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Los Angeles police open Weinstein sex assault investigation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police said Thursday its detectives are investigating a possible sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein over a 2013 incident that was recently reported to the department.

Police spokesman Sal Ramirez says the department has interviewed a possible sexual assault victim who reported she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced film mogul. Ramirez said the investigation is ongoing and he could not answer any questions about where the incident took place or when the woman was interviewed by detectives.

The Los Angeles Times reported the woman is a 38-year-old Italian actress who spoke to the newspaper on Thursday. The woman was not named in the story, but told the newspaper Weinstein raped her after bullying his way into her hotel room. The Times reported she is represented by attorney David M. Ring, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

"Mr. Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but he unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex," his representative Sallie Hofmeister wrote in a statement.

Police in New York and London are also investigating the fallen movie mogul over allegations of sex abuse in those cities.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or abuse by more than three dozen women, including several top actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Several of the incidents allegedly happened at hotels in Beverly Hills, which does not have an open investigation into Weinstein.

He was fired from The Weinstein Co., the film company he co-founded, earlier this month after several harassment incidents were detailed in The New York Times. Additional allegations, including from three women who said Weinstein sexually assaulted them, were included in a subsequent article by The New Yorker. Two of the women, including Italian actress Asia Argento, were named while the third accuser wasn't identified.

Argento told the magazine that in 1997 Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her at a hotel in France when she was 21 years old.

Weinstein, 65, resigned from the board of directors of his former company earlier this week. He has not been seen in public since last week.

The Oscar winner was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday and the Producers Guild of America has started the process of expelling him. On Thursday, the British Film Institute rescinded an honor it conferred to Weinstein in 2002 for his contribution to British cinema.

Quentin Tarantino, who has partnered with Weinstein on most of his films from "Pulp Fiction" to "The Hateful Eight" over the past 20 years, told the New York Times Thursday that he "knew enough to do more than I did."

Tarantino had heard first hand from his then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino about Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment, and had known about the settlement reached with Rose McGowan, he told the paper. He'd also heard stories from another actress who he declined to name.

He said it was impossible that anyone who was close to Weinstein had not heard about at least one incident. He also said he continued to hear stories second and third hand.

"I chalked it up to a '50s-'60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk," Tarantino said. "As if that's O.K. That's the egg on my face right now."

Tarantino went on to compare Hollywood's treatment of women to a "Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated."

He called on other men to "vow to do better by our sisters" and not just issue statements.

"What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness," Tarantino said.


AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this report.

George R.R. Martin mixes business, politics at film forum

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Author and film producer George R. R. Martin waded into the politics of movie-industry tax breaks on Thursday while endorsing a prominent Democratic candidate for governor of New Mexico.

Martin, a longtime Santa Fe resident and author of fantasy novels behind the "Game of Thrones" television series, made a plea to raise or eliminate New Mexico's $50 million annual limit on the state's tax incentive for film production.

At an hour-long forum about New Mexico's film industry, Martin sat alongside Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018 who this week announced she would seek to expand tax incentives for film and television production and look for ways to encourage the construction of new production studio space.

Martin described a cutthroat competitive environment of the film industry, and his own budding efforts to attract more movie production to Santa Fe by offering low-cost office space at a building provided to him posthumously by an estate. Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen currently are utilizing the building through Martin's nonprofit Stagecoach Foundation.

"We're in competition with Texas and Arizona and Utah," Martin said. "How do we compete? ... Obviously the incentives are a big part of it. We have to get rid of this (state tax incentive) cap."

Martin quipped that he like caps — "but only on my head." He said that limiting the tax credit is "like saying, 'We have enough jobs, we don't need any more jobs. We're going to cap the number of jobs?'"

Earlier this year, a bill to raise the annual limit on the film tax credit and link future annual increase to inflation failed to win approval in the Democratic-led Legislature.

