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The Latest: Streep says Weinstein 'pathetic' for citing her

The Latest on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's request that a judge dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Meryl Streep says Harvey Weinstein invoking her name in his defense in a sexual misconduct lawsuit is "pathetic."

Weinstein's attorneys asked a judge to dismiss a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him on Wednesday and in their filing cited Streep comments saying Weinstein had always been respectful in their working relationship.

Streep then released a statement saying it is "pathetic and exploitative" for Weinstein to suggest that because he was not sexually inappropriate or physically abusive to her, it means he was not abusive with other women.

Streep says "the criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility."

The lawsuit was filed by six women who claim Weinstein and his former film companies conspired to conceal his widespread sexual harassment and assaults.

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7:15 p.m.

Harvey Weinstein has asked a judge to dismiss a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him and invoked the words of some A-list actresses in his defense.

Weinstein's lawyers filed a response Tuesday in federal court in New York saying the possible class-action case should be rejected because the alleged assaults took place too long ago.

His attorneys also cite comments by Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence in support of Weinstein. They say Gwyneth Paltrow worked with Weinstein and won an Oscar after he's accused of harassing her in an earlier project.

The lawsuit was filed by six women who claim Weinstein and his former film companies conspired to conceal his widespread sexual harassment and assaults.

Representatives of the actresses named in the response did not immediately comment.

Tennis champ Serena Williams reveals she ‘almost died’ after giving birth to first baby

Tennis champion Serena Williams revealed she “almost died after giving birth” to her first child, daughter Olympia, last fall, according to a column by Williams on CNN.com

>> Read more trending news 

Williams had a relatively easy birth Sept. 1, 2017, delivering her daughter by C-section, but two hours later, she was in a fight for her life that lasted six days, she wrote.

“It began with a pulmonary embolism, which is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs becomes blocked by a blood clot. Because of my medical history with this problem, I live in fear of this situation. So, when I fell short of breath, I didn't wait a second to alert the nurses,” Williams said.

She underwent three surgeries to deal with the health crisis and credited her medical team for her survival.

“When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed,” she wrote on CNN.com.

“I am so grateful I had access to such an incredible medical team of doctors and nurses at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment. They knew exactly how to handle this complicated turn of events. If it weren't for their professional care, I wouldn't be here today.”

Williams knew about her health condition and was able to alert medical staffers that  something was wrong.

>> Related: That is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Unfortunately, many women don’t know their health risks. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, African-American women are three times more likely than others to die from complications in pregnancy or childbirth.

Mexican network fires producer after actress' allegation

Mexico's largest television network said Wednesday it has severed ties with independent producer Gustavo Loza after actress Karla Souza said she was raped early in her career by a producer she did not name.

Loza denied that Souza's accusation was directed at him, and called on her to name the producer involved.

It was one of the first high-profile complaints of sexual misconduct in the Mexican entertainment industry.

The Televisa network said in a statement Wednesday that Loza's projects have been cancelled. He was not an employee of the firm, but produced successful series for the network.

The company wrote that "after a preliminary investigation, Televisa has decided to immediately break all relations with Gustavo Loza," adding "Televisa will not tolerate conduct like that described today."

In his Twitter account, Loza wrote, "I deny all the accusations against me."

In a separate statement, Loza wrote, "Televisa cannot take on the role of investigator, prosecutor and much less judge, condemning me in the media, above all when the victim has never mentioned my name."

"I respectfully ask her to clear this situation up in the news media, by mentioning the name or names of her attackers and filing charges against them, so that these regrettable and lamentable acts she suffered will not go unpunished."

Souza has made both movies and TV series in Mexico, and in the United States she appeared in the series "How to Get Away With Murder." She starred in Mexico's biggest box-office hit prior to "Coco," a film entitled "The Noble Family."

In an interview with CNN, Souza described a producer early in her career who groomed, pressured and groped her, and one night raped her.

Later Wednesday she tweeted, without mentioning Loza explicitly: "I am proud to stand in solidarity with my sisters in Mexico and women around the world whose voices are finally being heard and saying (hashtag)TIMESUP."

Loza was the producer of a series called "Los Heroes del Norte," or "The Heroes of the North," that started filming in 2010 and in which Souza appeared.

A big night for NBC, led by Lindsey Vonn, women's hockey

Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

SLEEPLESS NIGHT: It was an insomniac's quandary. At 1:33 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast, Lindsey Vonn was in the starter's gate to decide the final women's skiing competition, with NBC showing the Alpine combined . Meanwhile, the women of Canada and the United States were about to take the ice for sudden-death overtime in the gold-medal hockey game airing on NBCSN. Are the remote control fingers limber enough? Where to turn? The answer was unfortunate for Vonn — she muffed a turn in the slalom portion and her race was over early — but fortunate for viewers who could switch to the hockey game just in time.

