Weekend box office via THENUMBERS.COM:
|1||N||Thor: Love and Thunder||Walt Disney||$144,165,107||4,375||$32,952||$144,165,107||1|
|2||(1)||Minions: The Rise of Gru||Universal||$46,128,405||-57%||4,427||+36||$10,420||$210,656,985||2|
|3||(2)||Top Gun: Maverick||Paramount Pi…||$15,506,530||-40%||3,513||-330||$4,414||$597,412,643||7|
|5||(4)||Jurassic World: Dominion||Universal||$8,599,175||-47%||3,251||-550||$2,645||$350,515,005||5|
|6||(5)||The Black Phone||Universal||$7,781,615||-36%||2,559||-597||$3,041||$62,434,025||3|
|8||(11)||Marcel the Shell with Shoes On||A24||$322,167||+23%||48||+26||$6,712||$945,583||3|
|9||(7)||Mr. Malcolm’s List||Bleecker Street||$255,116||-69%||1,057||-327||$241||$1,648,679||2|
|10||(9)||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||Walt Disney||$245,541||-41%||140||-450||$1,754||$411,045,982||10|
THOR is not a big hit. It had the best opening of a Thor film? That's not saying much. The first one wasn't that big and the second one bombed. They then had to bring on Hulk to get people to see the third one.
This new one opened lower than the Dr. Strange movie. Grasp that. And it will not make the money Dr. Strange has.
They should have known better. I've gotten tons of e-mails asking me why they had to use Guns N Roses in the commercial? It's actually worse, they use songs by that racist and homophobic band throughout the film -- I believe three in total. And can someone please ask Carrie Underwood why the heck she's singing their songs? I thought she had some common sense. They wrote songs about killing women ("Used To Love Her") and about hating immigrants, Blacks and gay men ("One In A Million") and Carrie Underwood thinks this is the band to cover? And DISNEY thinks this is the band to feature in a Thor movie? It's pure garbage, that's all it is. The film will fade very quickly and it was already fading as the weekend wore on. Saturday it did worse than on Friday. Saturday should have been a big day.
If you need comparisons, Thor made $143 million. JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION made $145 million opening weekend and DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS opened with $185 million.
Yes, Dr. Strange was paired with Scarlet Witch -- but she was a villain and that had to keep some people away. Besides, Thor got to pal around with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the start of his latest film and even that didn't help.
In other news, I don't think Elvis has legs. It'll probably taper out at around $109 million over the next three weekends. That's not great. But it is more than the Elton John movie ROCKET MAN made in North America.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday, July 11, 2022. US tax dollars go to wars in retirement homes! Thanks Joe Biden and Ukraine! Pro-Nazi Andrey Melnyk quietly loses his job in Ukraine's government after advancing the Nazi's actions in several infamous comments over the last weeks, Iraqi lawmakers target the LGBTQ community, and much more.
Last Monday, July 4th, WSWS published Johannes Stern's article which opened:
In an interview last week on the podcast “Jung & Naiv,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnyk once again defended the Ukrainian fascist, anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. This comes as no surprise. Melnyk is a known Bandera admirer.
This time, however, Melnyk went further than usual. He not only praised Bandera as a “freedom fighter,” but denied that OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) units Bandera commanded carried out mass murder, saying, “There is no evidence that Bandera troops murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews.”
Melnyk’s statements are on the level of Holocaust deniers. The Banderites’ involvement in pogroms, mass shootings of Jews and the Nazi war of extermination against the Soviet Union is an incontrovertible historical fact.
When journalist Tilo Jung confronted Melnyk about the crimes committed by Bandera, the Ukrainian ambassador defended them, saying, “I will not tell you today that I dissociate myself from this. And that’s it.”
Jung earlier quoted a leaflet that the OUN distributed as the Nazi Wehrmacht entered Lviv: “People, you must know this: Muscovites, Poles, Hungarians and Jews, these are your enemies. Destroy them, you must know that. Your leadership, your leader, Stepan Bandera.”
Melnyk’s statements not only expose the Ukrainian government, which worships Bandera and the OUN despite their genocidal crimes, erects statues and renames streets and squares in his honor.
It also sheds light on the essentially fascistic character of the ruling class in Germany, which 81 years after the invasion of the Soviet Union is again massively rearming and taking a leading role in the NATO proxy war in Ukraine against Russia.
Melnyk is a central figure in this. He is a welcome guest on talk shows to drum up support for more German arms deliveries to Ukraine. When Chancellor Scholz announced the massive German rearmament in the Bundestag on February 27, Melnyk was a guest of honor.
The German government’s silence on Melnyk’s recent remarks is not simply a scandal. It is part of a deliberate campaign to rehabilitate fascism and ultimately Hitler himself.
Poland’s foreign ministry has intervened after Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany denied that Ukrainian national leader Stepan Bandera was responsible for the mass murder of ethnic Poles and Jews, and also sought to justify his collaboration with Nazi Germany.
The episode has renewed tensions over what has long been a sensitive issue in Polish-Ukrainian relations. In response, Ukraine’s foreign ministry has distanced itself from the words of the ambassador, Andrii Melnyk, saying that they were just his “own opinion”.
No, not his "own opinion.'' He is glorifying a butcher and denying reality. That happens a lot with those in the current Ukraine government. On Thursday, WORLD ISRAEL NEWS noted:
Stepan Bandera, “not only for me personally, but also for many, many Ukrainians, personifies the freedom fighter,” Melnyk told a Die Welt journalist in a radio interview published last Friday.