Analysts with the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Committee have cautioned against film tax incentive increases that could outpace tax revenue growth and put new pressure on the state general fund. New Mexico state government has slashed spending at several agencies and public universities this year, after depleting financial reserves amid a downturn in tax revenues linked a tepid economy and weak oil prices.

Measured in terms of direct job creation per dollar — without considering indirect economic benefits — the film tax credit scored poorly in comparison with other state subsidies, analysts found.

Martin and Lujan Grisham highlighted the sometimes intangible benefits of the film production, as tourists are drawn to the state by on-screen images, from the Robert Redford's 1988 "The Milagro Beanfield War" shot in Northern New Mexico, to the "Breaking Bad" series that still draws steady streams of cult fans to Albuquerque shooting locations.

"The film industry is one of those bright spots that we can focus on immediately and it's pretty easy," Lujan Grisham said. "We want to double the number of films that we're doing. ... We want to lift the cap. If you're really going to be open for business, be open for business."

She described film as an industry that "pays for itself." Public funds have contributed to the construction of production studios in New Mexico.

The discussion took place at a downtown art-house cinema that Martin restored and owns. The discussion was joined by Tesuque resident Tony Mark, executive producer of "The Hurt Locker," and producer and documentary filmmaker Andrea Meditch.

State officials say more than 60 film and television productions were shot in the state during the past fiscal year. TV series and pilots produced in New Mexico over the last year include "Better Call Saul," ''The Night Shift," ''Longmire," and Netflix's "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs."

Howard Carroll, lead guitarist for Dixie Hummingbirds, dies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A lead guitarist for the influential and Grammy Award-winning gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds has died in Philadelphia.

Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services says Howard Carroll died Tuesday at an assisted-living facility at age 92.

The Dixie Hummingbirds started as a quartet of students formed by James B. Davis in a Greenville, South Carolina, high school in 1928. The group toured widely and recorded a cappella for the Decca label in the 1930s and then relocated to Philadelphia in the 1940s.

After World War II, as the sound of gospel changed, the Hummingbirds added bass, drums and guitar supplied by Carroll.

They performed on Paul Simon's "Loves Me Like a Rock" in 1973 and won a Grammy for their own version.

The band's influence extends well beyond gospel circles to artists including James Brown and Stevie Wonder.

Top 20 Global Concert Tours from Pollstar

The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.


1. U2; $7,406,599; $113.22.

2. Coldplay; $6,275,320; $97.45.

3. Guns N' Roses; $4,823,573; $102.22.

4. Celine Dion; $3,800,791; $141.10.

5. Lady Gaga; $3,466,727; $118.04.

6. Depeche Mode; $2,675,543; $77.38.

7. Bruno Mars; $2,262,621; $115.39.

8. Roger Waters; $1,857,933; $123.70.

9. Neil Diamond; $1,499,313; $107.23.

10. Ed Sheeran; $1,380,144; $86.28.

11. Ariana Grande; $1,286,562; $78.20.

12. Queen + Adam Lambert; $1,243,344; $97.91.

13. Kendrick Lamar; $1,220,753; $89.49.

14. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,201,051; $84.84.

15. Florida Georgia Line; $1,082,649; $52.03.

16. Zac Brown Band; $1,082,026; $50.16.

17. Luke Bryan; $1,054,470; $54.57.

18. Jerry Seinfeld; $1,002,328; $124.92.

19. J. Cole; $878,994; $79.10.

20. John Mayer; $878,299; $66.14.

For free upcoming tour information, go to


Ridley Scott's Getty kidnapping film to premiere at AFI Fest

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ridley Scott's film about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III will have its world premiere as the closing night film of the American Film Institute's annual festival in Los Angeles next month.

AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga said in a statement Thursday that in addition to the Nov. 16 screening of the new film "All the Money in the World," the festival will also honor the prolific director's career.

"All the Money in the World" stars Kevin Spacey as John Paul Getty Sr. and Michelle Williams as the kidnapped teenager's mother. Mark Wahlberg co-stars as the wealthy family's adviser during the ordeal.