HOCKEY TIME: And what a game! The pressure was nearly unbearable through the end of regulation, a scoreless overtime and a shootout decided in the sixth round. The puck wobbled in front of the net before American goaltender Maddie Rooney swatted it away and her teammates swarmed the ice. The best thing for NBC's Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko and Pierre McGuire to do was stay out of the way and let the action talk, and they wisely did so.

BIG NIGHT: NBC may owe Vonn some stock options after the Pyeongchang Games. She helped reignite interest in the Olympics with her bronze-medal performance in the downhill , and returned Wednesday for what had to be NBC's favorite night. American medal winners were everywhere, from the historic first gold in cross-country by the relay team of Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, high-flyers David Wise and Alex Ferreira in the halfpipe and the bobsled team of Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs. Vonn returned, along with American teammate Mikaela Shiffrin, for their final competition in South Korea. The night before, NBC drew 20.5 million viewers to the network, its cable sister NBCSN and streaming services, making it the first night of the Olympics that they improved upon the ratings for the corresponding night in Sochi four years ago. Getting a bigger audience for any show after four years is an increasingly rare trick in television.

MILES AWAY: It was a splendid, nearly voice-shredding call in the thrilling cross-country race by NBC's Chad Salmela and Steve Schlanger. Even more impressive, it was done from thousands of miles away. They weren't in Pyeongchang, and instead called the race off television monitors from a booth in NBC Sports' facility in Stamford, Connecticut. NBC was ham-fisted in the way it inserted commercials into the race and, particularly for Diggins' final leg, should have aired it straight through.

STOLEN MOMENT: "The Germans steal the gold," said NBC's Leigh Diffey, calling the two-women bobsled competition. No, they won the gold. We understand it would have been a better story for NBC if Taylor and Gibbs had won gold for the U.S. team, but that call was unfair to German bobsledders Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz.

QUOTE: "They're just bouncing around like overcooked noodles." —NBC's Bode Miller, describing how skis were hitting the hard surface in the downhill portion of the women's combined ski event.

WOMEN FIRST: NBC is on the brink of a historic accomplishment: The Pyeongchang Games will mark the first time female athletes have been featured more than men on a U.S. network's prime-time Olympic coverage. That's the prediction from three professors who have been tracking the gender breakdown of coverage for each Olympics since 1994. It's a turnaround not just from tradition but from the first 10 nights of Pyeongchang telecasts, when men had a clear edge. That was erased with the focus on American skiers Vonn and Shiffrin, and the trend is likely to continue with women's figure skating a big feature of the second week. Women have won a majority of Team USA's medals so far. While not perfect, "it's clear that NBC's Olympic coverage is leading any advancement for women athletes," said Andrew Billings, a University of Alabama professor who conducts the study with James Angelini of the University of Delaware and Paul MacArthur of Utica College.

CURLING HUMOR: U.S. curler Matt Hamilton exasperated NBC's Trenni Kusnierek when she asked how the team would be able to beat the feared Canadians in their next match. "Make more shots than they do," he said.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

Weinstein uses quotes from female celebrities in his defense

Harvey Weinstein wants a judge to dismiss a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him and invoked the words and actions of Oscar-winning actresses including Meryl Streep in his defense.

Lawyers for the disgraced film mogul said Tuesday in federal court in New York that the proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six women should be rejected because the alleged assaults took place too long ago and they failed to offer facts to support claims of racketeering.

Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in the movie industry before allegations that began emerging in October dethroned him and unleashed a torrent of sexual misconduct accusations that spread far beyond the entertainment industry.

His lawyers cited comments made by Streep in a statement she released last October saying Weinstein had always been respectful in their working relationship.

In a blistering response Wednesday, she said misusing her statement "as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive."

"The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility," Streep continued, "and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them."

The lawsuit, which could potentially involve hundreds of other women, said Weinstein assaulted young women trying to break into Hollywood when they were alone with him and that his former film companies operated like an organized crime group to conceal widespread sexual harassment and assaults.

Saying that the proposed class of affected women was "fatally overbroad," lawyers for Weinstein said that the suit would include all women Weinstein ever met, whether they even claimed to be harmed.

The filing written by attorneys Phyllis Kupferstein and Mary Flynn also questioned the veracity of claims that the women who sued were under duress because of threats Weinstein made if they complained. It cited Gwyneth Paltrow as an example, saying she went on to work with Weinstein and win an Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love" in 1998 after he was accused of harassing her during the filming of "Emma" in 1994.

"Paltrow was not so offended that she refused to work with Weinstein again, nor did her career suffer as a result of her rebuffing his alleged advances," the court papers said.

