said in April after sealing the deal. “I don’t care about the economics at all.”

He cared a little more when the subsequent plunge in the stock market meant that he was overpaying by a significant amount. Analysts estimated that Twitter was worth not $44 billion but $30 billion, or maybe even less. For a few months, Mr. Musk tried to get out of the deal.

This had the paradoxical effect of bringing the transaction down to earth for spectators. Who among us has not failed to do due diligence on a new venture — a job, a house, even a relationship — and then realized that it was going to cost so much more than we had thought? Mr. Musk’s buying Twitter, and then his refusal to buy Twitter, and then his being forced to buy Twitter after all — and everything playing out on Twitter — was weirdly relatable.

Inescapable, too. The apex, or perhaps the nadir, came this month when Mr. Musk introduced a perfume called Burnt Hair, described on its website as “the Essence of Repugnant Desire.”

“Please buy my perfume, so I can buy Twitter,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Oct. 12, garnering nearly 600,000 likes. This worked, apparently; the perfume is now marked “sold out” on its site. Did 30,000 people really pay $100 each for a bottle? Will this perfume actually be produced and sold? (It’s not supposed to be released until next year.) It’s hard to tell where the joke stops, which is perhaps the point.

Evan Spiegel.

“What was unique about Twitter was that no one actually controlled it,” said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners. “And now one person will own it in its entirety.”

He is relatively hopeful, however, that Mr. Musk will improve the site, somehow. That, in turn, will have its own consequences.

“If it turns into a massive home run,” Mr. Greenfield said, “you’ll see other billionaires try to do the same thing.”

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Elon Musk Seems to Answer to No One. Except for a Judge in Delaware.

Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick has become a very important person in the rambunctious life of Elon Musk.

The Delaware Chancery Court judge has given Mr. Musk until Friday to close his long-promised, $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter. If he doesn’t, Judge McCormick will preside over a trial in November that could end with Mr. Musk being forced to make good on the deal he made with Twitter in April.

The 43-year-old judge is also expected to preside over another case involving Mr. Musk in November. A Tesla shareholder accused him in a lawsuit of unjustly enriching himself with his compensation package while running the electric vehicle company, which is Mr. Musk’s main source of wealth. The package, which consisted entirely of a stock grant, is now worth around $50 billion based on Tesla’s share price.

Judge McCormick is also overseeing three other shareholder lawsuits against Mr. Musk, though it is not yet clear whether those will go to trial, too.

before it represented Mr. Musk. But, he said, “the deal will either close and then she will be a hero. Or not and Musk will look really bad.”

As a young girl, Judge McCormick played first base on the softball team and managed the high school football team. She has a long-held soft spot for the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about a Black man in small-town Alabama who was wrongfully accused of sexual assault.

unsolicited bid worth more than $40 billion for the social network, saying he wanted to make Twitter a private company and allow people to speak more freely on the service.

She then worked as a staff attorney with the Community Legal Aid Society, where she represented the needy and victims of domestic violence. She moved to a corporate law role at the firm Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor in 2007, a mainstay in the Delaware legal circuit.

In 2018, she was nominated by John Carney, the governor of Delaware, to serve as vice chancellor on the state’s high court, the Delaware Chancery Court. In 2021, Gov. Carney nominated Ms. McCormick to become the first woman to lead the court.

More than 1.8 million businesses are incorporated in Delaware, including more than two thirds of Fortune 500 companies — and they all look to the court for guidance. When Twitter filed its lawsuit against Mr. Musk in July forcing him to close his acquisition, its case went to Delaware, where the company, like many others, is incorporated.

Judge McCormick, who has first dibs on any proceeding that comes before the court, chose herself of among a court of seven judges to oversee one of the most high profile corporate court battles in years.

At a hearing in September, as lawyers for Mr. Musk argued to delay the trial to take into account new claims from a whistle-blower, she poked at the billionaire’s decision to skip due diligence in his race to sign the deal in April. When Mr. Musk’s lawyer argued it would have been impossible to find out about the whistle-blower before the deal, she interjected, “We’ll never know, will we?” She added that “there was no due diligence.”

wrote in a ruling.

