capital.

    Amiri said this week the Shia paramilitary coalition known as Popular Mobilisation would only take part in the encirclement operations, and would let the army storm Falluja.

    It would only enter the city if the armys attack failed.

    Amiri called on civilians to leave from a south-western exit called al-Salam (Peace) Junction. But the United Nations said on Friday about 50,000 civilians were being prevented by the hardline Sunni militants from escaping.

    Those who did manage to flee the city reported some people were dying of starvation, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.

    The Norwegian Refugee Council on Thursday reported similar accounts from displaced people interviewed at a camp near Falluja.

    Food has been in very short supply. We are hearing accounts that people are relying on expired rice and dried dates and thats about it for their diet, a UNHCR spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, told a news briefing in Geneva.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us

    The former GOP candidate said he wants to be helpful in securing presidency for Republicans amid calls for Rubio to seek re-election for Florida senate seat

    Marco Rubio has signaled a thaw in his attitude to Donald Trump, saying that if asked he will speak on behalf of his former rival at the Republican convention in Cleveland in July.

    The Florida senator was less willing to come around on the matter of seeking re-election, even as top Republicans mount a campaign to pressure him into doing so.

    Rubio, who dropped out of the presidential race in March, after losing his home state to Trump, told CNN he planned to attend the Republican convention and would be willing to help the nominee despite differences on policy and the brutal echoes of a primary in which, responding to the billionaires taunts, Rubio called Trump a con artist and said he was too erratic to have access to the nuclear codes.

    Yes Id certainly, yes, Rubio said when asked if he would speak for Trump. I want to be helpful. I dont want to be harmful because I dont want Hillary Clinton to be president.

    Look, my policy differences with Donald Trump I spent 11 months talking about them, he added in the interview, which will air in full on CNNs State of the Union on Sunday.

    So I think theyre well understood. That said, I dont want Hillary Clinton to be president. If theres something I can do to help that from happening, and its helpful to the cause, Id most certainly be honored to be considered for that.

    Although Rubio had already committed to backing Trump, his latest comments stood in stark contrast to the impassioned pleas he made when the two were squaring off just months ago.

    In the final weeks of his campaign, Rubio embraced the #NeverTrump hashtag. Speaking to the Guardian the day before he left the race, he said Trump was an embarrassment for whom the Republican party would pay a big price in November and beyond.

    You have all kinds of people that are lifelong conservatives, or at least claim to be, who dont seem to care that Donald Trump has never been and is not now a conservative on principles, Rubio said in that interview, on the eve of the 15 March Florida primary. And theyve staked their reputation on their support of him.

    To CNN, Rubio also said he would release the 167 delegates he secured in winning the Minnesota, Puerto Rico and District of Columbia primaries. But he again ruled out any interest in serving as Trumps running mate.

    He won the nomination and he deserves to have a running mate that more fully embraces some of the things he stands for, Rubio said.

    Later in the day, the senator explained to Florida reporters that Trump was substantially better than Clinton and he would vote for him.

    The one other choice is someone who I believe is corrupt, Rubio said, according to the Miami Herald. Im not supporting her, and Im not going to abstain from voting.

    Separately, Rubio spent much of the day trying to quell speculation that he might reconsider his decision not to run for re-election. On Thursday Republican leaders in the Senate openly encouraged him to reverse course, ahead of Floridas filing deadline on 24 June.

    In a closed-door lunch, the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, conducted a poll in which virtually everyone raised their hands when asked if the 44-year-old should jump back into the race. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called on Rubio to do so, as did the foreign relations committee chairman, Bob Corker.

    Corker, from Tennessee, said in a statement: Marco Rubio is a very valuable member of the Senate especially in his role on the Senate foreign relations committee, where he demonstrates a deep understanding of foreign policy.

    Rubio has repeatedly insisted that from January he will be a private citizen once again. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the senator said: For me, I need time to even talk to anybody about it, but my sense of it is nothing has changed in my thinking.

    I didnt think it was fair for me to run for president and freeze that seat in a competitive state I made that decision and Ive lived by that decision. Nothings changed.

    Republicans have voiced growing concerns over the Florida Senate race, in which a crowded primary has threatened the partys chances. A longtime friend of Rubio, Floridas lieutenant governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, is among the Republican hopefuls. Rubio has edged closer to endorsing Lopez-Cantera, hosting a fundraiser in Washington earlier this month.

    I have a very close personal friend in this race and I think hes a good candidate, Rubio said. Asked how he would respond if Lopez-Cantera were to bow out, he said: I dont do hypotheticals.