The filing also cites Jennifer Lawrence telling Oprah Winfrey that she had known Weinstein since she was 20 and said "he had only ever been nice to me," according to the filing

Representatives for Lawrence and Paltrow did not immediately reply to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Attorney Elizabeth Fegan, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of six actresses, said her team looks forward to showing that "Weinstein and his enablers should be held responsible for decades of assaults and cover-ups."

"If Weinstein thinks he will win by twisting women's words against them, he fails to understand the law on sexual assault and the depravity of his own conduct," Fegan wrote in reply to an email.

At least 75 women have told the news media that Weinstein harassed, behaved inappropriately toward them or assaulted them. Authorities in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, New York and London are investigating.

The filing by Weinstein's lawyers came the same day other defendants in the suit, including The Weinstein Co., sought to dismiss the legal action. The company Weinstein co-founded with his brother said it was unaware of Harvey Weinstein's conduct and that he was solely responsible for his actions.

'Fortune Teller' anchors Caravaggio installation in Mexico

The celebrated painting "The Fortune Teller" by Caravaggio is going on display in Mexico City in what curators describe as a multi-sensory exhibit that brings the public into the Italian baroque master's world.

The exposition "Caravaggio. A Work, a Legacy" centers on the emblematic painting (1593-1595), which shows a fortune teller reading the hand of a wealthy young man who fails to notice that she's stealing his ring.

The gazes of complicity between the two and the sensuality of the woman contrast with the dexterous movement of her fingers and the trap into which the young man is falling. The ring, tiny, is depicted with a brush stroke of Naples yellow.

It was one of the few works where Caravaggio was free to choose his theme, and in fact it was done on top of another painting, a vertically oriented Madonna canvas that he rotated horizontally.

"This work is a Caravaggist manifesto par excellence," said Sara Baz, director of the Museo Nacional de Arte, where the work will be shown from Thursday through May 20.

"It is a very big novelty in theme and in the naturalist treatment of the characters," she added. "The black background, for example, the idea that you do not know if you are in an interior or exterior scene, whether it is luxurious or you are in the street — that was very disruptive for the fine arts of the period."

Although Caravaggio, born in 1571 in Milan, painted only about 100 works and died at 38, when he traveled from Naples, his influence extended to such prominent painters as Rubens, Bernini and Rembrandt. The exposition includes works from other painters who adopted the Caravaggio style, such as Rutilio Manetti and Luca Giordano.

The second part of the exhibit. is titled "Caravaggio Experience" and consists of a multi-sensory installation including a 45-minute video divided into four chapters on important aspects of his painting: "Light," ''Theatricality," ''Naturalism" and "Violence." There are also highlights from his life. The installation runs through July 1.

Created by the Italian studio The Fake Factory, it combines music and a fragrance inspired by the Mediterranean with images from 58 Caravaggio paintings which are displayed in great detail by multiple projectors that reflect images on the walls and floor of the gallery. The room remains dark at all times.

"It is like returning to your mother before being born," Stefano Fake, the studio's creative director, said of the intimate atmosphere.

The installation premiered two years ago in Rome and has also showed in Turin, attracting thousands of visitors. The stop in Mexico City is the first outside Italy. Fake recommended that visitors let themselves be swept away and open up their senses, and even take off their shoes and sit on the carpet when the urge strikes.

"It is not the technology that is important but how you use the technology, and what we have done here is a way to enter Caravaggio's painting in a way that is very sweet but very intense," said Fake, whose team spent six months setting up the installation.

"The Fortune Teller" appears in the sections on light and theatricality, but Fake said the goal is for visitors to get a general idea about the artist's oeuvre.

"The secret," he said, "is that you can take away from here your own secret."

What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Fans of the “Wendy Williams Show” will have to watch re-runs for nearly a month, because the media maven is taking a three-week hiatus to treat her Graves’ disease

>> Read more trending news 

She made the announcement on air Wednesday, revealing that her doctor is requiring her to take a break from work to “get her levels and medication in sync,” a show representative told People

>> Related: Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves' disease

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism...A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

Learning about the illness for the first time? Here’s what you should know. 

What is Graves’ disease?

It’s an immune system disorder that is caused by the overproduction of the thyroid hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic. In healthy adults, the thyroid function is regulated by a hormone released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. For those with Graves’ disease, a thyrotropin receptor antibody takes on this role, overriding the work of the pituitary gland and causing overproduction of the thyroid hormones. 

What are the symptoms?

Common signs include anxiety, irritability, tremor of the hands, weight loss, heat sensitivity, thyroid gland enlargement and rapid heartbeat. 

Patients also experience Graves’ ophthalmopathy, where inflammation affects the muscles and tissues around eyes. The condition can cause bulging eyes, light sensitivity, double vision or even vision loss. 

