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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

NEW YORK CITY (AFP) – Angelina Jolie has topped Forbes magazine’s annual list of top-earning actresses after pulling in an estimated $33 million in a year marked by her decision to have a double mastectomy.

Last year’s top earner Kirsten Stewart slipped to third in the list with $22m, behind Jolie and second-placed Jennifer Lawrence, whose Oscar for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook helped her pick up $26 million.

Jolie’s bumper earnings year reflected her return to blockbusters with the 38-year-old having signed up to star in Disney’s Maleficent, a new version of Sleeping Beauty which began filming last month and is due for release in 2014.

The film is the celebrated beauty’s first since she revealed in May that she had undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after being diagnosed as having a gene which gives her a very high chance of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.

The decision to go public over a choice influenced by the loss of her mother to ovarian cancer at the age of 56 was widely praised as empowering for other women facing a similar dilemma, and appears to have had no impact on Jolie’s standing in the business.

“Hollywood hasn’t shied away from Jolie,” Forbes reporter Dorothy Pomerantz wrote. “She’s still one of the few actresses who can demand a paycheck north of $15 million for the right movie.”

Lawrence meanwhile earned relatively modest fees for her Oscar Best Actress role and for starring in the hugely successful first movie in The Hunger Games series.

But, according to Forbes, she was able to leverage that success into much bigger cheques for the upcoming Catching Fire, which hits theaters in November, and for co-starring in the next X-Men film, Days of Future Past.

Stewart’s fortunes meanwhile appear to be on the wane now that another mega-hit franchise, the Twilight series, is finished.

Former Friends star Jennifer Aniston placed four on the list with estimated earnings of $20 million while newcomer Emma Stone came fifth, with $16 million.

Photo Credit: AFP/Toru Yamanaka

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)