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Malawi court delays Madonna adoption ruling

Malawi’s High Court has delayed its final ruling on whether pop diva Madonna may adopt a two-year-old Malawian boy until next week, her lawyer said on Thursday.

“We are finished with the proceedings today from our side, and the judge has decided to reserve his ruling on the case until next week because he has to review the recommendations from the Malawi Human Rights Commission on the adoption laws of Malawi,” Alan Chinula said.

source : reuters

Malawi court to rule on Madonna adoption bid

A court in Malawi began a hearing on Thursday into an application by pop star Madonna to permanently adopt a three-year-old boy from one of Africa’s poorest countries.

Although Madonna herself was not present at the hearing in the capital Lilongwe, her Malawian lawyer Alan Chinula could be seen entering the courtroom at the start of a closed door session chaired by Judge Andrew Nyirenda.

Madonna has had temporary custody of the youngster, David Banda, since October 2006 but she is now hoping that the judge will grant her request that the interim order be made permanent.

A report compiled after a social worker visited David at the London home of Madonna and her British film-maker husband Guy Ritchie has recommended that the adoption be allowed.

“Mr and Mrs Ritchie have shown a strong commitment in providing the infant with all essential needs like love, safe home environment, care, protection, material as well as emotional support,” said the report for the ministry of women and child development which is due to be presented in the court.

The document said David, who was placed in an orphanage by his peasant farmer Yohane Banda after his mother died shortly after childbirth, had “bonded well with the couple as other key members of the household” and “continues to develop into a happy thriving toddler.”

The father, who comes from a dusty rural outpost in the central region of Mchinji near the Zambian border, has given his backing to the adoption so that his son can escape a life of grinding poverty.

More than half of Malawi’s population live on less than a dollar a day and the country is one of the world’s worst affected by AIDS with about 14 percent of its 12 million people infected with HIV.

Neither Yohane Banda or any other member of David’s family was at the court hearing.

source : afp

Madonna’s Wisdom sells

Madonna’s film “Filth & Wisdom” has been a spanking good seller for L.A. foreign sales outfit Katapult Films.

Pic, which is the Material Girl’s directorial debut, was sold to Hexagon Pictures in Japan, to Surreal Films in the CIS territories and United Arab Emirates-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment for the Middle East.

French rights were sold to La Fabrique de Films in a deal separately negotiated by CAA and lawyers Grubman Indursky & Shire.

Pic is set for a North American release through IFC in the fall.

source : variety

Madonna to build girls’ school in Malawi

U.S. pop diva Madonna plans to start building a multi-million-dollar girls’ school in Malawi for underprivileged children this year, her local lawyer said on Wednesday.

“A task force of four prominent Malawians has already been formed to head the project which will be on the scale of what Oprah Winfrey has in South Africa,” Madonna’s lawyer Alan Chinula told Reuters.

“It is a multi-million dollar project and we will get the real costs in the next two weeks.”

Billionaire U.S. television magnate Winfrey has built a $40 million all-girl leadership academy in South Africa which boasts state-of-the-art facilities including laboratories, a yoga studio and beauty salon.

Malawi’s High Court is expected to approve Madonna’s bid to adopt two-year-old Malawian David Banda on Thursday. Malawi’s government and David’s father — his only surviving parent — have endorsed the adoption.

Madonna will not attend the final court ruling on her adoption bid because she is busy with other engagements, Chinula said on Tuesday.

The adoption has been controversial, with critics accusing the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi, which has been ravaged by an AIDS epidemic that has produced more than one million orphans.

source : reuters

‘I am Because We Are’ – Production Notes (Cannes Promo)

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Kelly Rowland : Madonna Is Allowed To Be A Diva

Singer Kelly Rowland has hit out at British festival organizers who have blasted Madonna’s outrageous backstage demands – insisting she is allowed to be a diva. The Material Girl reportedly enraged fellow artists and organizers at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Maidstone, Kent, on Saturday by demanding special Kabbalah water, a private helicopter and a huge trailer.

