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Record label counts cost of BTS break



K-pop pioneers BTS faced tears and sympathy from fans, but anger from shareholders in their management company on Wednesday, a day after the band, pleading exhaustion, announced a break from group musical activities to pursue solo projects

BTS fans were left in tears by the band’s announcement they were taking a break and pursuing solo projects.

But the South Korean group’s management company also had to deal with unhappy investors on Wednesday (June 15).

Tuesday’s announcement angered investors in the K-pop band’s record label HYBE.

The company, which went public two years ago, saw shares fall by a quarter on Wednesday and wipe just over $1.5 billion off its market value.

HYBE shares have performed poorly in recent months.

The company’s CEO and some BTS members sold stock for around $7.75 million in December.

BTS’ upbeat hits and messages of youth empowerment have turned them into global megastars.

But some band members are close to military service age, potentially requiring an unavoidable break from music.

All able-bodied South Korean men must do about two years of military service.

The oldest BTS member, Jin, is due to begin duty next year.

There could be a reprieve on the cards, though.

A bill pushing for military exemptions for globally renowned artists is pending in parliament.

It comes after a long debate over whether BTS deserve the same benefits and exemptions that sports athletes enjoy.

Investors, and fans, will hope lawmakers vote to give the boys a break.


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Deepfakes are taking over Hollywood



Deepfakes are the online phenomenon changing the way in which we consume and trust social media

Have you ever scrolled through social media and found a celebrity selling something a bit left of centre?

Chances are you have fallen victim to a deepfake.

These images and videos are a type of artificial intelligence, which promises to create doctored videos, which are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.

They have typically been used in pornographic clips and for celebrity endorsements.

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Prince Harry involved in ‘near catastrophic’ car chase



Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death

Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi photographers in New York.

The incident took place after they left the Ms. Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” said Prince Harry’s spokesperson.

The chase involved paparazzi driving on the sidewalk, running red lights and driving while taking pictures.

“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said.

Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death.

Princess Diana was killed when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020, partly over what they described as intense media harassment.

Harry is currently involved in numerous court cases in London where he has accused papers of using unlawful methods to target him and his family.

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Tom Hanks open to continuing career with A.I. help



Despite the crackdown on A.I., one famous actor has raised the prospect of his career continuing after his death by using the technology

‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Cast Away’ actor Tom Hanks says new tech could be used to recreate his image to appear in movies “from now until kingdom come”.

Hanks was asked about the legal ramifications of A.I. on a recent podcast with Adam Buxton.

He says talks are being held in the film industry about how to protect actors from the effects of the technology.

Hanks told the host: “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on.”

The award-winning actor acknowledged that tech developments could lead to an AI-generated version of himself appearing in films he may not not normally choose.

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