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Stranger Things 3 breaks Netflix viewing records

LOS ANGELES : Retro sci-fi series Stranger Things has broken Netflix viewing records with the global launch of its third season, the streaming giant said in a rare tweet publishing viewing data.

The nostalgic 1980s show about a gang of suburban adolescents battling supernatural monsters had been watched by 40.7 million accounts since it premiered last Thursday, it said.

That figure for season three was "more than any other film or series in its first four days", the company said late Monday, adding: "And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season." - AFP

Nicki Minaj cancels Saudi Arabia concert after backlash

LOS ANGELES : Nicki Minaj said on Tuesday that she is pulling out of a planned concert in Saudi Arabia next week, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.

The US rap star, known for her raunchy outfits and provocative stage performances, was due to headline the Jeddah World Fest music festival on July 18, but her plan triggered a social media backlash over human rights in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

"While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression," she said in a statement.

The New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) last week urged Minaj to cancel her performance, saying her appearance would be at odds with her participation in festivities in New York marking Gay Pride month in June. Homosexuality is banned in Saudi Arabia.

HRF chief executive Thor Halvorssen welcomed Minaj's change of heart, praising her "inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime's transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt". - REUTERS

Lady Gaga to launch beauty line on Amazon

SAN FRANCISCO : US pop star Lady Gaga on Tuesday announced a line of beauty products exclusively for sale on Amazon, in a boost to the world's biggest online retailer's cosmetics business.

Haus Laboratories will launch in September for shoppers in nearly a dozen countries, including the US, Germany and Japan.

The move underscores how Amazon is increasing competition with traditional cosmetics sellers like Ulta Beauty and Sephora-parent LVMH, which recently launched a beauty brand by pop star Rihanna.

Lady Gaga said Amazon was the right partner because it embraced her message of self-acceptance.

"There are companies that see me and what I stand for and the way that I view the world, and if it's not perfectly in line with what they do... they'll be like, 'Can you just change half of the equation?'" she told publication The Business Of Fashion. "The answer is no. No deal." - REUTERS

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