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Katy Perry and the Catholic Church awarded $10m in convent case

The pop star is awarded $3.3 million over her planned purchase of a convent in Los Angeles.

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Katy Perry and the Catholic Church have been awarded almost $10m (£7.5m) in damages after the star’s plans to buy a former LA convent ended up in court.

Perry agreed to purchase the hilltop property for $14.5m (£10.8m) in 2015.

But two of the nuns who used to live there objected, and instead sold it to restaurateur Dana Hollister without the approval of the archdiocese.

Last month, a jury found Hollister intentionally interfered with Perry’s planned purchase.

The businesswoman made her purchase of the eight acre property with the co-operation of Sisters Rita Callanan and Catherine Rose Holzman, who maintained they had the authority to sell.

In contrast to Perry’s multi-million dollar purchase, Hollister paid just $44,000 (£32,000), with an agreement to pay a further $9.9 million (£7.4 million) after three years.

Image copyright Rex Features Image caption The property has a sweeping view of California’s San Gabriel Mountains.

The sisters said they were uncomfortable about handing over the former convent to Perry who, despite coming from a church background, is known for provocative songs like I Kissed A Girl and California Gurls.

They refused to change their minds even after Perry visited to plea her case – showing the nuns “a Jesus tattoo on her wrist” and performing a rendition of the gospel hymn Oh, Happy Day.

“I found her videos,” Sister Rita Callanan told the Los Angeles Times. “I wasn’t happy with any of it.”

However, the church and Perry’s lawyers contended that the sisters did not have the right to sell the property, which they vacated in 2011.

They did not obtain the required legal blessings of Archbishop Jose Gomez and the Vatican – which must approve the sale of any property for more than $7.5 million (£5.6 million) – they argued in court.

A Superior Court judge ruled in the church’s favour earlier this year, and a jury decided in November that Hollister should have been aware her purchase was invalid.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionJames Cook reports: “Katy Perry thought she had bought the property for $15m”

The businesswoman acted with malice in persisting with her claim to the property, which she planned to turn into a boutique hotel, the court found.

She was ordered to pay the archdiocese $3.47 million (£2.59 million) and Perry’s company, Bird Nest LLC, $1.57 million (£1.17 million) in legal fees.

On Monday, Hollister was also ordered to pay $10 million (£7.47 million) in punitive damages. Two-thirds of the sum will go to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and one-third will go to Perry.

Hollister’s lawyer, Michael Geibelson, said his client’s assets were worth about $4 million, meaning she will not be able to pay either fee in full.

Perry now hopes to be able to complete her purchase of the convent, which includes an agreement to “provide an alternative property for a house of prayer” worth $4.5 million (£3.4 million), according to the archdiocese.

“Katy is extremely pleased with the jury’s insight and understanding,” Perry’s lawyer told Billboard in a statement.

Hollister’s lawyer has indicated she intends to appeal the ruling.

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Entertainment & Art

Fossilised eggs shed light on reign of pterosaurs

A collection of 200 eggs gives new insights into the development of the extinct flying reptiles.

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The largest clutch of pterosaurs eggs ever discovered suggests that the extinct flying reptiles may have gathered together in vast colonies to lay their eggs.

More than 200 eggs were discovered at one location in China.

Little is known about how the pterosaurs reproduced.

The find suggests that hatchlings were probably incapable of flight when they emerged from the egg, and needed some parental care.

Predator attack

Fossilised pterosaur eggs and embryos are extremely rare. Until now only a handful of eggs have been found, in Argentina and north-western China.

The large collection of eggs suggests pterosaurs may have nested in colonies, where they defended their offspring from predator attack.

Image copyright Zhao Chuang Image caption Reconstruction by Zhao Chuang

Pterosaur experts Xiaolin Wang of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing and Alexander Kellner of the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro discovered the fossils.

The 215-plus eggs could not have been laid by the same female, said Dr Kellner.

An almost complete skeleton of a hatchling shows that bones related to flight were less developed than bones of the hind limb, indicating that newborns might have been able to walk but not fly.

”That implies some parental help was needed for the hatchlings,” he told BBC News.

‘Crucial advance’

They will continue to search for new fossils, he added, to try to get a more detailed understanding of ”the first vertebrates that conquered the air some 225 million years ago and that went extinct, without leaving any descendants some 66 million years ago”.

Image copyright Alexander Kellner/Museum Nacional/UFRJ Image caption Pterosaur bones were found alongside the eggs Image copyright Alexander Kellner/Museum Nacional/UFRJ Image caption Paleontologists Kellner and Wang in the field

The eggs belong to a pterosaur species known as Hamipterus tianshanensis, which was first discovered in 2005 in the Turpan-Hami Basin of north-western China.

Geological evidence suggests large numbers of the flying reptiles died in a storm in the Early Cretaceous period, about 120 million years ago.