Some also have Graves’ dermopathy, which is the reddening and thickening of the skin, particularly on the shins and tops of the feet. 

>> Related: Wendy Williams cancels talk show for the week due to flu 

How is it diagnosed?

Doctors generally conduct a physical exam to check the size of the thyroid. They also order blood samples to determine the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is usually lower for those with Graves’.

Physicians also administer ultrasounds and imaging tests to view images of the thryroid, eyes, and iodine uptake patterns. Iodine is needed to produce thyroid hormones.

How is it treated?

Some have radioactive iodine therapy, where patients take radioactive iodine by mouth. The iodine seeps into the thyroid cells and the radioactivity gradually destoys the overactive ones. 

Patients often are prescribed anti-thyroid medications, which can limit the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. Beta blockers are also available. While they don’t stop the production of thyroid hormones, they do block some of the Graves’ disease symptoms. 

Who is affected?

It affects 1 in 200 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, and people younger than age 40 generally develop it. 

>> Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

Rappers Missy Elliott and Rapsody as well as former president George H. W. Bush also have Graves’ disease. 

Next flight to Wakanda? Airports having some fun on Twitter

Now boarding the next flight to ... Wakanda?

Some airports had fun this week on Twitter with the futuristic African country in the hit movie "Black Panther."

Orlando International Airport tweeted a photo of an airplane bearing the words "Wakanda Air" and a black panther logo. The tweet said the airport was "delighted to announce ... daily nonstop flights to the beautiful nation of Wakanda."

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport tweeted a photo of a sign listing a 7:30 p.m. departure to Wakanda with the words, "The bags are packed. #Wakanda forever."

Lupita Nyong'o tweeted back, "Apart from La Femme Nakia, what else is on the in-flight entertainment? T'Challa's Angels, M'Baku To The Future, Shuri's Gotta Have It, Killmonger Bill, W'Kabi In The Woods...?"

The perils of live microphones tripping up NBC's Olympics

Every two years, a miracle of technology unfolds: televising and streaming an Olympics with miles of cable, hundreds of cameras and producers who make split-second decisions on which pictures to beam halfway around the world.

So it's with a certain irony that when NBC has had problems in Pyeongchang, it has all been very simple: one person, one live microphone and some 20 million critics. The network has apologized — or not — for a handful of gaffes seen as insults by South Koreans, by the Dutch, by women athletes, by ski fans.

Live television and the risks that it brings are nothing new. The climate surrounding it is.

"Live TV used to be fleeting," says Brett Kurland, a broadcast professor and director of sports programs at Arizona State University. "Something would happen, and you would either see it or you didn't. Now if you say something that someone doesn't like, they'll cut it into a GIF and post it on the Internet. Before you know it, it blows up on your Twitter feed."

He adds: "Everyone is aware that you're just a screen grab away from infamy."

NBC's first problem came from an unexpected source, an expert on Asia assigned to provide context about the host country during the opening ceremony. Joshua Cooper Ramo has impeccable credentials — educated at the University of Chicago, a former Time magazine foreign editor, now a top executive at former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's consulting firm.

When pictures of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared on the screen, Ramo noted that Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945, "but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation."

That angered many South Koreans who caught wind of Ramo's remark and resented their country's treatment by the occupying force. NBC quickly apologized. Ramo hasn't been heard from since on the network, although NBC said he was not contracted to work beyond the opening ceremony.

NBC has also delved little so far into the culture of South Korea the way it has with other Olympic sites, although a heavy schedule of live events in prime time is a factor, too.

Katie Couric, brought back by NBC for the opening ceremony, was the next to take heat. NBC's telecast of that ceremony wasn't televised in the Netherlands but, again, social media quickly made the Dutch aware of comments she had made.

She was discussing the Dutch tradition of excellence in speedskating, and said it stemmed from skating being an important mode of transportation in Amsterdam when canals freeze and people skate from place to place. That left her open to ridicule by some in the Netherlands, who pointed out that the canals rarely freeze anymore and, besides, they have cars now.

When a backlash reached the Twitter feed of the Dutch embassy in the United States, Couric tweeted a good-natured apology about having been "on thin ice."

NBC's team of ski announcers has had a rough Olympics so far. Former ski champion Bode Miller is on his first Olympic assignment for NBC and his overly technical, bland approach to calling races has left some viewers drowsy.

But it was his sudden foray into gender roles that really caused him trouble.

Commentator Dan Hicks brought up Austrian skier Anna Veith's serious knee injury when he and Miller were discussing her career decline. Miller suggested another condition — matrimony — may have been to blame. "It's historically very challenging to race on World Cup with a family or after being married," he said. "Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss that out there, that it could be her husband's fault."

