The 25-year-old great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner will make her directing debut at the Bayreuth Festival, the prestigious festival dedicated exclusively to the composer's works, in 2007. In the latest move in what has been a long and bitter battle of control, Katharina Wagner was assigned by Wolfgang Wagner, Richard's 84-year-old grandson, to direct the future production of Die Meistersinger von Nürenberg. Wolfgang has been in charge of the annual festival since 1951, and wants Katharina to be his successor, according to Agence France Presse reports. But his daughter from his first marriage, Eva Wagner-Pasquier, as well as his late brother's daughter, Nike Wagner, are also pretenders to the Bayreuth throne. Katharina has been an assistant at Bayreuth since 1996. Her first professional production was in Würzburg in 2002.
Online retail giant Amazon has reported a remarkable boost in sales for the second quarter, but still posted a nine-figure net loss. The company cited investment for the future, shareholders responded skeptically.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine continues after a passenger airplane was allegedly shot down. One weapon in particular keeps coming into play: the Grad rocket launcher. Kyiv accuses Moscow of supplying it to the separatists.
The United States claims Russia is firing artillery from its side of the border targeting Ukrainian military forces. Moscow also plans to give pro-Russian separatists heavier and more powerful weapons, says the US.