“She evidently was not putting up with any nonsense,” said Lawrence Hamermesh, a professor of law at Delaware Law School.

In October, after weeks of presiding over bruising back and forth arguments between the two sides, Judge McCormick granted Mr. Musk’s requests to put the trial on hold to give him more time to complete his financing for the acquisition. Judge McCormick granted him until Oct. 28 — a three-week delay.

“She had one eye on the clock,” said Brian Quinn, a professor at Boston College Law School, noting the two sides did not seem ready for a trial just two weeks away. “Another eye,” Mr. Quinn said, was “on potential appeals. She is looking forward saying, ‘Well, what if I ruled against Musk, and he appealed, and his appeal is that I pushed him — I rushed him toward the trial when he wanted to close the deal.’”

Judge McCormick is well-versed in trials involving deals with buyers that tried to walk away. As an associate at the law firm Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor, she worked on cases involving deals that went awry when the stock market crashed in 2008. That included representing the chemical company Huntsman in 2008 when the private equity firm Apollo Global Management scuttled the deal it had struck to combine the chemical company with another it owned.

That deal, and others like it, paved the way for the kinds of contracts Twitter signed with Mr. Musk. Sellers learned how to prevent buyers from trying similar escape hatches. Companies increasingly structure deals with “specific performance” clauses allowing them to force a deal to close.

to follow through with its acquisition of a cake supplier after it argued that the pandemic had materially damaged the business by curbing demand for party cake.

Kohlberg contended it could not complete the deal because its debt financing had fallen apart. Judge McCormick did not buy that argument.

If Mr. Musk does not come through with Twitter’s money by Friday, that could ding his credibility in court, legal experts say. That could matter in November, when Judge McCormick is set to preside over a separate trial involving Mr. Musk and his compensation.

The case, filed in 2018, had originally been assigned to another judge on the Delaware Chancery Court, Joseph R. Slights III, before he retired in January. Judge McCormick picked up the case on Jan. 12, the same month Mr. Musk began to buy up shares of Twitter stock that ultimately led to his planned purchase of the company.

“It’s not ideal for him,” said Ann Lipton, a professor of corporate governance at Tulane Law School, of Mr. Musk’s multiple run-ins with Judge McCormick. “She’s uniquely low drama, which is the opposite of Musk. ”

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Will Smith’s ‘Emancipation’: What Will Apple Do?

Apple has a Will Smith problem.

Mr. Smith is the star of “Emancipation,” a film set during the Civil War era that Apple envisioned as a surefire Oscar contender when it wrapped filming earlier this year. But that was before Mr. Smith strode onto the stage at the Academy Awards in March and slapped the comedian Chris Rock, who had made a joke about Mr. Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Mr. Smith, who also won best actor that night, has since surrendered his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and has been banned from attending any Academy-related events, including the Oscar telecast, for the next decade.

Now Apple finds itself left with a $120 million unreleased awards-style movie featuring a star no longer welcome at the biggest award show of them all, and a big question: Can the film, even if it succeeds artistically, overcome the baggage that now accompanies Mr. Smith?

Variety reported in May, however, that the film’s release would be pushed into 2023.

rushed the stage and slapped Mr. Rock. Later in the show, Mr. Smith won the best actor award for his work in “King Richard.”

video on his YouTube channel in which he said he was “deeply remorseful” for his behavior and apologized directly to Mr. Rock and his family.

provided to Variety. When his appeal was measured again in July, (before he released his video apology) it dropped to a 24 from a 39, what Henry Schafer, executive vice president of the Q Scores Company, called a “precipitous decline.”

Apple has delayed films before. In 2019, the company pushed back the release of one of its first feature films, “The Banker,” starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson, after a daughter of one of the men whose life served as a basis of the film raised allegations of sexual abuse involving her family. The film was ultimately released in March 2020 after Apple said it reviewed “the information available to us, including the filmmakers’ research.”