The backlash from people who considered the remark sexist was so immediate that Miller apologized on the air barely an hour later. He said it was a failed attempt at humor; his deadpan style had left almost no one suspecting he had been trying to make a joke.

Veith was also central to a serious mistake by Hicks. She was in first place during the super-G competition — apparently, marriage wasn't hurting her in the Olympics — when Hicks prematurely anointed her the gold medal winner.

After the person considered to be Veith's last serious contender couldn't beat her time, Hicks said she was the winner and NBC switched to figure skating. But a longshot contender, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic, beat Veith's time and took gold.

The producers' decision to move on was defensible; no one really thought Ledecka and some other final skiers had a chance. The mistake was Hicks' certainty. The announcers sought to explain themselves the next night by describing just how improbable Ledecka's victory was, but that felt more like an excuse than an attempt at accountability.

While all different, NBC's problems didn't stem from attempts to be overly provocative or shocking, unless Miller had motives he wasn't letting on. Instead, they were misstatements made in front of listeners ready to pounce (the hashtag #nbcfail is a venue for people who want to grumble).

For two weeks, the men and women behind NBC's microphones command the public's attention the way very few can anymore in a fragmented society of media consumers. They're ambassadors for sports that most Americans don't care about for the three years and 50 weeks between each Winter and each Summer Games.

That provides them with an unparalleled opportunity, and many potential potholes.

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More AP Olympics: https://wintergames.ap.org

Mavs owner Mark Cuban fined $600,000 for tanking comments

The NBA fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 on Wednesday for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Commissioner Adam Silver said the fine was for "public statements detrimental to the NBA." The league said the podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles.

Cuban said during the 30-minute interview that he met recently with some of his players and told them "losing is our best option." Cuban was trying to illustrate to Erving how he believes he is a transparent owner.

"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night," Cuban said. "And here we are. We weren't competing for the playoffs. I was like, 'Look, losing is our best option.'

"Adam would hate to be hearing that. But at least I sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans are going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again. This is like a year and a half of tanking. That was too brutal for me."

The Mavericks dumped veterans Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut around the trading deadline last season and had their highest draft pick (No. 9) since ending up with Dirk Nowitzki from that spot in 1998. They drafted rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., one of the league's rising stars.

After trading veteran guard Devin Harris to Denver at the deadline this season, Dallas (18-40) is tied for the fewest wins in the NBA and among seven teams with 18 or 19 victories at the All-Star break.

Coach Rick Carlisle said he talked to Cuban in "great detail" about the comments Tuesday night and that his owner apologized for them.

"He's embarrassed by it," Carlisle told The Dallas Morning News after the team's first post-All-Star break practice in Los Angeles. "As far as our team, we've played with a lot of fight all year long, and we will continue to do that and that's how we're going to proceed."

Dirk Nowitzki, who has spent all 20 seasons with the Mavericks, took Cuban's comments in stride.

"Players never play to lose," said Nowitzki, the franchise leader in nearly every significant category. "It might happen, but you don't play for it. I still love to compete, that's one big reason why I'm still out there. I'll never stand for losing on purpose. It's just not who I am."

It's the largest NBA fine for the oft-penalized Cuban, surpassing the $500,000 he was docked in 2002 for criticizing former director of officials Ed Rush when he said he wouldn't hire Rush to manage a Dairy Queen. Cuban has been fined more than $2 million, a lot of it for criticizing refs.

"I earned it," Cuban told The Associated Press when asked about the latest fine. "I got excited talking to Dr. J and said something I shouldn't have."

The fine came a day after Cuban's franchise was accused of having a hostile workplace for women in a Sports Illustrated report that detailed allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery.

Cuban said he was embarrassed by the allegations and vowed to improve the club's work environment. He is hiring outside counsel to investigate the claims and requiring everyone to undergo sensitivity training, including himself. The NBA has said it will monitor the investigation closely.

The team fired website reporter Earl Sneed, who was twice accused of domestic assault while working for the team. Sneed pleaded guilty over the first incident, and the charge was dismissed after he met conditions of the plea agreement. Cuban told ESPN it was a mistake not to fire Sneed earlier.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Talk-show host sues PBS for breach of contract after firing

Talk-show host Tavis Smiley is suing his former employer, the Public Broadcasting Service, for breach of contract after he was fired over sexual harassment allegations.

The Washington Post reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court against PBS, based in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia.

PBS fired Smiley in December after it said it received multiple, credible allegations of workplace misconduct by Smiley on his eponymous late-night interview show.

Smiley has acknowledged having romantic relationships with colleagues over his career, but says they were consensual.

PBS called Smiley's lawsuit meritless and an effort to distract the public from his misconduct.