    Its not like the Democrats have the greatest candidate, Rubio added, in reference to Democratic contenders Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson, both of whom serve in the House of Representatives.

    One guy keeps exaggerating his biography and the other guy is a certified lunatic.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us

    Three teens have been charged over the attack, which took place after one of the victims teammates pretended to give him a hug, lawsuit says

    A black teenager who prosecutors say was sexually assaulted by three white football players in the locker room of a Idaho high school has sued the school district, alleging the rape was the culmination of months of racist taunts and physical abuse.

    The federal lawsuit filed on 13 May says the school failed to prevent bullying and attacks despite many incidents happening in front of football coaches and other officials at Dietrich High School, which serves a rural town of 330 people that is predominantly white and known for being religious.

    The deliberate indifference and negligent actions of these defendants exposed the plaintiff to harm from fellow students, including at least one student known to have a history of aggressive, bullying and violent behavior, the lawsuit says.

    School officials declined to comment.

    Three teens have been charged in the 23 October attack, which took place after one of the victims football teammates pretended to give him a hug, according to the lawsuit. Instead, the teen held him down so another student could assault him with a clothes hanger.

    Despite his screams, no staff members came into the locker room to investigate what was going on, the lawsuit says. It contends that the school had no policy for monitoring locker rooms.

    An 18-year-old and 17-year-old have been charged with felonies in adult court, and a third teen is charged as a juvenile. Idaho law mandates that juveniles ages 14 to 18 accused of certain felony crimes on or near school campuses be charged as adults. That includes the sex assault charge.

    The Associated Press typically does not name victims of sexual assault or juveniles who have been charged with crimes.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us

    Similar bans are now in effect in at least 13 states across the US; supporters of the bill cite the disputed claim that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks

    Republican governor Nikki Haley signed legislation on Wednesday that immediately outlaws most abortions in South Carolina at 20 weeks beyond fertilization.

    The only exceptions are if the mothers life is in jeopardy or a doctor determines the fetus cannot survive outside the womb.

    Doctors face up to $10,000 in fines and three years in prison for each violation; prison time is mandatory on a third conviction.

    These bans are now in effect in at least 13 states and blocked by court challenges in several others. South Dakotas ban takes effect on 1 July.

    Women nationwide have the right to obtain abortions under the US supreme courts 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, which said states could restrict abortions after viability the point when a fetus has a reasonable chance of surviving outside the uterus. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks, the ruling said.

    The supreme court has yet to rule on bans that would limit even earlier abortions.

    As in other states, South Carolinas law ties the fetuss age to conception, rather than a womens monthly cycle. But since this date cannot be scientifically pinpointed, the ban actually refers to what doctors consider a gestational age of 22 weeks.

    Supporters of the bill cite the disputed claim that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. Opponents say later-term abortions usually happen with wanted pregnancies that go horribly wrong.

    Protesters in South Carolina. Advocates for abortion rights say the measure is aimed at restricting womens access to safe, legal abortions. Photograph: Jeffrey Collins/AP

    The reality is that abortion later in pregnancy is extremely rare and often takes place in complex and difficult situations where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available, said Alyssa Miller, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman for South Carolina.

    South Carolinas definition of fetal anomaly makes it illegal to abort a fetus with a severe disability if the child could live. Such anomalies are generally detected around 20 weeks.

    Advocates for abortion rights contend these measures are aimed at restricting womens access to a safe, legal abortion.

    The sponsor of South Carolinas law, state representative Wendy Nanney, said the killing needed to stop, and saw this law as a step to eventually get rid of abortion altogether.

    Haleys signature comes only days after Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma vetoed legislation to outlaw the procedure at any stage, by making it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion. Fallin, a Republican who opposes abortion, said the measure would not withstand a legal challenge.

    Abortion-rights supporters rallied on Tuesday at the statehouse to ask Haley to veto the measure. But Haleys signature was no surprise.

    Im strongly pro-life, very pro-life and not because my party tells me to be, but my husband was adopted, and so every day I know the blessings of having him there, Haley said during her 2010 campaign for governor.

    As a house member that year, Haley voted to end abortion coverage for victims of rape and incest in the state health plan for employees. The senate defeated that proposal.

    In 2012, Haley signed a bill intended to ensure that a fetus surviving an abortion attempt is not treated as medical waste. It defined a person as anyone who is breathing and has a beating heart after birth, whether by labor, cesarean section, or abortion, copying a 2002 federal law enforceable on federal property.

    The ban would affect only hospitals, since none of the three abortion clinics in South Carolina provide abortions beyond 15 weeks.

