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Kermit actor fired over 'unacceptable business conduct'

The Muppets Studio have said they fired Steve Whitmire, who had voiced Kermit the Frog for 27 years, for “unacceptable business conduct”. Last week it was announced Whitmire was to be replaced but no reason was given. Whitmire has told the Hollywood Reporter it was because he spoke up against changes being made to the character he felt were against what creator Jim Henson would have wanted. “They felt I had been ‘disrespectful’ in being outspoken,” he said. A statement from the Muppet Studios said it was due to his…

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Brexit talks resume: Get down to business, David Davis urges

Brexit Secretary David Davis has called on both sides in the negotiations on the UK’s departure from the European Union to “get down to business”. Mr Davis is in Brussels for a second round of formal talks on Brexit. He said his priority was to “lift the uncertainty” for EU citizens living in the UK and Britons living in the EU. The EU says there must be substantial progress on this – and on a financial settlement and the issue of the Irish border – before trade talks can begin….

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When the gender pay gap is your business model

In a recent column in the Australian Financial Review, entrepreneur Peter McConnell writes that he hopes mothers are too busy to read the paper. If they did, they might have read him boasting about how his online business has been built on the labour of underpaid mothers. “Commtract’s achievements can largely be sheeted home to some amazing mothers who get paid far too little for their contribution because they require flexibility,” wrote McConnell. Flexibility is working mother’s Achilles heel.  Photo: Stocksy That’s right folks. McConnell’s online marketplace for communications professionals…

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Gossip 

Cannes Film Festival highlights: Laughter, tears and monkey business

With the prizes given out, the bags packed and the hangovers kicking in, the 70th Cannes Film Festival has drawn to a close. This year’s top prize went to surprise winner The Square, a Swedish film about the sometimes bonkers art world and how we can best help others. Cannes has seen dozens of film premieres and parties, and red carpet appearances from the likes of Rihanna, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Here are some of the highlights and talking points from the past 12 days. It can get emotional…

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Sports 

Arsene Wenger rules out any late Arsenal transfer business and calls on squad to prove him right

Arsene Wenger has called on his Arsenal players to prove he is correct not to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window. The Gunners have yet to make any major acquisitions this month and Wenger has again reiterated he has no intention to buy before Tuesday’s 11pm deadline. The Frenchman showed how strong his current squad is as he made 10 changes for Saturday’s 5-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory over Southampton. Danny Welbeck scored a brace, with Theo Walcott adding a hat-trick as the likes of Petr Cech, Laurent…

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Travel 

SIA: Where Business Class does more than its business

The guy a couple of rows ahead of me has the right idea. Just 30 minutes into the inaugural non-stop flight from Singapore to San Francisco, he was ready to call it a night. He changed into his pyjamas, transformed his seat into a 2m-long, fully-flat bed, and promptly withdrew from the world of the awake. Clearly, proper rest meant more to him than discovering what else Singapore Airlines’ new Business Class has to offer. Nor did he let the significance of the flight get in the way of his…

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