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Meghan's father Thomas Markle appeals to her to call home

Thomas Markle appealed to his daughter Meghan to call home, saying Monday they hadn't spoken since her wedding to Prince Harry in May.

The former actress, now known as the Duchess of Sussex, has ignored his attempts to get in touch, Thomas Markle told ITV. Markle had been scheduled to walk his daughter down the aisle, but pulled out of the wedding at the last moment because of heart problems.

"I love my daughter very much and she has to know that, and I would really appreciate if she would call me, just reach out to me," Markle said in the interview from San Diego.

In Markle's first television interview since the duchess announced her pregnancy in October, the 74-year-old grandfather-to-be agreed he'd been "ghosted" by his daughter. He suggested the royal couple had been influenced by media reports about him.

"The funny thing about my daughter and Prince Harry is that they believe everything they read in the paper," he said. "What's happened, I'm not sure. I'd love to talk about it. I think it comes back to the fact that reporters pick up on interviews I've done and write their own stories and tell lies."

Markle hopes Queen Elizabeth II will help heal the rift.

He also rejected the notion his daughter had a habit of dumping those she no longer needed.

"That's really not a character trait," he said. "She's always been very polite to everyone, never been rude to anyone. I don't know what's really happening right now."

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one of Hollywood's most underappreciated actors, but next month's Golden Globe Awards will showcase his life and illustrious career next month by bestowing him one of its highest honors.

Bridges will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 76th annual awards ceremony on Jan. 6, 2019, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Monday. The actor been praised for starring in films including "Crazy Heart," ''True Grit," ''Hell or High Water" and "The Big Lebowski," which became a cult classic thanks to his nonchalant, knit-sweater wearing character Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski.

HFPA President Meher Tatna said in a statement the Golden Globe winner has "captured hearts and minds" of audiences worldwide.

Bridges, 69, won a Globe in 2010 for best actor for his role in "Crazy Heart," when he remarked at the time during his acceptance speech about "chipping away" at his underappreciated status. He went on to win an Academy Award that year, and also received previous Globe nominations for his performances in "Starman," ''The Fisher King," ''Contender" and "Hell or High Water."

The DeMille Award is given annually to an "individual who has made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment." Past recipients include Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball.

The Globes next year is also adding the Carol Burnett Award, an accolade that focuses on life achievement in television. The inaugural award will go to the 85-year-old Burnett, a five-time winner at the Globes.

In 1983, Bridges founded the End Hunger Network, a nonprofit dedicated to feeding children globally.

Bridges co-executive produced the 1996 television film "Hidden in America," which focused on poverty in America.

This year, he appeared in the mystery thriller "Bad Times at the El Royale" starring Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm and Dakota Johnson.

Centerville restaurant gets ‘Christmas miracle’ from its customers

Business was so slow nine days ago on Dec. 8 at Flavors Eatery that the Centerville restaurant’s co-owner Debbie Schell told her daughter Renee, who works at the restaurant, that she wasn’t sure she and her husband could keep the eatery open for much longer.

“We didn’t make enough money that day to cover our expenses,” Schell told this news outlet in a phone interview Friday, Dec. 14.

Schell — who along with her husband Steve had purchased the restaurant from its previous owners more than five years ago — said she and Renee started brainstorming, and her daughter suggested writing a very frank Facebook post that would seek their customers’ support. 

Here’s what the post said:

“We know everyone’s busy with schedules, finals, shopping and in-laws in town, but we need you to come stuff your hungry bellies full of flavors!!! Being a small family business, we are struggling this year more than usual. We need your support! Host your Christmas party at Flavors, come meet a friend for lunch, or have a double date night and we’ll serve you a delicious dinner. If you want flavors to see 2019, we need your help with those hungry appetites of yours!! We thank you for all your love and support!!”

Over the course of the next week, that plea for support was shared more than 300 times on Facebook, and it triggered a strong surge of business in the restaurant, which is located at 865 E. Franklin St. across from Centerville High School.

“We are thankful that so many have responded,” Schell said. “I must have spoken to six or seven tables that had never been in the restaurant before, but they came in to support a small, family-owned shop, which is what we are. It has been incredibly heartwarming to see that many people some in and say, ‘We want to support you, and by the way, we will be back, because your food is great.’”