    On average, fewer than 30 abortions yearly are performed at 20 weeks gestation or beyond in South Carolina, according to data since 1990 from the states public health agency. Most of these women have been white, married and older than 24, according to the agency.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us

    Renan Calheiros heard in wire tap suggesting changes to use of plea bargains for people arrested in the Petrobras scandal

    The president of Brazils senate has been put on the defensive with the release of a secretly recorded conversation that reveals him proposing to weaken one of the key tools prosecutors have used to trap politicians and businessmen in a sweeping corruption scandal.

    The released transcript and audio, published by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, appears to feed widespread suspicions that top lawmakers are trying to stifle investigations into billions of dollars of alleged bribes involving the state oil company, Petrobras.

    The conversation shows senate leader Renan Calheiros suggesting legal changes to bar the use of plea bargains for people who have been arrested. Prosecutors have used such deals, offering lighter sentences to persuade suspects to implicate high-ranking businessmen and politicians, including Calheiros.

    You cant make a plea deal while arrested. Thats the first thing, Calheiros allegedly said in a wide-ranging conversation about the Petrobras probe with Sergio Machado, an ex-senator and former head of another state oil company, Transpetro. Machado is also being investigated.

    The Supreme Federal Tribunal, Brazils highest court, is considering seven investigations against Calheiros in the Petrobras probe. Even so, in the recording, Calheiros said he could negotiate with the justices a transition from president Dilma Rousseff to vice president Michel Temer. He didnt provide details in the taped conversation.

    Rousseff was suspended by a Senate impeachment vote earlier this month and Temer has taken over as acting president while senators put her on trial within six months.

    Calheiross office issued a statement acknowledging the conversation but insisting that the talks dont reveal, indicate or suggest any mention or attempt to interfere with the Petrobras probe.

    Later on Wednesday, in another tap obtained and published by Folha, former president Jos Sarney promised Machado that he would help him overcome the Petrobras probe. Sarney, a political heavyweight whose son is environment minister, said he would work to keep the investigation against Machado out of the hands of lower court judge Sergio Moro.

    Moro, the lead judge on the Petrobras probe, has gone after many people who dont hold federal elected offices or cabinet positions. Only the Supreme Federal Tribunal can decide to try the latter.

    In a statement, Sarney said he was driven by solidary to help Machado. I regret that private conversations become public because they can hurt others we would never want to reach, he said.

    The newspaper did not say when or by whom the recordings were made. However, on Wednesday, the Supreme Federal Tribunal announced that Machado had reached a plea bargain with prosecutors, making it a strong possibility he made the taps.

    The court did not provide details of the deal and Machados whereabouts could not be determined.

    The newly leaked audios came two days after another leak, also involving Machado, raised suggestions that this months impeachment and suspension of Rousseff was part of an attempt to stifle the Petrobras investigations.

    That audio showed Romero Juc, a senator who was part of the cabinet named to replace Rousseffs, strategising with Machado about impeaching Rousseff to stop the bleeding. Juc announced he was taking a leave of absence within hours after the recording was released.

    Rousseff has repeatedly said the allegations that she broke fiscal rules in managing the federal budget are a cover for a coup aimed partly at limiting the Petrobras probe.

    On Wednesday, the senates impeachment commission was considering a timeline for Rousseffs trial.

    Senator Antonio Anastasia suggested the final vote happen on 2 August, only three days before the opening of the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. More than 100 heads of state are expected to arrive in the days before the games begin.

    Rousseffs allies have said a schedule should not be set until after her defence is sent to the commission next week.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us

    Books, originally sold as separate lots, were all purchased by anonymous American collector from Christies auction

    Copies of William Shakespeares first four books, dubbed the Holy Grail of publishing, have sold for almost 2.5m at auction.

    Christies said they were sold as separate lots on Wednesday but were all bought by an anonymous private American collector.

    The 2,479,000 sale in London included the bards first folio, which is widely considered to be the most important literary publication in the English language. The book, published in 1623, contains 36 plays, 18 of which had not appeared in print before. It fetched 1.87m, well above its pre-sale estimate of between 800,000 and 1.2m.

    Christies book expert Margaret Ford said it was exhilarating to bring the newly recorded book to the publics attention on the 400th anniversary of the playwrights death. It was sold along with later editions published in 1632, 1664 and 1685.

    Ford said: We are pleased with the results achieved in the sale especially since all four books were acquired by the same private American collector. The universality and timelessness of Shakespeares insight into human nature continues to engage and enthral audiences the world over.

    Even four centuries after his death, his plays touch and transform lives and continue to be read and performed from Albania to Zambia.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us

    NFL names Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles as host cities for Super Bowls following 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons

    If you spend billions of dollars to build it, they will come.