Smiley, who is African-American, contends in the lawsuit that racial bias contributed to his dismissal.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

Snowboarders White, Kim boost NBC to weekly ratings win

The aerial wizardry of snowboarders Shaun White and Chloe Kim lifted the Winter Olympics and NBC to a weekly ratings victory.

Veteran White's gold-medal comeback in the halfpipe gave NBC the most-watched night in prime-time last week, according to Nielsen ratings released Wednesday.

Kim's unprecedented combination of spins for a woman in competition captured gold for her and delivered almost as many viewers as tuned in the night of White's performance.

Altogether, Olympic broadcasts from Pyeongchang, South Korea, claimed seven of the week's top 10 slots. In 8th place was CBS' "60 Minutes" featuring Oprah Winfrey's second round-table with Michigan voters, including supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump.

Winfrey has downplayed suggestions that she consider a 2020 presidential run, telling "60 Minutes" in an online interview ahead of the broadcast that it's "not in my DNA."

For the week of Feb. 12-18, NBC averaged 17.62 million viewers. That bested the combined viewership of the three other major broadcast networks by the largest margin for any regular season, non-Super Bowl week since electronic "people meters" came into use, the network said.

CBS was second with 4.48 million viewers, followed by Fox with 1.65 million, Univision with 1.43 million, ION Television with 1.3 million, Telemundo with 1.18 million and the CW with 930,000.

Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.23 million viewers in prime time. TNT had 2.4 million, MSNBC had 1.72 million, USA had 1.44 million and HGTV had 1.23 million.

Among network newscasts, numbers don't tell the full story. Because of the Olympics, NBC's "Nightly News" was shifted hours earlier in a quarter of the country and affecting a head-to-head comparison.

ABC's "World News Tonight," airing in its regular spot for five nights, drew 9.14 million viewers. Three of NBC's newscasts averaged 8.77 million viewers, with two others drawing 8.1 million. CBS' "Evening News" averaged 6.76 million.

For the week of Feb. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Winter Olympics (Tuesday), NBC, 20.5 million; Winter Olympics (Monday), NBC, 20.3 million; Winter Olympics (Wednesday), NBC, 17.1 million; Winter Olympics (Friday), NBC, 16.6 million; Winter Olympics (Sunday), NBC, 16.4 million; Winter Olympics (Thursday), NBC, 16.2 million; Winter Olympics (Saturday), NBC, 14.5 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 7.5 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.4 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 7.1 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

Milan Fashion Week opens with #metoo moment of reflection

Milan Fashion Week got underway Wednesday with a moment's pause to put focus on women who have come forward as victims of sexual misconduct.

Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her in 2015 and worked with investigators on a sting targeting the producer, walked the runway for Rocco Barocco. She told reporters afterward, "Finally something positive. I am happy to be returning to my craft."

The Humans of Fashion Foundation non-governmental organization was also in Milan, where it plans to launch its global initiative connecting people in the fashion industry who have experienced sexual harassment or assault with a support network, including legal and emotional.

Here are some highlights from the first full day of womenswear previews for next fall and winter, with a smattering of shows combining menswear with womenswear:

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SURGICAL GUCCI

Alessandro Michele fully covers his models from the top of elaborate headpieces to the tips of their bejeweled toes in a seeming effort to hide the person in order to reveal a character.

And there was a full range of new characters in his show combing menswear and womenswear for the next cold weather season.

The cast included a masked Inuit in a furry lined jacket, a Renaissance woman in a long velvet dress, Victorian characters in layers of pleats, a blue turbaned man in tan leisure suit, and Middle Eastern woman in beaded head covers and long, flowered robes.

Backstage, the creative director said he wanted to explore "the codes that constrain us."

"All of this I robbed from others, in the sense that I imagined in the passe partout of the codes that ranged from the bourgeois to the thing that I put on in the morning to go to the bank, or all the suits that my father bought to go to work for Alitalia," Michele said.

Michele set the show in a mock operating room, complete with (unused) surgical tables and overhead lamps. The reference, he said, was to the surgical precision with which he approaches his craft.

In a spookier surgical/Frankenstein reference, two models carried replicas of their own heads in their hands. So it was perhaps a warm, fuzzy moment when a man in a long black skirt and jacket covered with crystals, carried a pet dragon, of plastic.

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MOD MOSCHINO

While some fashion houses really do design airline uniforms, Jeremy Scott created a retro-futuristic array of looks for an alien starship crew.

Models sporting Jackie Kennedy-style bobs strutted through Star Trek blue-lit gangways, wearing bright colors of the same assortment found in the non-edible box of sugar candies that came with the Moschino invitation. For the alien affect, some had blue-, or orange-, or green-colored skin — all very Deep Space Nine.