“For us, it’s a Christmas miracle,” Schell said. “And I’m serious.”

Four days later, Renee Schell expressed her family’s gratitude in a follow-up post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. It read:

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who have supported us this week!!   Since our last post, we have had a great busy week thanks to your help!!! Packed to the brim each day so far this week!! Thank you for all your love and encouragement you’ve given Flavors!!” 

And on Friday, Dec. 14, the restaurant posted:

We are absolutely blown away by your support!! You all have been our Christmas miracle for our family!! We asked for your help and you all extended your hands with so much support!!  Keep us in your 2019!! We still need you!!  This week has been the busiest we’ve ever seen it during the winter!! So thankful for your never ending love and support!! It’s been overwhelming to our family to see everyone filing in one after another and being so patient while we bustle around getting everyone’s food.

The menu at Flavors features health-conscious dishes that include wraps, salads, quesadillas and “Flaky Bakes,” healthy ingredients stacked atop a flour tortilla and baked. 

The restaurant also offers what it calls “Meal Hacks” meals to go that are designed to be a healthy alternative to fast food. Customers can pick up their orders on Monday and heat and serve the meals during the week. Meal Hack menus are posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mealsbyflavorseatery.

Flavors in Centerville shares the same name as a similar restaurant in Lebanon, but has separate ownership. 

Flavors Eatery’s winter hours are Monday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed Sunday.

The restaurant’s phone number is (937) 434-6336.

Luke Bryan Reveals Mustache To Wife in “12 Days of Pranksmas”

It’s easy to say Luke Bryan and his wife definitely have a good time and make things fun for the family.

Caroline started 12 days of pranks, and she herself painted with clear nail polish, a bar of Irish Spring soap. I had to Google exactly what this did - do you leave it still wet with the paint and put it in the shower or do you let it dry and then put it in shower so the soap doesn’t work? Legit questions I had - but here’s what Google said: “This is one of the simplest yet most frustrating pranks I've ever done. ... Cover the entire bar of soap in nail polish and let it dry so it is unlatherable.”

Well, Luke then also shocked Caroline when he shaved his face into mustache:

Miss Universe 2018: Who is Miss Philippines Catriona Gray, this year's winner?

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned the winner of this year's Miss Universe competition Monday in Bangkok, Thailand.

>> PHOTOS: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray wins Miss Universe 2018

Here are five things you should know about Gray, a 24-year-old model, singer and TV host from the Philippines' Albay province:

1. She grew up in Australia. Gray, whose father is Scottish and mother is Filipina, was born in Cairns, Queensland, where she attended Trinity Anglican School, according to the Manila Standard and the Central Telegraph. At age 18, she moved to the Philippines, ABC-CBN reported.

>> Miss Universe 2018: Philippines’ Catriona Gray wins crown in Thailand

2. The singer studied music in Boston. Gray attended the Berklee College of Music and has a master’s certificate in music theory, according to the Miss World Philippines website. She's also "known to spontaneously burst into song," the Miss Universe website says.

3. She's working to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and end poverty. According to the Miss Universe website, Gray is an advocate for LoveYourself, an organization that promotes HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and education. She's also a volunteer teacher's assistant for Young Focus, which works with young people in poverty. 

4. She's a daredevil. Gray, who loves to travel, "is always game for heart-racing adventures," such as zip lining, the Miss Universe website says. She also enjoys the outdoors and has a black belt in Choi Kwang-Do, according to the Miss World Philippines website.

>> Read more trending news 

5. She loves food and cooking. Gray is "openly passionate about her love for Filipino dishes, including adobobalut [boiled bird embryo] and the sweetest mangoes in the world," the Miss Universe website says

Read more here or here.

Photos: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray wins Miss Universe 2018

The Philippines’ Catriona Gray was named Miss Universe 2018 in a competition concluding Monday in Bangkok, besting contestants from 93 other countries and delighting her home nation.