    Three times over.

    The NFL awarded Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles, three cities that made significant financial investments in new stadiums or recently upgraded an existing one. Atlanta will host the game in 2019, followed by Miami (2020) and Los Angeles (2021), it was announced Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.

    I think if they find guys like me that are willing to do it, I think they want to show them that it is worthwhile, Rams owner Stan Kroenke said.

    Atlanta will host its third Super Bowl, but the first at its new $1.4bn stadium which opens in 2017. The previous two were at the Georgia Dome.

    Miami will have its record-setting 11th Super Bowl following a $450m stadium renovation.

    Los Angeles, which gets the relocated Rams this season, has not had a Super Bowl in the area since 1993 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The game will be played at the new $2.6bn stadium in Inglewood, California, which opens in 2019.

    Tampa Bay and New Orleans were also in the running to host a Super Bowl.

    The selection of Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles maintains the recent cycle of the leagues owners rewarding cities that have built new stadiums or renovated existing facilities with the lucrative financial reward of hosting aSuper Bowl in return.

    Last years Super Bowl was played in Santa Clara, California, after the 49ers built a stadium. Minneapolis will host a Super Bowl in 2018 with a new stadium that opens this season.

    New York-New Jersey, Indianapolis, Dallas and Detroit all received Super Bowl bids in the past after spending millions on new stadiums.

    It shows that the communities and the owners who are willing to make these investments and stick their necks out, if you will, that it is worthwhile and they believe in them long term, Kroenke said.

    Atlanta will host its first Super Bowl since 2000, when an untimely ice storm in the Southeast crippled festivities by forcing cancellation of some hospitality events and making travel treacherous. Atlanta subsequently lost bids to host the game in 2009 and 2010, with some owners saying at the time the ice storm was one of the reasons. But Falcons owner Arthur Blanks new stadium put Atlanta back in the picture.

    Blank said he was screaming joy for the city of Atlanta and our fans when he learned of the owners decision.

    We feel like downtown Atlanta is very unique and the stadium is unique, Blank said.

    Atlanta also will stage the College Football Playoff championship game in January 2018.

    The Miami area will move ahead of New Orleans, which has hosted 10 Super Bowls, when it stages its first title showdown since 2010. The area remains a popular venue because of its weather, ability to host big events and two major airports that help travel in and out of the city.

    The only thing that could be better is if we were playing in the game and winning it, said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

    Hall of Fame running Larry Csonka was an ambassador for the Miami bid. Csonka said he was a little nervous at first talking to the owners, joking he probably should have hit something before walking into the room.

    The facts are indisputable, Csonka said. We have had 10 Super Bowls and they have been successful.

    The NFL has been eager to have a team in Los Angeles for quite some time and the Rams moved from St Louis with Kroenkes promise of a grandiose stadium one that will be the most expensive in the league.

    The reward was the areas eighth Super Bowl overall, but first Super Bowl since 1993, when the Cowboys defeated the Bills 52-17 at the Rose Bowl. Five Super Bowls have been played at the Rose Bowl and two at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

    Los Angeles is built to host the Super Bowl, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. We helped forge this great American tradition as its very first host in 1967; and now, at long last, were bringing it back where it belongs.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us

    Toyota announced partnership with Uber as Volkswagen puts $300m into Tel Aviv-based app Gett, in move that could pave way for apps to use self-driving cars

    Two major car companies announced on Tuesday investments in ride-hailing apps, signaling both a growing role for on-demand cars and a new groundwork for app-enabled self-driving fleets.

    Toyota will be investing and partnering with Uber, and Volkswagen is putting $300m into Tel Aviv-based ride-sharing app called Gett. In January, General Motors, a longtime Toyota rival, announced that it was putting $500m into Lyft, Ubers most direct competitor.

    Ride-sharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility, said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and president of the Connected Company, a new group within Toyota. Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers.

    In their statement, Toyota emphasized new leasing options specifically for Uber drivers, but made it clear that there would be deeper collaboration going forward.

    Were excited that Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, is making a strategic investment in Uber as part of a broader global partnership, Emil Michael, chief business officer of Uber said in a statement. Toyota vehicles are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide and we look forward to collaborating with Toyota in multiple ways going forward, starting with the expansion of our vehicle financing efforts.

    If self-driving cars are the future, as many experts think, and if car ownership continues to decline, manufacturers will want to control the new means of distribution: ride-hailing apps. Thus, every major car company will want to align itself with an app.

    As Ubers CEO, Travis Kalanick, said: You basically bring the cost [of Uber] below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away.

    Source article at => http://www.theguardian.com/us