Commenting on the research, Charles Deeming of the University of Lincoln, said it raised many questions, such as how many eggs were laid at a time.

”The work is a crucial advance in understanding pterosaur reproduction,” Dr Deeming said.

”Hopefully additional finds of equally spectacular fossils will help us answer such questions for pterosaurs and allow us to paint an increasingly complete picture of reproduction in these extinct species.”

The research is published in the journal, Science.

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Celebrity Big Brother: All-female launch ‘to mark 100 years of women’s votes’

The CBB house will be man-free at first, marking the centenary of women getting the vote.

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The next series of Celebrity Big Brother is to launch with just female housemates “in a salute to a centenary of women’s suffrage”.

The show will begin in January with only women in the house before male contestants join them.

Channel 5 said it wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of women over 30 being given the vote.

But a descendant of suffragettes Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst said they would have laughed at the idea.

Dr Helen Pankhurst, an equality campaigner who is Sylvia’s granddaughter and Emmeline’s great-granddaughter, welcomed the fact the programme would raise awareness.

However she said people needed to realise there are still big problems in the entertainment industry and wider society.

‘Serious message’

“Anything that draws attention the centenary and allows a discussion and gets that message through to different audiences is a great thing,” she told BBC News.

“I’ll be really interested to hear what the audience have to say about it all and to hear the whole discussion it will promote.”

Asked what her grandmother and great-grandmother would make of the plan, Dr Pankhurst said she thought they would laugh, adding: “I really don’t know what they would make of the world we live in.”

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sarah Harding won over British voters in the last series

Dr Pankhurst is publishing a book titled Deeds Not Words – named after the suffragettes’ slogan – in February to mark the anniversary.

“The message has to remain that there is a really serious issue behind the power imbalance that still remains,” she said.

“That is why we have a number of troubles, like the whole #MeToo issue, which is rife in the entertainment industry. So I think they would say, ‘fine, but let’s keep on with the messaging.'”

Channel 5 said the show “will initially explore how the all-female housemates interact”.

The male contestants will enter “over the course of the series”, but the broadcaster wouldn’t say how long the house would remain a man-free zone.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This will be the 21st UK series of Celebrity Big Brother

They also wouldn’t say how many contestants of each gender will eventually be inside, or whether it will end up with an equal split.

But their announcement said it would show “what happens when women hold the power”.

“The housemates will take part in a series of entertaining tasks and hidden experiments which will test their – and our – assumptions, challenge gender stereotypes and reveal fascinating truths about what it is to be a woman – and man – in the 21st Century,” it said.

Women over 30 gained the right to vote in parliamentary elections in the UK in 1918, following a long campaign by the suffragettes and after the contribution by women to the war effort during World War One was recognised.

The voting age for women was lowered to 21 in 1928, putting them on an equal footing with men.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

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Cineworld to buy Regal cinemas in blockbuster deal

The $3.6bn (£2.7bn) takeover will create the second largest cinema chain in the world.

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Cineworld has agreed to buy US cinema chain Regal in a $3.6bn (£2.7bn) deal that will create the world’s second largest cinema group.

The new cinema giant will operate in 10 countries, and have 9,500 screens across the US and Europe.

The deal gives Cineworld access to North America, which has the largest box office market in the world.

Cineworld currently has more than 2,000 screens across 221 sites and also owns the Picturehouse Cinemas chain.

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The deal is a big bet on the cinema sector, which is under threat from streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes which allow viewers to watch films at home.

In the US this summer’s takings at the box office were at their lowest level for more than two decades.

But annual takings have been more than $11bn for the last two years.

And in the UK, cinema attendance is up around 8% so far this year with around 165 million tickets sold each year.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The 1946 film Notorious was released in an era of record cinema attendance

The numbers are still a far cry from UK cinema-going’s peak after World War Two which saw a record 1.63 billion cinema admissions in 1946.

Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger said he expected to bring Regal’s profit margins to nearer Cineworld.

Currently Cineworld has a 22% margin, while Regal has just short of a 20% profit margin.

Its main rival is AMC , which is majority owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group.

This year, Cineworld’s audiences have been boosted by blockbusters Dunkirk and Despicable Me 3, with recent big releases including Paddington 2 and Justice League.

Mr Greidinger said: “Regal is a great business and provides Cineworld with the optimal platform on which we can continue our growth strategy.”

News of the deal saw shares in Cineworld drop 2.5% by midday.

Last week, the cinema chain’s shares plunged 20% when it revealed it was in takeover talks with Regal.

Cineworld has agreed to pay $23 a share for Regal, and is funding the deal mainly by asking investors to stump up £1.7bn by buying new shares through a procedure known as a rights issue. Issuing new shares typically depresses the price of existing shares.

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