The silhouette stuck to clean lines of 1960s women's suits or uniforms, with neat zippers down one side, or dark patent leather trim, or reverse pleats. Skirts were mini and worn with matching color pumps. Pants were long and trim, elongated even more by vertical stripes.

Headwear included stewardess caps or berets. And the real accessories of the season were a series of detachable collars, including a black patent leather with a pointy collar and rounded back.

Other Moschino touches: peace sign earrings, clear colored plastic belts with the brand name spelled out in hanging letters and Crazy Fruit candy backpacks and pyramid-shaped clutches.

The collection closed with a series of evening dresses, including mermaid skirt in a shimmery purple contrasting with silk chiffon.

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MONCLER GENIUS

The elegance of down-filled winter wear came through in a Moncler collection put in the hands of eight diverse designers, from Valentino's Pier Paolo Piccioli to Francesco Ragazzi of his Palm Angels streetwear brand.

The collection, dubbed Moncler Genius, was unveiled in a series of pavilions each draped in a silvery fabric cast with shimmering lights. Visitors, including super model Naomi Campbell, wandered between each designer's world.

Piccioli created long graceful down couture gowns -- nominally the Moncler puffer coat -- that in their conical shape gave the impression of a forest, in stands of white, black and layered colors. The longer pieces, which sloped gracefully to the ground, were over-laid with vests or cropped jackets. Each finished in a snug-fitting hood.

Simon Rocha's collection was shown against a mountain backdrop, with Geisha-sherpa models in traditional robes or Victorian-inspired layered black dresses walking deliberately through a snowy landscape. Kei Ninomiya created elegant evening dresses out of Moncler nylon that was alternatively appeared as big weaves or pretty florets, the black patina picking up just enough light to give a shimmer effect.

The idea behind Genius is to offer new products continually to consumers with the aim of appealing to diverse consumers. The first collection, by Hiroshi Fujiwara's brand Fragment will be available in June. The looks include down-filled flannel shirts, sea blue and green Nordic-style sweaters and down parkas for the world traveler emblazoned with the cardinal compass points.

Kane Brown Teases New Song On Facebook

The Latest: Brits pays tribute to Manchester bomb victims

The Latest on the Brit Awards (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

Liam Gallagher has performed at the Brit Awards in tribute to victims of last year's Manchester Arena bombing.

Twenty-two people were killed when a bomber blew himself up as concertgoers were leaving an Ariana Grande show in the northwest England city on May 22.

Grande had been due to perform at Wednesday's awards show in honor of the victims and survivors, but was forced to cancel on medical advice.

Gallagher, who grew up in Manchester, stepped in to perform the Oasis classic "Live Forever."

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8:45 p.m.

Grime artist Stormzy and singer-songwriter Dua Lipa have been named British solo artists of the year at the Brit Awards.

Stormzy won the male artist prize for his distinctly London style of rap, and thanked his mother, his team, south London and God.

Lipa, who topped U.K. charts with her song "No Rules," took the female prize and dedicated her trophy to all the female musicians who "have allowed us to dream this big."

She said: "Here's to more women on these stages, more women winning awards and more women taking over the world."

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8 p.m.

Dua Lipa says celebrity gestures can help put an end to sexual harassment and abuse.

The singer wore a white rose on the red carpet at the Brit Awards as a sign of solidarity with campaigns against sexual misconduct.

She said making the symbolic statement to "millions and millions of people, not just in the U.K. but all over the world, it does make a difference, it does make a change because we are standing, we are protesting in our own way and this is how we're going to make a difference."

The 22-year-old singer is nominated in five categories at the music awards, including album of the year for her self-titled debut.

Guests were given white rose pins to wear for the ceremony at London's O2 Arena. Some, including Lupa and Ed Sheeran, also wore the flowers themselves.

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2 p.m.

Music stars will wear white roses on the Brit Awards red carpet to support campaigns against sexual harassment and assault.

Guests at Britain's biggest music awards show will be given white rose pins to wear in solidarity with the "Time's Up" movement.

Calls for change have swept through the entertainment industry since women began coming forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein last year.

There was a similar gesture at Sunday's British Academy Film Awards, where women wore black to oppose sexual misconduct and bullying.

Rising star Dua Lipa, grime artist Stormzy and ubiquitous singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran are among nominees for Wednesday's awards at London's O2 Arena, hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall.

All three are also set to perform, along with Justin Timberlake, Rita Ora and Foo Fighters.

Universal launches plans for third 'Jurassic World' film

Four months before "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" hits theaters, Universal Pictures has announced plans Wednesday for a third installment in the rebooted dinosaur franchise.

Universal says "Jurassic World 3" will land in June 2021. The film is to be written by Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow, the director of 2015's "Jurassic World." Carmichael co-wrote the upcoming sci-fi adventure "Pacific Rim Uprising."

