NFL: Raiders Smith charged with assault and battery

National Football League veteran Sean Smith was charged with assault and battery on Thursday for allegedly beating his sister's boyfriend in downtown Pasadena, California.The Oakland Raiders cornerback Smith is facing two felony charges -- assault by m...

Jailed Pistorius allowed to attend grandmother’s funeral

Jailed South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius briefly left his Pretoria prison on Wednesday to attend his grandmother's funeral."He left in the morning under supervision of our officials and by 20-minutes-past-one he was back at the facility,...

Serbia offers citizenship to Afghan ‘Little Picasso’

Serbia on Wednesday offered citizenship to the family of a young Afghan refugee who has become known as "Little Picasso" for his artistic talent, the president's office said.Ten-year-old Farhad Noory has lived in a migrant camp in Belgrade with his par...

Naturalist David Attenborough earns his wings

David Attenborough finally earned his wings Wednesday after scientists named a 100-million-year-old damselfly after the veteran British broadcaster and naturalist.The delicate creature, dubbed Mesosticta davidattenboroughi, was discovered in Myanmar's ...

Trump visiting Trump Tower for the first time as president

For the first time since taking up residence in the White House more than six months ago, US President Donald Trump is going back Monday to Trump Tower, his residence in the heart of Manhattan.After making a brief stop at the White House, he is schedul...

Malaysian princess marries Dutchman in lavish ceremony

The daughter of one of Malaysia's most powerful sultans married her Dutch fiance Monday in a ceremony steeped in centuries of tradition during a day of lavish celebrations.Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim, 31, the only daughter of the Sultan of...

Pakistan’s ‘Mother Teresa’ dies aged 87

Ruth Pfau, a German nun who devoted her life to combatting leprosy in Pakistan, has died at the age of 87. Pfau, who was known locally as Pakistan's Mother Teresa, came to the southern port city of Karachi in 1960 and spent half a century taking care o...

Father of Netherlands’ Queen Maxima dies in Argentina

Jorge Zorreguieta, the father of Argentina-born Maxima Zorreguieta, now queen of the Netherlands, died Tuesday of cancer in Buenos Aires. He was 89.Queen Maxima, 46, the wife of King Willem-Alexander, was in Buenos Aires to be with her father as his co...

Mormon leader ousted in rare excommunication

The Mormon church excommunicated one of its senior leaders Tuesday, without providing a reason for the rare dismissal.The removal of James Hamula as a "general authority" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the first time a top leade...

Motorhead’s ‘Lemmy’ has dino croc named after him

A team of music-mad scientists unveiled an extinct, sea-dwelling crocodile from the Jurassic period on Wednesday, which they named in honour of Motorhead lead singer Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister who died in 2015."Lemmysuchus" -- Latin for Lemmy's crocodile --...

Footballer Maradona defends Venezuela president

Argentine football hero Diego Maradona defended Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday over a deadly political crisis in which the socialist leader's opponents have branded him a dictator.World Cup winner Maradona, 56, was a friend of Maduro's...

Neymar parties in Saint-Tropez after record move

Brazilian superstar Neymar partied alongside the jetset in France's upmarket resort of Saint-Tropez on Monday ahead of his highly-anticipated debut for Paris Saint-Germain, an AFP photographer said.The 25-year-old, who moved from Barcelona to Paris in ...

Fox suspends TV host in probe of lewd text messages

A host on US cable network Fox News has been suspended during an investigation into allegations that he texted unsolicited lewd images to women co-workers, the company said Saturday.It was the latest sexual harassment case to rock Fox News, America's m...

Oakley accepts plea deal in Madison Square Garden dust-up

Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley accepted a plea deal on Friday to dismiss misdemeanor charges stemming from his run-in with Madison Square Garden security personnel during a Knicks game in February.Oakley was arrested and charged with five m...

Kanye West sues insurer for $10 million over canceled tour

Kanye West filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Lloyd's for $10 million, alleging the insurer is refusing to pay claims stemming from the cancellation of his tour following a reported mental breakdown.The 40-year-old rap superstar filed a claim with Lloy...

