Matthew Perry’s ‘Friends’ cast mates mourn their friend, say they are ‘all so utterly devastated’
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The stars of “Friends” say they are mourning the “unfathomable” death of Matthew Perry. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer say in a joint statement to People magazine that they “utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew.” Perry was found dead at his Los Angeles home Saturday, and investigation is ongoing. The “Friends” actors say they “were more than just cast mates” with Perry. They say they “are a family.” Perry, who played Chandler Bing throughout the show’s 10 seasons, is being mourned worldwide. Fans are placing flowers and heartfelt tributes outside the New York building that served as an exterior for the show.
Messi wins record-extending 8th Ballon d’Or, Bonmati takes women’s award
PARIS (AP) — Lionel Messi has won a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or in Paris. The Argentine great fulfilled his life’s ambition by leading his country to the World Cup title in Qatar last year to win the one major trophy that eluded him in his incredible career. Messi beat Manchester City forward Erling Haaland to the sport’s biggest individual prize. Aitana Bonmati won the women’s award for guiding Spain to victory at the Women’s World Cup in August. She also helped Barcelona win the Women’s Champions League and Spanish league.
Anchorage’s oldest building, a Russian Orthodox church, gets new life in restoration project
EKLUTNA, Alaska (AP) — A refurbishing effort will breathe new life into Anchorage’s oldest standing building, a simple Russian Orthodox log church dating from the era of Russia’s colonization of Alaska. The church features not only religious icons provided by Romanov czars but a cemetery blending burial traditions from Russia and the Indigenous beliefs of the Dena’ina Athabascan people. A three-year restoration project started this month at the old St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Eklutna, an Indigenous village that is the only Alaska Native community within the municipality of Anchorage.
In Benin, Voodoo’s birthplace, believers bemoan steady shrinkage of forests they revere as sacred
PORTO-NOVO, Benin (AP) — In Benin, the birthplace of Voodoo, practitioners of the faith believe the country’s forests are home to the spirits they seek guidance from and pray to. But those woodlands in the West African nation are disappearing because of development and other factors. In the West, Voodoo is sometimes regarded as evil, or conflated with witchcraft. But in Benin, Voodoo priests say the religion is grounded in positivity, based on tolerance and acceptance, and abides by a strict set of rules. Believers see the forests as homes for spirits, which priests pray to and seek guidance from.
How extreme weather in the US may have affected the pumpkins you picked this year for Halloween
HUDSON, Colo. (AP) — Some pumpkin farmers in the West, particularly wholesalers in places like Colorado and New Mexico, are feeling the pinching effects of drought. Farmers have had to rely on dwindling water for irrigation while battling wacky weather to get their crops planted on time. Some have cut back on other crops they grow because pumpkins bring in the most money, while others have described lower yields of smaller gourds. Still, pumpkins in major-producing places like Illinois are doing okay. Issues in the West are a reminder that all crops suffer when water becomes more scarce — and that other challenges, like labor and inflation, are stymieing farmers across the board, resulting in higher prices at the grocery store or pumpkin patch.
Coach hired, team still required: Soccer’s status in the Marshall Islands is a work in progress
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Lloyd Owers has been given a coaching job in the Marshall Islands on football’s frontier. All he needs now is a national team. The small nation of five islands and about 60,000 people situated in the western Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Australia has been touted as the “last country on Earth” without international representation in the sport. Englishman Owers was appointed technical director of the Marshall Islands Soccer Federation in December with the initial aims of pulling together a team that can get international status. It’s a work in progress.
‘Friends’ creators, actors, family mourn Matthew Perry: ‘The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken’
Matthew Perry was mourned on social media by “Friends” creators, co-stars and some very famous fans. They include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his mom on the hit sit-com “Friends,” as well as Adele. Perry played Chandler Bing on NBC’s “Friends” for 10 seasons. He was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Saturday. Trudeau, who attended elementary school with Perry while their parents worked together, thanked Perry for the laughs. Adele, who didn’t know the “Friends” star personally, took time at her Las Vegas show to address the loss. Others who posted online included Morgan Fairchild, Selma Blair and Wendell Pierce.
The last new Beatles song, ‘Now And Then,’ will be released next week
NEW YORK (AP) — This is it — the last “new” Beatles song. Sixty years after the onset of Beatlemania, the surviving members of the quartet are releasing the song “Now And Then.” Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr got a little help from artificial intelligence. The song was written and recorded in sketch form by the late John Lennon in the late 1970s. McCartney, Starr and the late George Harrison worked on it in the 1990s but were stymied by technical limitations. AI was used last year to clean up Lennon’s vocals, and McCartney and Starr added backing voices and instrumentation. It will be released next week.
Canadian fishing boat rescues American fisherman from missing vessel based in Washington state
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Authorities say a Canadian fishing boat has rescued an American man one day after the U.S. Coast Guard ended its search for a missing commercial fishing boat from Washington state with two people board. A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman says the Canada-based Ocean Sunset spotted a covered life raft drifting in open ocean about 46 miles off the west coast of Vancouver Island on Thursday. He says the Ocean Sunset’s crew found the man conscious on the raft, which was from the Evening fishing boat based in Gray’s Harbor, Washington. The fate of the Evening and the other person aboard are unknown. Coast Guard officials hoped to speak with the survivor soon to determine whether to renew the search. The Evening had been reported missing in mid-October.
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