'To Kill a Mockingbird' headed for Broadway debut

NEW YORK Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" is coming to Broadway for the first time in a new stage version written by "West Wing" writer Aaron Sorkin, producers said on Wednesday.The Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel about racism and injustice in the American south will make its Broadway debut in the 2017-2018 season, producer Scott Rudin said.Although the book was made into an Oscar-winning movie in 1962, starring Gregory Peck as noble lawyer Atticus Finch, and has been produced for the stage in various U.S. cities and in London, this will be the first time "Mockingbird" will be seen on Broadway.Lee's novel has sold more than 50 million copies and was thought to be the author's only book until an unpublished manuscript featuring some of the same characters was found and published last year called "Go Set A Watchman." "Watchman," described as a first draft of "Mockingbird," astounded readers and critics by portraying the heroic Finch as a racist who supported segregation. Sorkin is best known as the creator of the Emmy-winning White House television series "West Wing" and an Oscar-winner for the screenplay of "The Social Network." (Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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Blue Jay Donaldson signs two-year contract extension

Third baseman Josh Donaldson, the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2015, has signed a two-year, $28.65 million contract extension with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Major League Baseball team said on Wednesday.Donaldson, 30, will earn $11.65 million in 2016 and $17 million in 2017, the Blue Jays said in a statement.Traded to Toronto by the Oakland Athletics before the start of the 2015 season, Donaldson thrived with his new team and helped them end a 22-year absence in the postseason by claiming the American League (AL) East crown. He clouted 41 home runs, drove in an AL-leading 123 runs for the high-powered Toronto attack, and batted .297. Donaldson was named as a starter to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game after earning the most fan votes, received the Hank Aaron Award as the AL's best hitter and won his first Silver Slugger award at third base. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both)

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Warner settles 'Happy Birthday' copyright suit for $14 million

The copyright to the world's most popular song, "Happy Birthday to You," has been in dispute for decades, but if an agreement by Warner/Chappell Music to pay $14 million to end a lawsuit over the song is approved by a U.S. court, it will be free for all to use as they please. The settlement, unveiled in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday, would eliminate the music publisher's claimed ownership of the song. It also specifies that once the settlement is approved by the court, the song will be in the public domain. A hearing is scheduled for March 14. A group of artists and filmmakers filed a class action lawsuit in 2013 against Warner/Chappell, the music publishing arm of privately held Warner Music Group. In a court filing on Monday, the group hailed the settlement as "unquestionably an excellent result." "We are pleased to bring this matter to resolution," a Warner/Chappell spokeswoman said in a statement on Tuesday. The settlement money will be distributed among those who paid licensing fees for the song back to 1949.In September, Chief U.S. District Judge George King ruled that Warner/Chappell, the music publishing arm of privately owned Warner Music Group, did not have a valid copyright claim to the song's lyrics. The case garnered attention from around the world not only because the tune is so commonly performed, but because many people were not aware it was still under copyright, let alone purportedly owned by a major corporation.People who sing "Happy Birthday" in their homes or at private gatherings have typically never been at risk of a lawsuit. But when the song was used for commercial purposes, such as in films, Warner demanded payment and took in an estimated $2 million in royalties for such uses each year. The song has a complicated history reaching back to the 1893 publication of "Good Morning to All," a children's song written by a Kentucky woman named Mildred Hill and her sister, Patty. That melody eventually came to be sung with the familiar "Happy Birthday" lyrics.Warner contended its copyright to the lyrics came through the Hill sisters' publisher that it had acquired. But King said that publisher never obtained the rights to the lyrics and so neither did Warner.(The story was refiled to correct the date of the hearing to March 14 from March 4, in paragraph two)

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Woman pulled alive from rubble two days after Taiwan quake