Many in Hollywood are drawn to Apple for its willingness to spend handsomely to acquire prominent projects connected with established talent. But the company has also been criticized for its unwillingness to spend much to market those same projects. Two people who have worked with the company, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss dealings with Apple, said it usually created just one trailer for a film — a frustrating approach for those who are accustomed to the traditional Hollywood way of producing multiple trailers aimed at different audiences. Apple prefers to rely on its Apple TV+ app and in-store marketing to attract audiences.

Yet those familiar with Apple’s thinking believe that even if it chooses to release “Emancipation” this year, it will not feature the film in its retail outlets like it did for “CODA,” which in March became the first movie from a streaming service to win best picture. That achievement, of course, was overshadowed by the controversy involving Mr. Smith.

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‘Succession,’ ‘Ted Lasso’ Top Emmys; 1st-Time Winners Shine

Television’s biggest stars gathered to celebrate their achievements at the 2022 Emmy Awards, hosted by Kenan Thompson.

“Succession” and “Ted Lasso” topped the Emmy Awards on Monday, in a ceremony that touted the influence of TV and extended honors to global sensation “Squid Game” and winners who delivered messages of empowerment.

The evening’s uplifting tone, as voiced especially by Zendaya, Lizzo and Sheryl Lee Ralph, was in contrast to the darkness that pervaded the storytelling of best drama series winner “Succession” and even comedy series victor “Ted Lasso.”

“Thanks for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show,” said Zendaya, claiming her second best drama actress award for “Euphoria,” about a group of teens’ tough coming-of-age.

“My greatest wish for ‘Euphoria’ was that it could help heal people. Thank you for everyone who has shared your story with me. I carry them with me, and I carry them with” Rue, her character, Zendaya said.

“Succession,” about a media empire run by a grasping and cutthroat family, split drama series honors with “Squid Game,” the bold South Korean-set drama about the idle rich turning the poor into entertainment fodder.

Lee Jung-jae of “Squid Game,” who played the show’s moral center, became the first Asian to win the Emmy for best drama series actor.

“Thank you for making realistic problems we all face come to life so creatively on the screen,” Lee said to “Squid Game” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, who earned the Emmy for best drama series directing. In Korean, Lee thanked the audience in his native country for watching.

Backstage, Hwang said this was “a major moment for us,” and Lee said he expected the awards to open doors for other Asian actors.

Jason Sudeikis and Jean Smart collected back-to-back acting trophies, but several new Emmy winners were minted, with Lizzo and Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph of “Abbott Elementary” collecting trophies.

Brunson, who created and stars in the freshman series, won the Emmy for comedy series writing. ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” also nominated for best comedy, is a rare bright spot for network broadcasting in the age of streaming and cable dominance.

Sudeikis won his second consecutive trophy for playing the unlikely U.S. coach of a British soccer team in the comedy “Ted Lasso,” with Smart matching that haul for her role as a veteran comedian in “Hacks.”

Sudeikis gave a rare awards show shoutout to TV consumers: “Thanks to the people who watch this show and dig it as much as we dig making it.”

There was a ripple of reaction in the theater when “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong mentioned Britain’s new king, Charles III, in accepting the show’s trophy, the cast standing alongside him.

“Big week for successions, new king in the U.K., this for us. Evidently a little bit more voting involved in our winning than Prince Charles,” Armstrong said. “I’m not saying we’re more legitimate in our position than he is. We’ll leave that up to other people.”

Ralph stopped the Emmy Awards show by accepting the best supporting actress comedy award for “Abbott Elementary” with a brief but rousing song of affirmation.

“I am an endangered species, but I sing no victim song. I am a woman, I am an artist and I know where my voice belongs,” she belted out. She then encouraged anyone doubting their dream “I am here to tell you this is what believing looks like.”

The audience, including Lizzo and many of television’s biggest stars, leapt to their feet to cheer on Ralph.

When Lizzo herself accepted the award for best-competition series trophy for “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” she offered another emotional pep talk.