Santana wants album with Isley Brothers to break walls

Teaming up with The Isley Brothers for a new album, Carlos Santana isn't just uniting two musical legends. He believes the sound can change the world.The pioneering rock guitarist holds lofty hopes for "Power of Peace," a collection of covers recorded ...

Hungarian chess queen moves into education

Innovation, it seems, runs deep in the Polgar family DNA. In the 1970s, the father Laszlo, a teacher, challenged Hungary's communist authorities by homeschooling his children as chess prodigies.Now his youngest daughter, Judit, considered the world's b...

Thrillers to terrorise Venice in Golden Lion bid

The oldest film festival in the world is going big on nail-biters this year with thrillers dominating the race for Venice's coveted Golden Lion award, organisers said Thursday.

Stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are expected to be among the A-listers spotted posing on the red carpet or hopping into gondolas at the gala's 74th edition.

This year the festival, a key launchpad for heavyweight Oscar contenders, has gone big on US flicks in particular.

Hollywood heavyweight Ethan Hawke will star in director Paul Schrader's "First Reformed", a spine-chiller about members of a church who are tormented by the deaths of loved ones -- and harbouring a dark secret.

It goes up against hotly-awaited "mother!" by Darren Aronofsky, the US director behind the 2010 psychological horror film "Black Swan". Starring Jennifer Lawrence, the film tells the tale of a couple thrown into turmoil by uninvited guests.

And Britain's Martin McDonaugh -- best known for 2008 black comedy "In Bruges" -- will hope to suitably unnerve the jury with thriller "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", starring Frances McDormand as a middle-aged mother who challenges police after her daughter is murdered but no killer is found.

It's not all white-knuckle suspense: the beachside festival on the Lido island, which runs from July 30 to August 9 and is set to feature 21 world premieres, will kick off on a lighter tone.

Oscar-winning US director Alexander Payne's latest sci-fi comedy "Downsizing" will open the show, starring Matt Damon as a man who realises he would have a better life if he shrank, and Kirsten Wiig as his indecisive wife.

- Secrets, gangsters and exorcisms -

Damon also stars in Clooney's new flick "Suburbicon", a dark comedy written by the Coen brothers and set in 1959, in which he plays a father of a suburban family that discovers the neighbourhood's dark underbelly of violence.

Teaser pictures released by Paramount show a very blonde Julianne Moore co-starring in Clooney's sixth directorial effort.

Chief juror Annette Bening and her panel of experts -- including filmmakers Michel Franco and Edgar Wright and actress Rebecca Hall -- are likely to be already lusting after the latest by Mexican fantasy master Guillermo del Toro.

The Cold War-era love fairytale story "The Shape of Water" by the man behind "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006) stars Sally Hawkins as a custodial worker in a government laboratory who discovers and smuggles out a top-secret experiment.

Two documentaries are also in the running: Frederick Wiseman's "Ex Libris, New York Public Library" and Ai WeiWei's "Human Flow", which was filmed in 23 countries and explores the staggering scale of today's global migration issue.

Tunisian-French director Abdellatif Kechiche will bring "Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno", a 1980s coming-of-age story, while Italy's Paolo Virzi will premiere "The Leisure Seeker", starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.

Out of competition but by no means less eagerly awaited, Britain's Stephen Frears will debut "Victoria & Abdul", about Queen Victoria's unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk, starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal and Eddie Izzard.

"Exorcist" director William Friedkin delves into the story of a real-life exorcism with his documentary "The Devil and the Father Amorth" while Netflix reveals its first Italian original series "Suburra", about gangsters and politicians in Rome.

Last but not least, US greats Robert Redford and Jane Fonda will be celebrated with Golden Lion lifetime achievement awards.

Prince William leaves pilot job for UK royal duties

Britain's Prince William will retire from the air ambulance service on Thursday, after two years in which he witnessed "appalling tragedies", in order to turn his full attention to royal duties.The Duke of Cambridge, second in line to the British thron...