TAINAN, Taiwan A woman was pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in the southern Taiwan city of Tainan on Monday and another man has been found alive trapped inside more than 48 hours after a deadly earthquake struck, officials said.The death toll from the quake rose to 35 earlier on Monday, with more than 100 people still missing.The quake struck at about 4 a.m. on Saturday (5.00 p.m. ET/2000 GMT Friday) at the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday, with almost all the dead found in the toppled Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in Tainan city.Rescue efforts are focused on the wreckage of the 17-storey building, where 117 people are listed as missing and are suspected to be buried deep under the rubble.Wang Ting-yu, a legislator who represents the area, told reporters the woman, Tsao Wei-ling, was found lying under her dead husband. Their 2-year-old son, who was also killed, was found lying nearby.Another person has also been located, a man called Li Tsung-tian, Wang said. The man is conscious and talking to rescuers. Tainan mayor William Lai said Tsao and Li were the only signs of life at present, although rescuers were continuing to look for others."We have not given up on even the tiniest of possibilities," he told reporters.Rescuers continued to scramble over the twisted wreckage of the building as numbed family members stood around, waiting for news of missing relatives.Lin Tong-meng said he had been waiting at the site for word of his 11- and 12-year-old nephews, who have yet to be found. "I came back and forth all yesterday and now I'm here again," Lin said. The boy's mother and father were rescued soon after the quake. Their father also stood nearby, pacing close to the rubble in tears.Taiwan's government said in a statement 33 of the 35 dead were from the Wei-guan building, which was built in 1994.President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who won election last month, said during a visit to Tainan there needed to be a "general sorting out" for old buildings to make sure they were able to cope with disasters like earthquakes. "There needs to be a continued strengthening of their ability to deal with disasters," she said.Outgoing president Ma Ying-jeou is also scheduled to visit. Chinese President Xi Jinping conveyed condolences to the victims, state news agency Xinhua reported late on Sunday, and repeated Beijing's offer to provide help.China views self-ruled Taiwan as a wayward province, to be bought under its control by force if necessary. (Reporting by J.R. Wu; Additional reporting by Megha Rajagopalan in BEIJING; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)

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Super Bowl 50 party circuit shifts into overdrive

SAN FRANCISCO With a Super Bowl 50 party circuit that could bring rock stars to their knees hitting overdrive on Saturday the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers may be the only ones well-rested for the NFL's title game.Private jets have crowded into Bay Area airports unloading their precious cargo of A-list celebrities and billionaires who have joined locals for a party-packed week of celebrations big and small in the lead-up to Sunday's Super Bowl.The NFL Experience and Super Bowl City have provided plenty of interactive family fun for an affordable price.But an invite to one of many VIP events may be harder to come by than a ticket to Sunday's game which were going for an average price of $4,827 on online ticket resale site StubHub, with one fan shelling out $27,983 for lower prime club seat.If you want to party in style this weekend, you might want to talk to your bank manager, particularly if you are interested in the San Jose Fairmont Super Bowl package which is going for $150,000 and includes three nights in their presidential suite and use of a chauffeured Escalade. Of course you will want to keep that credit card handy, since you will not be sitting in your room.Billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's DirecTV Super Saturday Night Party with the Red Hot Chili Peppers is one of the big tickets for Super Bowl eve with those not on the guest list plopping down $2,000.If that is a little too rich for your taste, entrance to the Rolling Stone magazine bash will set you back a cool $1,000, according to StubHub. ESPN, Maxim and Playboy, with two dozen centrefolds, are always among the hottest tickets for party goers.This year Playboy, who pitched their party tent in the parking lot at Major League Baseball's AT&T Park, used the event to officially debut the iconic magazine's first non-nude issue that will hit the stands in March.Metallica will perform at AT&T Park later on Saturday. Two of the bigger Super Bowl soirees were the Media Party for 3,000 accredited press and friends and Taste of the NFL, a charity event which offers the chance to sample chef-created gourmet dishes from every city represented in the league.San Francisco homeless who have protested during Super Bowl Week over the display of hedonistic excess while the needy and poor are brushed to the sidelines will also get a small taste of the party.A volunteer group called Food Runners has been gathering up leftovers from catered Super Bowl events and distributing them to homeless shelters and those living on the street. (Editing by Frank Pingue)

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