“When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media. Someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me,” the music artist said.

There were also cheers for presenter Selma Blair, who has discussed her multiple sclerosis diagnosis publicly and who used a cane on stage.

“Ted Lasso” co-star Brett Goldstein, won comedy supporting actors, while Matthew Macfadyen of “Succession” and Julia Garner of “Ozark” earned drama series supporting actor honors.

“It’s such a pleasure and privilege for me to play this bonkers gift of a role in this wonderful show,” Macfadyen said in accepting the trophy for his role as a scheming member of a media empire family.

Garner was among the winners who took advantage of covering all bases by thanking her husband and others in an on-screen message.

“The White Lotus” collected several honors, including best limited or anthology series.

The achievements of “Squid Game,” “Abbott Elementary” and a few other shows didn’t change the relative lack of diversity in this year’s nominations, which included significantly fewer people of color than in 2021.

Host Kenan Thompson kicked off the Emmys with a tribute to TV, dismissing TikTok as “tiny vertical television,” and a musical number saluting series’ theme songs from “Friends” to “The Brady Bunch” to “Game of Thrones.”

Once the music stopped, Thompson provided a mic-drop moment — announcing Oprah Winfrey as the first presenter. Winfrey strutted onto the stage holding an Emmy statuette, declaring the night “a party!” The night’s first award went to Michael Keaton for his role in “Dopesick.” Winfrey and Keaton hugged before she handed him his trophy.

“It means something,” Keaton said of the award for playing a caring doctor ensnared with his patients by addiction. He went on to recall the “magic” of being introduced to TV when his dad won a set at a raffle and thanked his parents for not mocking his youthful attempts at acting.

Amanda Seyfried earned the limited-series lead actress trophy for “The Dropout,” in which she played ill-fated Silicon Valley whiz kid Elizabeth Holmes. She thanked a list of family and colleagues and even her dog, Finn.

Murray Bartlett won the best supporting actor award for “The White Lotus,” a tragicomedy set in a Hawaii resort. Jennifer Coolidge, who won best supporting actress honors for the show, delighted the audience by shimmying to the music intended to cut off her acceptance speech.

The award for best variety talk show went to “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” with stand-up special “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel” winning for best writing for a comedy special.

“Good night, everybody. I’ma go home. I’m not like a sore winner, but I’m going to go home because I can’t top this right now,” an overcome Carmichael told the audience.

Glamour was back with some metallic sparkle and lots of bright color as an otherworldly Britt Lower, Old Hollywood Elle Fanning and their fellow stars posed for photographers.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.


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Woman Directors Are Finally Getting More Award-Show Recognition

Women make up almost half of this year’s Emmy Award nominations for best directing, but they’re still underrepresented in the TV industry as a whole.

Women directors have been historically underrepresented in Hollywood.

Only seven women have ever been recognized by the Academy Awards for directing, and only 11 have received nominations from the Directors Guild of America.

But for this year’s Emmy Awards, there are nine women among the 20 nominees for best directing in comedy, drama and limited series.

The nominated shows directed by women include dramas “Succession” and “Yellowjackets,” as well as the limited series “The Dropout.”

Women directors were most represented in the comedy category, with nominations for “Hacks,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “The Ms. Pat Show” and “Ted Lasso.”

Though the Television Academy is nearing parity in its nominations for women directors, the TV industry as a whole is still underrepresented behind the scenes. Women directed just over a third of TV episodes in 2019 and 2020, according to the Directors Guild of America.

Now, initiatives from producers and directors like Ava DuVernay are hoping to create more opportunities for women. Since 2016, DuVernay has exclusively hired women to direct her show “Queen Sugar,” and over seven seasons, the show has brought on 42 female directors.

Two of the biggest Emmy front-runners this year were helmed with female directors: “Ted Lasso” with 20 nominations overall and “Succession” with 25.

The ceremony for the 74th Emmy Awards will be held Monday, Sept. 12.


