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'Whiplash' wins audience, jury awards at Sundance
Written by SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:05

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The dramatic story of a drummer who pursues excellence at all costs won top honors at the Sundance Film Festival

"Whiplash" collected both audience and jury prizes for American dramatic films Saturday at the festival's awards ceremony.

The musical drama by writer-director Damien Chazelle opened the independent film showcase last week and rode a wave of positive buzz throughout the 10-day event.

Chazelle made his Sundance debut last year with a short version of "Whiplash" intended to gain financial support for the feature-length film. The feature stars 26-year-old Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer and veteran actor J.K. Simmons as his unforgiving instructor.

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Kiev protesters attack building with police inside
Written by JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:03

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's embattled president offered to make a top opposition leader prime minister, but protest leaders vowed demonstrations would continue and violence erupted early Sunday as a large crowd attacked a government hall with police stationed inside.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former foreign minister who led efforts to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union, told a large crowd on Kiev's central square that President Viktor Yanukovych must still meet several key opposition demands and that talks will continue.

The overnight outburst underlined a growing inclination for radical actions among some in the protest movement that has gripped the capital for two months. More moderate opposition leaders like Yatsenyuk have tried appealing to stop the clashes, but have been booed or even sprayed with a fire extinguisher in the case of Vitali Klitschko, a heavyweight boxing champion turned opposition figure.

In the dark of night, demonstrators threw firebombs into the Ukrainian House building and setting off fireworks, and police responded with tear gas. Although the crowd created a corridor at the building's entrance apparently for police to leave, none were seen coming out.

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Police: Three dead in Maryland Mall shooting; devices disabled
Written by ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:00

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — The mall in suburban Baltimore was humming with weekend shoppers when, suddenly, shotgun blasts rang out on the upper level.

Panicked patrons in the food court below, others browsing in jewelry stores or undergoing facials scrambled for cover. Some ducked into nearby stores. Others hid in inventory rooms or barricaded themselves behind locked doors until police arrived.

Within 2 minutes of the first 911 call Saturday morning, police say officers arriving at the Mall in Columbia found three people dead, including the gunman. Police say a man with a shotgun had shot a man and a woman, both in their 20s, who worked at a skateboard shop. He then killed himself.

Five others were injured in the mid-morning shooting and its aftermath. All had been released from hospitals by Saturday evening.

"This was a very scary incident," Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said. "There were a lot of people very close to where this happened."

Police Chief Edward J. McMahon said police were still seeking a motive even as he praised mall patrons for doing the right thing by sheltering in place and not stampeding toward the exits.

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Kiev protesters attack building with police inside
Written by JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 07:03

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's embattled president offered to make a top opposition leader prime minister, but protest leaders vowed demonstrations would continue and violence erupted early Sunday as a large crowd attacked a government hall with police stationed inside.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former foreign minister who led efforts to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union, told a large crowd on Kiev's central square that President Viktor Yanukovych must still meet several key opposition demands and that talks will continue.

The overnight outburst underlined a growing inclination for radical actions among some in the protest movement that has gripped the capital for two months. More moderate opposition leaders like Yatsenyuk have tried appealing to stop the clashes, but have been booed or even sprayed with a fire extinguisher in the case of Vitali Klitschko, a heavyweight boxing champion turned opposition figure.

In the dark of night, demonstrators threw firebombs into the Ukrainian House building and setting off fireworks, and police responded with tear gas. Although the crowd created a corridor at the building's entrance apparently for police to leave, none were seen coming out.

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Cuaron wins DGA for 'Gravity,' gains Oscar edge
Written by JESSICA HERNDON, AP Film Writer   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 06:59

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alfonso Cuaron was awarded the top film honor from the Directors Guild of America for "Gravity" on Saturday night.

In the recent bustle of Hollywood shows, "Gravity," David O. Russell's con caper "American Hustle," and Steve McQueen's historical epic "12 Years a Slave" were competing in the tightest three-way Oscar race in years. But the win gives Cuaron's lost-space-saga an edge on the journey to the Academy Awards.

With 10 Oscar nominations, Cuaron's film is likely to gain the most Academy Awards this year. "American Hustle" also has 10 nominations, while "12 Years a Slave" has nine. The early momentum of "12 Years a Slave" has begun to deflate following this evening's upset and the results of the Golden Globes. McQueen's film was nominated for seven Globes, but only took home one — best motion picture, drama.

However, it is unlikely "12 Years a Slave" will go home empty-handed on Oscar night, as actress Lupita Nyong'o, who is nominated for the best supporting Oscar, is the likely favorite.

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