The film is set to be released in theaters on Dec. 8.

There’s now a Harry Potter wizarding school in Central Texas

Feeling bummed about never receiving your Hogwarts letter?

Well, you may be able to live out your Harry Potter dreams after all.

>> Read more trending news

Worthwich School’s annual Worthwich Wizarding Weekend, described as a “3-day magical retreat to Worthwich School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” is taking place in Killeen, Texas, Oct. 27-29.

And yes, it’s eerily similar to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The retreat is for adults 21 and up and lasts three days, with a curriculum of classes including potions, charms, defensive magic, divination, astronomy, herbology, magical creatures and flying lessons. First-year students even get sorted into their houses, just like at Hogwarts (no word on if there’s a magical Sorting Hat, though). 

The weekend kicks off with wand-making classes, pumpkin carving and magical shopping, followed by a sorting ceremony. There will be screenings each night, magical sporting games and classes throughout the weekend. Tickets, which are $400 per person for the entire weekend, include lodging, food and drinks. 

You can buy tickets and get more information here.

Worthwich also offers regular wand making classes in Austin and across Texas, as well as Harry Potter trivia nights. 

Sen. John McCain to visit daughter on 'The View'

NEW YORK (AP) — "The View" is giving new panelist Meghan McCain a birthday present on Monday. It's a visit from her dad.

The daytime talk show said Thursday that it has booked Sen. John McCain as a guest. Meghan McCain, who joined "The View" last week, turns 33 on Monday. The visit is especially poignant since the 81-year-old Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee has brain cancer and said doctors have given him a poor prognosis.

He's a newsworthy guest, too, since Sen. McCain has been among the most outspoken Washington Republicans critical of President Donald Trump.

Meghan McCain has been an immediate hit on "The View," with her debut episode ranking as the show's second most-watched episode in seven months.


This story has been corrected to show that McCain's presidential nomination was in 2008.

Critics say Museum of Ice Cream’s plastic sprinkles pose environmental risks 

Environmentalists in San Francisco and Los Angeles are concerned about the effects of one feature at local Museum of Ice Cream locations: sprinkles. 

>> Read more trending news

Critics say the plastic pieces are littering California streets blocks from the pop-up museums as they’re carried out on the clothes of museum visitors. The plastic material becomes litter and has the potential to end up in the water, a danger to marine life, KABC reported. 

“My concern is that they go down the drains and into the bay, where they will be bite-sized for most fish,” San Francisco resident Johanna Sanders told the San Francisco Gate.

The Museum of Ice Cream, which opened in Los Angeles in April and San Francisco in September, is known for its colorful displays, tasty treats and Instagram-worthy photo backdrops. 

According to a Forbes description of the LA location, there’s a “gallery of suspended bananas, ... rooms of giant melted popsicles, big-as-you gummy bears and a swimming pool full of sprinkles.” The San Francisco Gate describes its local pop-up as including “a candy garden, psychedelic rainbow unicorns, a pink rock climbing wall, banana swings, an all-pink diner with a jukebox and a sprinkle pool filled with more than 100 million plastic imitation sprinkles. A circular swimming space even has pink floats and a diving board.”

Both locations feature bright pink walls and interactive exhibits.

“All of the rooms in the museum have things you can eat or smell,” KABC reported.

The museums use plastic for the sprinkles in the pools instead of real, edible ones for sanitary reasons. A spokesperson for the Museum of Ice Cream told the Gate the sprinkles are coated in “antimicrobial germ bloc.”

Museum officials said they’re working to address people’s concerns. They’re working with an environmental specialist and also instructing exiting visitors to shake off excess sprinkles at an “air shower” at the San Francisco location, according to the Gate

But even still, “guests have been putting sprinkles in their pocket(s) as a memento of their experience in the sprinkle pool,” spokeswoman Shelley Reinstein said.

Eva Holman, with the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization, said the plastic sprinkles pose risks that need to be taken more seriously. 