“Melnyk’s statement trivializes the Holocaust,” read the headline published by the leading German newspaper.
“There are no written laws for those who fight for freedom,” said Melnyk, who dismissed Bandera’s major role in the Holocaust in comments indicating Holocaust denial.
“Robin Hood is also respected by everyone, and he also did not work according to the law current at the time.”
Melnyk refused to acknowledge — despite being provided clear evidence of Bandera’s alliance with the Nazis and orders to “destroy” the Jews, who he referred to as the “enemy” — that the Ukrainian nationalist leader and his men were involved in the murder of 800,000 Jews.
Over the weekend, POLITICO reported:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday recalled his country’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, who caused controversy after defending a 20th century Nazi collaborator.
A decree published by Zelenskyy’s presidential office on Saturday afternoon only mentioned the “dismissal” of Melnyk, without providing any further information about the reasons for his removal, where the ambassador would go next, or who would replace him.
Melnyk’s departure from Berlin is part of a bigger reshuffle ordered by Zelenskyy on Saturday. The Ukrainian president also recalled ambassadors to various other countries including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Norway and India.
Even then, Zelensky didn't condemn him. Condemning him would have outraged his supporters in Ukraine who agree with him, who glorify the Nazis of WWII and see themselves as linked to them. Calling Melnyk out would have risked creating domestic turmoil in Ukriane. These are the people that the Sean Penns and Mila Kunises have spread their legs for.
It's such a 'noble' war, you understand. ANTIWAR.COM's Kyle Anzalone reports:
The United Nations says Kiev’s and Moscow’s soldiers used elderly and disabled civilians as human shields. In one situation, Ukrainian soldiers hid in a nursing home, provoking an attack that killed dozens of residents.
The report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner says Ukrainian, Russian troops and forces aligned with Moscow are using civilians as human shields. "Both Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups as well as Ukrainian armed forces took up positions either in residential areas or near civilian objects, from where they launched military operations without taking measures for the protection of civilians present," it concludes.
The report detailed one incident of Kiev’s soldiers using human shields in Ukraine’s Donbas region shortly after the Russian invasion. According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner, the residents of a nursing home in the Luhansk region were unable to evacuate because Ukrainian forces mined the roads around the facility.
The Biden administration announced Friday a new $400 million weapons package for Ukraine that includes more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 150mm artillery ammunition, and tactical vehicles.
The new aid marks the 15th weapons package the US has pledged for Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24, demonstrating the Biden administration’s commitment to flooding the country with arms.
And the US government has sent inflation soaring and created food shortages with this war of choice. Jean Shaoul (WSWS) explains, "They have imposed sanctions on Russia that have included banning the country from the SWIFT international money transfer system to destroy Russia’s economy by blocking its exports of fuel, food and fertilizers. This has driven up prices that were already soaring due to their failure to pursue a coronavirus elimination policy, thereby prolonging the pandemic, upending the world economy and disrupting global supply chains."
On Iraq, Alex MacDonald (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reports:
Rights groups have reacted with alarm to proposals for a law banning homosexuality in Iraq, warning that it would allow anti-LGBTQ+ vigilantes to "get away with murder".
A member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee told the official Iraqi News Agency on Friday that it had begun formulating proposals to criminalise homosexuality, which was made legal in Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
"It was agreed within the parliament to collect signatures after
returning to session to legislate a law prohibiting homosexuality in
Iraq," said Aref al-Hamami, an MP with the State of Law coalition led by
former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.
"[The] legislation of such a law will be reinforced by legal provisions that prevent homosexuality and the perversions associated with it."
Although homosexuality has been officially legal in Iraq for almost two decades, politicians and religious leaders in the country have frequently railed against LGBTQ+ people, and laws punishing "immodest acts" have been used to target them.
In a statement to GAY TIMES, head of IraQueer Amir Ashour opened up about the implications of the proposed legislation.
"The Iraqi government is using their hatred for LGBT+ people to distract the public from their failure to form a government, provide basic services, and hold perpetrators accountable for different human rights violations," he said.
"The international community must put pressure on Iraq immediatetely. The lives of LGBT+ people and the future of the queer movement is on the line."
For more information, follow IraQueer.
In other news, Julian Bechocha (RUDAW) reports:
Shiite cleric and head of Iraq's National Wisdom Movement Ammar al-Hakim on Sunday called on the two top Kurdish parties to accelerate efforts in agreeing on a candidate for Iraq's presidency with the country mired in political deadlock.
Hakim stated that the Iraqi presidency post "is greater than being a merit for one of the components of the country" and asked the Kurdistan Region's parties "to speed up the decision of the candidate for the presidency and to look at this national entitlement with great responsibility" in a sermon following Eid al-Adha's prayer.
The Kurdish political giants – the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) – have had disagreements over a variety of issues in recent months, and their race over Iraq's presidential position further escalated the tensions.
For those keeping track, that's the second nudge in eight days. Why the nudging? Clearing the Framework has decided upon whom they're going to name prime minister designate. For that to happen, a president needs to be decided upon because it is the duty of the president to announce the prime minister-designate.
We'll wind down with this from MS. MAGAZINE:
Enjoy this newsletter? Forward to a friend!
1600 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
The following sites updated: