Former Japanese teen queen quitting
TOKYO • J-pop singer Namie Amuro dropped a bombshell on her 40th birthday on Wednesday by announcing her retirement plan.
Amuro, who made her professional debut 25 years ago, four days shy of her 15th birthday, said she would retire on Sept 16 next year, the 26th anniversary of her career, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
She said on her official website: "I would like to write about something that I have carried on my mind and have decided on the 25th anniversary of my debut. I, Namie Amuro, would like to take this opportunity to inform all of my fans of my decision to retire as of Sept 16, 2018."
In the letter written in Japanese and English, she added that she would make the last year of her music career meaningful by "creating a final album and performing at concerts".
Amuro rose to stardom in the 1990s as a pop teen queen, with hits such as Can You Celebrate?.
The Okinawa native also popularised the sun-kissed look, with her long brown hair and golden tan.
She has a 19-year-old son from a short-lived marriage to dancer Masaharu "Sam" Maruyama of J-pop group TRF.
Donald Trump mocks Emmys ratings
NEW YORK • United States President Donald Trump is having the last laugh.
After having been made fun of by host Stephen Colbert and other personalities at the Emmy Awards on Sunday, he tweeted late on Tuesday that he was "saddened" to find out that the show's ratings were poor.
"I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night - the worst ever."
He was stretching the truth slightly to score a point, but according to the Nielsen company, 11.4 million people caught the show that honoured the best in television, compared with last year's lowest-ever tally of 11.3 million.
Sunday's show also had a surprise appearance by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer in a skit calculated to embarrass Mr Trump's obsession with the number of people who turned up at his inauguration.
But with few viewers bothering to tune in, a gleeful Mr Trump said: "Smartest people of them all are the 'DEPLORABLES'."
Mrs Hillary Clinton, during her campaign for the White House last year, had said that half of his supporters came from a "basket of deplorables".
No-go for John Lemon beverage
LONDON • Let it be? Not for Beatle John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, when she heard about a Polish beverage company's new drink called John Lemon.
She threatened legal action alleging that it infringed on the trademark of her late husband.
The company has now agreed to change its drink's name to On Lemon, after lawyers acting for Ono wrote to distributors warning they faced costs of up to €5,000 (S$8,000) a day and €500 for every bottle sold if they infringed the trademark.
Lawyers acting for the beverage firm denied it had infringed on the late star's rights, but Ono's lawyers pointed to a Facebook post from John Lemon Ireland, which featured an image of the iconic singer.
Other marketing materials included the brand's logo next to the phrase "let it be" and a pair of round glasses, both closely associated with Lennon.
John Lemon's lawyers also pointed out that its European Union trademark had been registered in 2014, two years earlier than the John Lennon trademark last year.
Mr Karol Chamera, founder of Mr Lemonade Alternative Drinks, which distributes the John Lemon beverage in Britain, told the East London Advertiser newspaper: "All of us involved with this product are start-ups and we couldn't take on someone who is worth many, many millions."
Linda Hamilton returns to Terminator
NEW YORK • The robots have not seen the last of Linda Hamilton.
She is the latest name to return to the Terminator films, more than 25 years since her last appearance as the series' heroine Sarah Connor.
The news was announced by Terminator creator James Cameron at a private event celebrating the franchise, noted Hollywood Reporter.
She will reprise her role as Connor in the sixth instalment which will see her reunited with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Cameron will produce and Deadpool's Tim Miller will direct the film, which is being treated as a direct sequel to 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and is being eyed as the first instalment of a new trilogy.
Hamilton, who was briefly married to Cameron in the late 1990s, has not appeared in the franchise since T2.
Her role in Terminator 6 will not be as the female lead, with Cameron saying that he was searching for "an 18-something woman to be the centrepiece of the new story".
"We will have characters from the future and the present. There will be mostly new characters but we'll have Arnold and Linda's characters to anchor it," he added.
Producers of American Made sued
NEW YORK • Tom Cruise is such a perfectionist in his action movies that he does his own stunts.
But that attitude towards realism is being questioned in lawsuits arising from a 2015 plane crash in Colombia during the shooting of the movie American Made.
The families of two pilots who were killed are suing the producers of the film for wrongful death and damages, alleging lapses in safety procedures.
"The demands of filming in Colombia, together with Cruise's and director Doug Liman's enthusiasm for multiple takes of lavish flying sequences, added hours to every filming day and added days to the schedule," new court documents stated.
Cruise and Liman are not named as defendants in the lawsuits, but the families assert that the duo were "negligent" in allowing the flight to take place in bad weather.
The original lawsuit was filed in April last year.