“If it's on the sidewalk it most likely goes into storm drains and then into the ocean,” Holman told the Gate. “(And) my 5-year-old would think it’s candy. Why wouldn’t a bird on the street think it’s something to consume?”

“Most plastic has a purpose, like bottle caps and food wrappers,” Holman said. “What is the purpose of this tiny piece of plastic other than a selfie moment?”

The Museum of Ice Cream’s Los Angeles location, originally slated to close in May, has had its close date pushed back five times due to popularity. It’s scheduled now to close in December. The San Francisco location will be open until Feb. 13, just in time for lovebirds to take their sweet someone before Valentine’s day. The museum was set to close in October, but officials extended the schedule after tickets sold out in just 18 minutes.

Read more at the San Francisco Gate.

Vegas shooting survivors attend benefit concert

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Some survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting said they were ready for closure, though they confessed feeling engulfed by anxiety and security fears while gathering in a large group for the first time since the attack.

Theresa Almada, 49, drove Thursday evening from San Diego back to Las Vegas to attend a country music concert benefiting victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds more were wounded Oct. 1 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip. Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino-hotel tower, unleashing more than 1,000 bullets into the crowd.

Almada was physically unharmed and was able to run back to her hotel, but she said she feels immense anxiety that comes in waves. She gathered at the Thursday night benefit concert with fellow survivors wearing matching orange t-shirts and bracelets. Almada said she hopes she'll feel some sense of closure and can begin to heal from the traumatic experience.

"I don't know if there's a copy-cat person out there but I'm not going to let him do what he did to every single day of my life," Almada said of Paddock.

Susan Pudiwitr, 56, of Las Vegas, who suffered a bullet graze wound on her hip, said she finds comfort being among other survivors but being in a big crowd again makes her think about who's out there, where they are and how she would save herself and her friends if the worst happened again.

"It's been hard. I don't sleep. I have trouble eating," Pudiwitr said.

Security was also on the mind of John Rich of the American country music duo Big & Rich, which headlined the benefit concert along with Rascal Flatts. Thursday's concert at the indoor Orleans Arena was expected to attract 8,000 people, including 2,000 police and other emergency workers.

"It's definitely going to be on your mind. You're going to look at your surroundings through a different lens," Rich said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I mean, how could you not?"

Big & Rich had performed at the festival about 90 minutes before Paddock opened fire for about 10 minutes with country music star Jason Aldean on stage at the time.

Big & Rich, whose hits include "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" and "Lost In This Moment," had left the festival grounds after their performance the night of the shooting but have taken the tragedy personally.

"Those are our people. That's who we identify with. That's who we make music for, so to see them suffering like that, it's really painful to watch," Rich said.

The tickets for the concert were free and all were taken. Organizers accepted donations and profit from food and beverage sales will go toward the primary victims' fund. To date, more than $11 million have been raised by the county to help with medical bills and other expenses.

"We ain't staying down. We're going to go out. We're going to do the things we do as Americans," said Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts. "We're going to love life."

During the show, Fox host Sean Hannity compared the Vegas shooting to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. There were also video messages from Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and musicians Garth Brooks and Kid Rock. And President Donald Trump tweeted his support of the concert, using the hashtag #VegasStrong.


Follow Sally Ho at .


For complete coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, click here:

Sen. John McCain to visit daughter on 'The View'

NEW YORK (AP) — "The View" is giving new panelist Meghan McCain a birthday present on Monday. It's a visit from her dad.

The daytime talk show said Thursday that it has booked Sen. John McCain as a guest. Meghan McCain, who joined "The View" last week, turns 33 on Monday. The visit is especially poignant since the 81-year-old Arizona senator and 1988 Republican presidential nominee has brain cancer and said doctors have given him a poor prognosis.

He's a newsworthy guest, too, since Sen. McCain has been among the most outspoken Washington Republicans critical of President Donald Trump.

Meghan McCain has been an immediate hit on "The View," with her debut episode ranking as the show's second most-watched episode in seven months.

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