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‘The Rings Of Power’ Cast Discuss Hopes For The New Amazon Adaptation

Amazon invested $1 billion in its new “Lord of the Rings” adaptation, “The Rings of Power,” and its cast hopes it’ll bring longtime and new viewers.

“The Rings of Power” is the biggest gamble in TV and streaming history.

With a $1 billion investment from Amazon, the series based on the lore of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series hopes to welcome both longtime fans and new viewers to Middle Earth.

“The beautiful thing about our show is that it’s a healthy balance of old and new,” said Nazanin Boniadi, who plays Bronwyn in “The Rings of Power.”

“It’s going to turn a whole new viewership on to Tolkien,” said Benjamin Walker, who plays the High King Gil-galad in “The Rings of Power.”

“It’ll spark up new forums, new conversations,” said Owain Arther, who plays Prince Durin IV in “The Rings of Power.”

The series is set thousands of years before the stories of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” which have grossed more than $1.8 billion as a film franchise since the release of the 1978 animated movie.

The story’s foray into television will include five seasons, with the first season having eight episodes.

“I think the beauty of TV is that you have that intimate bond with the audience,” Boniadi said.

“We get to luxuriate in the worlds,” Walker said. “We get to be fully immersed in each little kingdom and each little fantastical world.”

But beyond its artistic ambitions, Amazon’s investments into “The Rings of Power” are part of the company’s strategy for streaming dominance.

While the platform found critical success with its superhero drama “The Boys” and its period comedy “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amazon is still competing against the larger libraries of prestige programming from Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max.

Its biggest competitor in the fantasy world is most notably HBO Max’s “Game of Thrones” spinoff “House of the Dragon,” which garnered a record-breaking 10 million viewers when it debuted in August.

“The Rings of Power” premiered Sept. 1, and the first season will conclude on Oct. 14.


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‘Love Is Blind’ Contestant Suing Show For Restricting ‘Basic Needs’

Jeremy Hartwell said basic human needs like sleep, water and food were restricted while on the show. Netflix said the claims have no merit.

When it comes to reality TV, audiences have come to expect on-screen drama and scandal. But behind the scenes, the harsh realities faced by at least one former contestant have led to a major lawsuit.

Jeremy Hartwell was a contestant on season two of Netflix’s “Love Is Blind,” a dating show where contestants “date” within isolation rooms — never seeing the person they’re talking with. 

Hartwell said he was prepared to be isolated from the world and that his phone would be taken away, but he says contestants lacked basic necessities on-set, including functioning taps for water.  

“Basic human needs: sleep, water, food, even the ability to use the bathroom were seemingly restricted,” Hartwell said. “We didn’t have free will to be able to go and do these things whenever we wanted. After a week, I was down seven pounds.”

He said one thing contestants always had access to was alcohol.

“You don’t necessarily consciously realize that it’s an unhealthy environment when you’re in the middle of it,” Hartwell said. “It’s also very exciting. It’s all brand new. It’s like this big party. I didn’t fully realize how harmful and toxic that environment was until after I got back.”

Hartwell is now suing Netflix, as well as the production company Kinetic Content and the casting company Delirium TV for “inhumane working conditions” and labor-law violations.

He also accuses them of inadequately paying contestants for their work: $1,000 for a whole week of 20-hour days. If a contestant left during production, Hartwell said they were obligated to pay a penalty of $50,000.

“It was this massive mismatch between what we expected and what we were told versus how we were actually treated,” Hartwell said.

The companies Kinetic Content and Delirium TV said in a statement: “There is absolutely no merit to Mr. Hartwell’s allegations, and we will vigorously defend against his claims.”

Netflix has not commented on the allegations, but Hartwell says his lawsuit has been supported by other reality TV contestants.

“What’s been really gratifying is people from all other shows and other seasons have actively been reaching out to me once the story broke in the news,” Hartwell said.

Outside of “Love is Blind,” other reality TV shows have faced similar criticisms. “America’s Next Top Model” reportedly paid models only $40 a day, and “Bachelor in Paradise” added on-set alcohol limitations after investigating an accusation of sexual assault.

