Egypt Independent: Culture-Main news en Madonna wants 'a drink' with French far-right leader Le Pen <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Madonna wants to &quot;sit down and have a drink&quot; with France&#39;s far-right leader Marine Le Pen to hear out the woman she once demonised on stage by showing a picture of her with a swastika on her forehead.</p><p>The American singer -- who only last week called Le Pen&#39;s National Front party &quot;fascist&quot; and said France and Europe now &quot;feels like Nazi Germany&quot; -- made the offer in an interview late Monday on French television network Canal+.</p><p>&quot;I would like to sit down and have a drink with her. I want to understand where she&#39;s coming from,&quot; Madonna said.</p><p>&quot;I would like to meet her and really hear it from her mouth to my ears what she believes in in terms of human rights, yes in terms of human rights -- not only in France but in all of the world.&quot;</p><p>The US diva&#39;s tone towards Le Pen was markedly different than in the past. In 2012, Madonna superimposed a swastika on a picture of Le Pen during a Paris concert, provoking a threat of a lawsuit from the French politician.</p><p>Last week, on French radio station Europe 1, Madonna claimed &quot;it feels like Nazi Germany&quot; in Europe because &quot;anti-Semitism is at an all-time high&quot; in France and elsewhere on the continent.</p><p>The diva also told the radio that she had received &quot;a lot of criticism and threats from Marie (sic) Le Pen&quot; and the National Front.</p><p>But in the Canal+ interview, Madonna conceded: &quot;Maybe I misunderstood Marine Le Pen. I&#39;m not sure. I don&#39;t want to start a war. I want peace in the world.&quot;</p><p>During the TV show, Madonna met and hugged one of the cartoonists who survived the January 7 massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebo, the French satirical newspaper.</p><p>The 56-year-old also sang a couple of songs from her new album, &quot;Rebel Heart&quot;, that she is promoting ahead of a global tour.</p><p>Madonna&#39;s on-stage tumble at the Brit Awards, when a cape she was wearing failed to detach on cue and brought her crashing down steps, was raised early in the interview.</p><p>The interviewer quoted a Chinese proverb that says &quot;the biggest difficulty is not how you fall, but to get up each time that you fall&quot;.</p><p>That earned a surly response from Madonna. &quot;Is it going to be a whole night of these jokes?&quot; she asked.</p><div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:38:00 +0000 AFP 2445422 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/12/22/499612/madonna.jpg Culture Ministry investigates Salam theater portrait destruction <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Culture Minister Gaber Asfour ordered an investigation over the destruction of the &quot;100 years of enlightenment&quot; portrait in February and formed a committee headed by his legal advisor.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The committee recently visited Al-Salam Theater and looked over the portrait, as well as questioned officials.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The investigation&#39;s outcome is expected to be reviewed by the minister within a few hours on Tuesday, at which point necessary measures will be taken with the perpetrators.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Fine artist Salah al-Anany dedicated the portrait to the theater in 1990. It depicted Egypt&rsquo;s most famous figures in different fields throughout the 20th century. It was destroyed by those working on the &ldquo;Man Without Agenda&rdquo; play in February as they were preparing for the production which opened on 3 February.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:47:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2445378 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/09/09/39/gaber_asfour.jpeg Pharaonic rest house discovered east of Suez Canal <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>A Pharaonic royal rest house had been discovered east of the Suez Canal, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said on Monday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The rest house, belonging to King Tuthmosis II, was unearthed in Tal Habwa, Qantara in the Ismailia governorate, the minister announced during a visit to archaeological sites east of the Suez Canal.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It is one of three rest houses that had previously been discovered, belonging to Pharaoh King Seti I and the other to Ramses II, the minister added, noting that the newly found structure is made of mudbrick.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:34:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2445351 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/10/1755/antiquities_minister_mamdouh_al-damaty.jpg Will Smith's 'Focus' opens with $19.1 million to win US box office <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Will Smith&#39;s new action drama &quot;Focus&quot; booted the kinky sex tale &quot;Fifty Shades of Grey&quot; for its perch atop US and Canadian weekend box office charts, racking up $19.1 million in ticket sales.</p><p>Smith, in his first leading role since 2013&#39;s &quot;After Earth,&quot; plays a seasoned con artist who meets up with an aspiring con artist, played by Margot Robbie, in the romance-caper film hybrid.</p><p>&quot;Kingsman: The Secret Service&quot;, an adaptation of a popular comic series which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Firth about a spy agency&#39;s training program and a global threat by a tech genius, also outpaced &quot;Grey&quot; to claim second place with $11.8 million.</p><p>Third place on a weekend that saw business hampered by rough winter weather in the south and midwest again went to the family-friendly &quot;The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water&quot;, based on the popular television show about a talking animated sponge. It sold $11.2 million in tickets.</p><p>&quot;Grey,&quot; the smash hit adaptation of the best-selling novel which stars James Dornan and Dakota Johnson as the libidinous couple, took in $10.9 million, landing in fourth from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates. The film is closing in on $148 million at the domestic box office since opening just over two weeks ago.</p><p>Rounding out the top five, &quot;The Lazarus Effect,&quot; which stars Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde as researchers trying to resurrect the dead, took the No. 5 spot on its opening weekend with $10.6 million in sales.</p><p>&quot;This was a rather slow weekend at the box office,&quot; said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at box office tracking firm Rentrak, noting that Oscar winners such as &quot;Still Alice&quot; and &quot;Birdman&quot; had received a good boost from Sunday&#39;s awards.</p><p>&quot;The severely inclement weather in the south and midwest threw off our number,&quot; said Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros, the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow">TimeWarner</a>&nbsp;unit that released &quot;Focus.&quot;</p><p>&quot;When you look at the markets not hit by weather, we did really well,&quot; Goldstein said, adding that the film had played especially well with younger audiences, where &quot;word of mouth will really help.&quot;</p><p>International box office would further boost the film&#39;s fortunes, Goldstein said.</p><p>Comcast Corp&#39;s Universal Pictures released &quot;Fifty Shades of Grey&quot;. &quot;Kingsman: The Secret Service&quot; was released by 20th Century Fox, the unit of 21st Century Fox. &quot;The SpongeBob Movie&quot; was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.</p> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:26:00 +0000 Reuters 2445328 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/03/02/43/will_smith.jpg