Miss Universe 2018: Philippines’ Catriona Gray wins crown in Thailand

The Philippines’ Catriona Gray beat out contestants from 93 countries to win the 67th annual Miss Universe pageant Sunday night in Bangkok, Thailand. 

>> Read more trending news 

Gray bested first runner-up South Africa’s Tamaryn Green and Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela, who rounded out the top three.

>> PHOTOS: Miss Philippines Catriona Gray wins Miss Universe 2018

She succeeds Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa who took home the crown last year.

>> Who is Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018?

Comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey returned to host the contest and did not misread the winner’s name as he did in 2015, although Miss Costa Rica, a TV host, too, joked about the infamous mix-up, according to PhilStar Global.

Harvey asked her if she had any professional advice for him 

and she joked, “If they ever give you, like, a really, really, really important envelope, try to read it carefully, OK?”

The pageant was judged this year by seven women, including business women and former Miss Universe winners, in keeping with the contest’s theme of “Empowered Women.”

>> Related: Miss America to end swimsuit competition

The pageant also made history this year with the first transgender contestant to ever take part in the contest. Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, however, did not make the top 20.

Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, did make the finals, but did not break the top 10.

 

Top of mind: 'Justice' is Merriam-Webster's word of the year

Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice Department. Merriam-Webster has chosen "justice" as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle over months and months.

The word follows "toxic," picked by Oxford Dictionaries, and "misinformation," plucked by Dictonary.com.

Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large, told The Associated Press ahead of Monday's announcement that "justice" consistently bubbled into the top 20 or 30 lookups on the company's website, spiking at times due to specific events but also skating close to the surface for much of the year.

While it's one of those common words people likely know how to spell and use correctly in a sentence, Sokolowski pointed to other reasons that drive search traffic. Among them is an attempt to focus a train of thought around a philosophical problem, or to seek aspirational motivation. Such well-known words are often among the most looked up every year, including those that are slightly abstract, including "love," he said.

The designation for "justice" came soon after President Trump's one-time fixer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes that included arranging the payment of hush money to conceal his boss' alleged sexual affairs. He told a judge he agreed time and again to cover up Trump's "dirty deeds" out of "blind loyalty."

It also came ahead of a Senate vote on the "First Step Act," a criminal justice reform bill with broad bipartisan support. Earlier in the year, Kim Kardashian West not once but twice paid a White House visit on Trump to discuss prison and sentencing reform. Sentencing for drug crimes, treatment for opioid addiction, a loosening of cannabis laws, a Tesla probe, the Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign: Justice will remain top of mind into the new year.

"These are stories that connect to the culture and to society across races, across classes," Sokolowski said. "We get this word that filters in."

That includes Twitter in a big way.

Often, when Trump tweets about the Department of Justice, he uses simply "Justice." On Aug. 1, when he tweeted his wish for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop the Mueller investigation, searches spiked significantly. Trump referred to "obstruction of justice," a separate entry on the Merriam-Webster site, prompting a lookup increase of 900 percent over the same date the year before.

Searches for "justice" throughout the year, when compared to 2017, were up 74 percent on the site that has more than 100 million page views a month and nearly half a million entries, Sokolowski said. To be word of the year worthy, an entry has to show both a high volume of traffic and a significant year-over-year increase in lookups — as opposed to, say, a word that merely buzzed or felt lofty, he said.

"We are not editorializing. We looked at our data and we were ourselves surprised by this word," Sokolowski said. "This is a word that people have been thinking about for this entire year."

The word "justice" comes from Latin, unlike a lot of the more emotional words that rose in Old English. Old English did have "law," ''fair" and "right," but never "justice," in reference to a system of laws.

"It's not a coincidence that it comes from the 12th century, which immediately follows the Norman conquest. When the Normans invaded England they brought their language, Old French, which was basically the then-modern version of Latin. They brought their system of government and laws and imposed them on the people they conquered, and that's why all of the legal language in English today is Latin, just like the word justice," Sokolowski explained. "It took the imposition of a system of laws to bring us the word justice."

One rule breaker: "witness," a word with a purely Old English start.