“How do we protect cast members?” Hartwell asked. “How do we ensure what they expect, and how do we ensure that if they want to leave, they’re able to leave?” 

Hartwell wants the industry to add more safety measures and oversight on-set. By speaking out, he hopes audiences learn more about the realities of reality TV.


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Underground theatre: Ukraine actors return to stage in bomb shelter

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MYKOLAIV, Ukraine, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Actors in a heavily bombarded city in southern Ukraine have returned to the stage, putting on their first performance since Russia’s invasion in an underground shelter converted into a tiny theatre.

A few dozen theatre-goers descended steep concrete steps into the subterranean venue on Thursday for the opening night of a show put on by the Mykolaiv Art Drama Theatre. Their usual venue, an ornate 450-seater hall, has been closed due to the six-month war that has seen Mykolaiv, a strategic southern port, repeatedly targeted by Russia forces.

“Of course, many plays have been cancelled, because some male actors went away to fight, some went abroad as temporary refugees. So, our theatre company has become smaller,” said actress Violeta Mamykina, speaking in her cramped dressing room before going on stage.

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Theatre manager Artem Svystun described the performance as “art-therapy”, giving local people who have stayed on in the city some brief respite from the stress of the war.

Ievhen Studzinskyi, who was in the audience for Thursday night’s show, agreed.

“When I went outside, I said it plain and simple, ‘it was fun’,” he said. “There were tears. There was food for thought. There was a philosophy, depth. I felt really good.”

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Reporting by Umit Bektas; Writing by Andrii Pryimachenko and Alex Richardson; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Voters In New York And Florida To Cast Ballots In Tuesday’s Primaries

Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Malone are two influential Democrats in the House, both have been in office for about 30 years.

We are nearing the tail end of the primary season, but there are still a couple more exciting races on the calendar, including on Tuesday, when voters in New York and Florida go to the polls.

We’ll start in New York, where some high-profile Democrats are squaring off thanks to redistricting.

Topping the list of interesting races, is the primary battle between Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney. Maloney chairs the House Oversight Committee; Nadler heads the House Judiciary Committee. These are two influential Democrats in the House; both have been in office for about 30 years, but neither wanted to budge and move districts, so instead they will square off. Surj Patel is the other candidate in this race and is running as a new voice he wants to bring to Congress.

Other incumbent Democrats, like Mondaire Jones, are running in newly redrawn districts. He faces a crowded primary field that includes Daniel Goldman, an impeachment investigator during Donald Trump’s first Senate trial.

Moving down to Florida, where the closest watched race is the Democratic primary for governor. Frontrunner Charlie Crist – a former governor who now serves in the House – is taking on Nikki Freed, the state’s agriculture commissioner. The winner will take on Ron DeSantis in November.

And there won’t be much drama in the Senate primary race, where congresswoman Val Demings is expected to advance to take on Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

Democrats have not had a lot of electoral success in statewide races in Florida recently. But Demmings – a former impeachment manger – has been raising a lot of money, and some polls show a close race.


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Kenya Elects New President, but Disputes Erupt

NAIROBI, Kenya — On a continent where military coups and rubber stamp elections have proliferated in recent years, Kenya stands out.

Despite its flaws and endemic corruption, the East African nation and economic powerhouse has steadily grown into a symbol of what is possible, its democracy underpinned by a strong Constitution and its hard-fought elections an example to other African nations seeking to carve a path away from autocracy.

been appointed by Mr. Odinga’s most prominent ally in the race, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is barred by term limits from running again.

a barefoot childhood and an early career selling chickens on the side of a busy highway.

engaged in what the court said was “witness interference and political meddling.”

Mr. Ruto was running not just against Mr. Odinga but, in effect, against his own boss, Mr. Kenyatta, whom he accused of betrayal for backing Mr. Odinga.

planned to address the nation on Tuesday.

Declan Walsh and Matthew Mpoke Bigg reported from Nairobi, and Abdi Latif Dahir from Eldoret.

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