Angelina Jolie, the special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is appealing for urgent funding to assist more than 3 million displaced Iraqis and Syrians living in dire conditions in northern Iraq.
Visiting Iraq for the fifth time, Jolie said that the slow pace of funding this year to help people displaced by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq has triggered a humanitarian crisis that will lead to catastrophe, if not addressed. The UNHCR said it received only 53 percent of the $337 million required to fund its response to internal displacement in Iraq and Syria during 2014.
"We are being tested here as an international community and so far, for all the immense efforts and good intentions, the international community is failing," she told journalists Sunday at a refugee camp in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk. "The people I met today need to know that we will be with them."
The civil war in Syria, now entering its fourth year, prompted millions to flee their homes to neighboring countries and abroad as the fighting shows no sign of easing. The fighting intensified and later spilled into Iraq as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant seized about one-third of both Iraq and Syria. ISIL's territorial gains have driven millions more from their homes in both countries. "Millions of people are internally displaced and over 5 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in Syria alone," Jolie said. "They are paying the price for our collective failure to end the conflict, which has allowed extremists to take hold."
For Watson, time for singing lessons
Emma Watson will play Belle in Disney's live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast." Disney announced the casting of the "Harry Potter" star Monday, setting the prettier half of the romance. Who will play the Beast hasn't yet been announced. In a Facebook message, Watson said that she was a huge fan of the tale while growing up and that her "6-year-old self is on the ceiling." She added: "Time to start some singing lessons!" "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" director Bill Condon is taking over from the previously attached director, Guillermo del Toro.
Memoir deal: "Jersey Belle" star Jaime Primak Sullivan has more than one way of getting real. Sullivan has a deal with Touchstone for a "hilarious and frank fish-out-of-water memoir" about living in Birmingham, Ala., set for publication this fall. The book is called "Saved by the Belles: The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl." Besides the "Jersey Belle" reality series, which airs on Bravo, Sullivan is also the creator of Cawfeetawk, an online program. Her memoir will be co-written with Eve Adamson.