"Jurassic World" ranks among the biggest box-office hits. It launched with a $208.8 million opening weekend and finished with $1.7 billion worldwide in ticket sales.

Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg are executive producing each new "Jurassic World" film.

Directed by J.A. Bayona, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, opens June 22.

Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves’ disease

Wendy Williams is taking three weeks off from her talk show.

The former radio personality turned daytime TV show host was candid with her live audience Wednesday as she made the announcement. The 53-year-old has Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism, both of which she has spoken about in the past. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” a show representative told People. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy’s doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

“My doctor has prescribed -- are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation,” she said.

Williams then described the symptoms that come with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.

“Along with hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease, it promotes nervousness,” Williams said. “No, I’m not nervous. Anxiety, please. I’m over 30 years in this game.”

Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

The wife and mother to a teenage son did admit she has some symptoms, including a rapid heartbeat.

“Now, I can cop to irritability, but I’m just thinking it’s me micromanaging,” she said. 

Ever the workhorse, Williams said she would be back in less than three weeks.

“I’ll be back in two (weeks). I’m not an heiress. Who is going to pay my bills? Are you serious? I’m just saying, I come from working class,” she said.

Williams said she blamed her symptoms on the stresses of being a working wife and mother, encouraging women to put their health first.

“What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good,” she said. 

Williams took three days off last week after she said she was “feeling flu-ish.” It was the first time she was out sick from the show since it started in 2009. In October, Williams fainted on-air while introducing a segment.

Related: Wendy Williams addresses fainting on live Halloween show

“That was not a stunt,” Williams said at the end of that episode. “I overheated in my costume, and I did pass out. But you know what? I’m a champ and I’m back.”

CNN reported that there will not be a fill-in host for the show. Repeat episodes will air during the hiatus.

Watch Williams’ message to viewers below.

Geraldo Rivera talks weapons age-limits with Trump

Television personality Geraldo Rivera says he has discussed the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase assault-type weapons with President Donald Trump, adding that Trump "took it under advisement."

Rivera, a Fox News contributor, says in an email Wednesday that he spoke with Trump during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend. He added that Trump "further suggested strongly that he was going to act to strengthen background checks."

Rivera says Trump was "deeply affected" by visits with survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

The gunman used an AR-15. Rivera says Trump was "shocked and distressed" by the wounds inflicted.

On Tuesday, the White House said the idea of raising the age limit to buy an AR-15 was on the table for discussion.

Talk show host Williams taking time off for health reasons

Daytime talk show host Wendy Williams says she's taking three weeks off on doctor's orders.

Williams says that her doctor told her to take the break to deal with her Graves' Disease and hyperthyroidism. Reruns will air in her absence.

Williams told her audience Wednesday that she's been feeling like there are birds flying around her head, like a cartoon, and discussed other symptoms. She urged women in her audience not to neglect their health and to get regular check-ups.

The talk show host is 53 and recently lost 50 pounds.

Madrid art fair yanks photo exhibit amid political spat

Madrid's International Contemporary Art Fair on Wednesday yanked a photo exhibition called "Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain," prompting charges of censorship against the government-funded body which operates the event venue.

The spat came during efforts by pro-independence groups in the northeastern Catalonia region to break away from Spain. Some Catalan political leaders and activists have been preventively jailed because of their secession bid, and their supporters claim they are political prisoners — a charge which the national government in Madrid has vigorously denied, labelling them "politicians in prison."

The ARCO fair organizers said in a statement that IFEMA, which runs the fair venue, asked the exhibiting gallery to take down artist Santiago Sierra's photographs of unidentified prisoners because the controversy caused by the collection had diverted attention from the rest of the exhibits. It said the Helga de Alvear gallery complied with the request, leaving a broad stretch of blank wall.

The artist's studio said the move damaged the international prestige of Spain and of the annual fair. It said in a statement that the common denominator of the prisoners portrayed in the photos was that they had expressed their ideas without resorting to violence.

The collection of 24 black-and-white photographs featured head-and-shoulder portraits of prisoners with their faces pixelated. Captions explained who they were, such as Catalan and Basque nationalists, without naming them.

One group of photographs included people facing potential trial for their actions during the recent Catalan independence turmoil, and many Spaniards would likely be able to identify them despite the pixelation. They include Catalonia's former vice president, a former Catalan interior minister and two prominent Catalan separatist activists.

Carlos Urroz, the director of ARCO, said each gallery's space at the exhibition is a private area. Urroz said that Sierra, the artist, "is always very controversial and all his works have a very political slant."

Madrid City Council said it didn't support the decision to withdraw the exhibit, saying it defends freedom of expression and creativity "above all."

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