Other words that experienced lookup spikes this year: "maverick" (Sen. John McCain died); "respect" (Aretha Franklin died); "excelsior" (Stan Lee's signature battle cry. He died); "pissant" (A radio host described Tom Brady's daughter that way); "pansexual" (Janelle Monae described herself that way); "laurel" (Remember laurel vs. yanny?); "feckless" (What Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump, combined with a pejorative that begins with "c''); "epiphany" (The title of a BTS K-pop song that dropped this year); "lodestar" (used in reference to McCain in the anonymous New York Times op-ed identified as coming from inside the Trump administration); and "nationalism" (At an Oct. 22 rally in Texas, Trump declared himself a nationalist).

Philippines' Catriona Gray named Miss Universe 2018

The Philippines' Catriona Gray was named Miss Universe 2018 in a competition held in Bangkok on Monday, besting contestants from 93 other countries and delighting her home nation.

Gray wore a sparkling red dress that she said was inspired by a volcano in the Philippines as she was handed the crown to the delight of a roaring crowd in the Thai capital that generally favored Southeast Asian contestants.

The 24-year-old singer and model said she wore red because "when I was 13, my mom said she had a dream that I would win Miss Universe in a red dress." She said her mom cried when they saw each other after she won the competition, the 67th Miss Universe pageant.

Gray edged out first runner-up Tamaryn Green of South Africa and third-place Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela. She succeeds Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.

In the Philippines, pageants are a popular attraction, and Gray's countrymen watching the televised contest cheered wildly and jumped for joy when she was declared the winner.

Celebrations were especially buoyant in Oas town in the northeastern province of Albay, from which Gray's Filipina mother hails. According to Gray, her gown's design, with its lava color and appearance, was influenced by Albay's iconic Mayon Volcano.

Gray's father is Australian, and she was born and grew up in Cairns, Australia. She studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the United States.

The office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was quick to congratulate the winner — the fourth Filipina to be named Miss Universe.

"Ms. Gray truly made the entire Philippines proud when she sashayed on the global stage and showcased the genuine qualities defining a Filipina beauty: confidence, grace, intelligence and strength in the face of tough challenges," Duterte said in a statement from the presidential palace. "In her success, Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work."

An early round of questioning touched on the issue of drugs, a controversial subject in the Philippines, where Duterte's aggressive anti-drug crackdown has taken thousands of lives, many in what critics charge were extrajudicial executions. Duterte raised even more controversy when he recently joked that he smoked marijuana to deal with his busy schedule of meetings with other Asian leaders at a regional summit.

Asked what she thought about legalizing marijuana, Gray said: "I'm for it being used for medical use, but not so for recreational use. Because I think if people will argue, then what about alcohol and cigarettes? Everything is good, but in moderation."

This year's Miss Universe competition included the first-ever transgender contestant, Angela Ponce of Spain. She said in a video presentation that it was not important for her to win, but was more important for her "to be here."

One of the few controversies of this year's contest involved Miss United States, Sarah Rose Summers, who appeared to mock contestants from Cambodia and Vietnam over their English language skills. Summers apologized.

The finale was again hosted by Steve Harvey, who infamously announced the wrong winner in the 2015 contest. Harvey joked briefly about the incident in exchanges with contestants, saying, "You all can't let that go" and "I'm still here."

The theme of this year's pageant was "Empowered Women" and was judged by seven women, including former pageant winners, businesswomen and a fashion designer.

___

Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.

First trailer for new ‘Downton Abbey’ movie released: ‘You’re cordially invited…’

“You are cordially invited to return to Downton Abbey.” 

>> Read more trending news 

The first official trailer for the eagerly anticipated movie based on the award-winning PBS Masterpiece drama was released with little detail about what might happen next at the Grantham estate, but it expressly invites fans to the big-screen version of the smash TV hit.

Here’s what we do know. Michael Engler is directing the film, which was written by the creator of the TV show, Julian Fellowes. In the movie Henry Talbot, played by Matthew Good, returns, as do Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora and Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham. Maggie Smith also reprises her role as the Dowager Countess.

The TV show, which ran for six seasons, spans 12 years and focuses on the drama between the classes on a great English estate on the verge of a vanishing way of life.

>> Related: New ‘Lion King’ trailer for live-action remake of 1994 classic released

The film is due out in September 2019.

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