But the former Destiny’s Child singer insists the pop superstar, who performed to publicise the release of her latest album Hard Candy, can ask for anything because she is a legend.

She tells, “Madonna can have anything she wants. If she only wants red Skittles then get her red Skittles, she’s freakin’ Madonna! And if she wants a huge trailer, get her a huge trailer.”

source : starpulse

Madonna too busy to attend Malawi adoption ruling

U.S. pop star Madonna will not attend the final court ruling on her request to adopt a Malawian child because she is busy with other engagements, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

The High Court is expected to approve Madonna’s bid to formally adopt 2-year-old David Banda at a final session on Thursday. Malawi’s government and David’s father — his only surviving parent — have endorsed the adoption.

“We are going to court on Thursday, but Madonna will not be there because she is not coming,” Madonna’s lawyer, Alan Chinula told Reuters. “The judge has indicated that he cannot object to her being absent when making the ruling.”

Chinula said Madonna had “other engagements,” which he declined to disclose.

A court clerk said Madonna’s lawyer has asked for a later court date — the singer’s third request for a postponement — because their client “had other business matters to deal with.” He confirmed the judge could go ahead without her.

The adoption has been controversial, with critics accusing the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi, a southern African nation ravaged by an AIDS epidemic that has left more than 1 million orphans.

But one of Malawi’s fiercest critics of Madonna’s adoption bid, the Human Rights Consultative Committee, said on Monday it was no longer interested in pursuing the case, removing another obstacle.

Madonna began adoption proceedings in 2006, and David has been living with the singer and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, in their London home since then. She took custody of David when he was 13 months old after his father had placed him in an orphanage following the death of his wife.

David’s father, Yohane Banda, told Reuters Television this week, “This is what I wanted, that Madonna should keep the child.”

source : reuters

Madonna, Radio 1 Big Weekend – The Independent Review

It’s quite a coup for Radio 1 to get Madonna to headline its summer showcase event; the effect, however, is somewhat undermined by the brevity of her performance – the time spent setting up is equal to the six-song set.

Given that the whole event is free, however, it seems churlish to complain, and the 20,000-strong crowd is good-natured and warmly appreciative. Many of them have turned out to see Madonna’s latest return to the pop game: still reigning after all these years, she arrives on stage on a throne.

Her new album Hard Candy is getting the hard sell – most of the songs are drawn from there. However, few of the new tracks are particularly memorable – although one stand-out moment is a striking image of Madonna and her highly stylised male dancers moving in tandem across the stage during the opener “Candy Shop”.

It is an energetic performance that belies her age, though the spectacle often undermines her singing, which hasn’t aged as well as her dance moves. At times, her vocals are overwhelmed by the electro-tinged sound and on occasions it feels as if she is merely singing along to a backing track.

For her second song “Miles Away” she strums away rudimentarily on an acoustic guitar, and straps on an electric guitar for a rock reworking of her 2005 hit “Hung Up”. Both gestures ring hollow. Of the new material, “4 Minutes” fuses the divergent elements best, with Justin Timberlake appearing on large screens to complete the duet.

Closing song “Music” from 2000 gets the warmest reception. You can’t help but feel that many in the crowd hoped she would live a little further in the past and perform the songs that forged her iconic status, not those that merely perpetuate the brand.

Two of the better British bands of recent years, Foals and Hot Chip, offer strong if somewhat perfunctory performances. The percussive heavy sounds of Hot Chip’s new album alongside the pop brilliance of two tracks, “And I Was a Boy from School” and “Over and Over”, culled from their second album The Warning, are highlights.

Yet both bands’ sets end abruptly – adhering to the tight time-slots allotted. They seem to be just warming up as they have to finish. A business-like sense of bands appearing to keep Radio 1’s play-list controllers onside while not outstaying their welcome pervades.

Rating : 3 out of 5 stars