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Letter penned a day before Titanic sank sold at UK auction

LONDON (AP) — A letter written by one of the Titanic's passengers a day before the ship sank has sold for 126,000 pounds ($166,000) at an auction in England.

The handwritten note, on embossed Titanic stationery, was penned by first class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson on April 13, 1912 — the day before the ship hit an iceberg and sank, killing more than 1,500 onboard.

Holverson, a salesman, had intended to post it to his mother in New York. The letter, one of the last known to have been written on board by the disaster's victims, was found when Holverson's body was recovered and was sent to his family.

Auction house Henry Aldridge & Son, which specializes in Titanic memorabilia, said Saturday the letter was "the most important Titanic letter we have ever auctioned."

A-ha's stripped down version of ‘Take On Me’ is hauntingly beautiful

“Take On Me” by A-ha is one of the 1980s’ most remembered songs, not only for its fast-paced beat but also because of that iconic video, which featured a pencil-sketch animation theme (called rotoscoping) and live action featuring lead singer Morten Harket and his then-girlfriend, actress Bunty Bailey.

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It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in October 1985 and won six awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

But take away the fast tempo and the synthesizers and that catchy riff and what do you get? A stripped-down, acoustic version of the hit that the Norwegian-based group played earlier this month on an “MTV Unplugged” show at Giske Harbour Hall in Norway.

On “MTV Unplugged,” the song is slow and performed in a style vaguely reminiscent of the 1960s rock ’n’ roll band Vanilla Fudge, which took fast-paced songs and sang them at an excruciatingly slow tempo. The Ah-ha acoustic version is less psychedelic and is sung quietly -- almost reverently.

Many purists will prefer the version that bubbled through the radio and television during the 1980s, but the new arrangement is certainly haunting.

Directors guild files disciplinary charges against Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — The Directors Guild of America announced Saturday it has filed disciplinary charges against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

The group said it filed the charges on Oct. 13.

Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in the weeks since The New York Times and The New Yorker published exposes alleging decades of sexual misconduct by Weinstein.

The Television Academy, which bestows Emmy awards, said a disciplinary hearing set for November could lead to termination of his membership.

More than 40 women have accused the 65-year-old Weinstein of harassment or abuse.

Actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Lupita Nyong'o have accused Weinstein of harassment, while actresses Asia Argento and Rose McGowan said he raped them.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

The directors guild issued a statement condemning sexual harassment in general following a board meeting New York on Saturday.

"There must be no tolerance for such deplorable abuses of power," the statement said. "This isn't about one person. We must recognize sexual harassment is endemic in our society, and painfully, in our industry."

The group added that "every individual has the right to a safe workplace."

An attorney for Weinstein did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The Latest: Appeal backed by former presidents raises $31M

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the hurricane relief concert attended by a five living ex-presidents (all times local):

8:35 p.m.

The five living former presidents have attended a concert to benefit victims of hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Barack Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter called on Americans to donate to the appeal that has raised $31 million so far. They avoided politics in their remarks and none of them mentioned President Donald Trump.

President George H.W. Bush did not address the crowd but smiled and waved from the stage. The 93-year-old elder Bush suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event.

Grammy award winner Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert.

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8 p.m.

An appeal to help hurricane victims backed by the five living former presidents has raised $31 million since it began on Sept. 7.

Jim McGrath, spokesman for former president George H.W. Bush, confirmed the figure Saturday. The former presidents all attended a concert in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University as part of the appeal.

They have joined together to raise money after devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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7:05 p.m.

A hurricane relief concert has begun in Texas featuring the five living former U.S. presidents appearing together for the first time since 2013.

Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were on stage at the start of the concert in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, where the elder Bush's presidential library is located.

They are joining together to raise money to help victims of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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6 p.m.

President Donald Trump has recorded a video message for the hurricane relief concert that five former U.S. presidents are attending Saturday night.

Trump says in the video that the American people "came together as one" in the wake of a series of devastating hurricanes that hit Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in recent weeks.

He's also thanking presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — frequent subjects of his wrath— for helping to spearhead the effort, calling them "some of America's finest public servants."

He says: "This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and devotion to one another."

The concert starts at 7 p.m. CDT.

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12:30 p.m.

All five living former U.S. presidents will be attending a concert Saturday night in a Texas college town, raising money for relief efforts from hurricane devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush are putting aside politics for the event. Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which made landfall after Harvey and Irma had battered Texas and Florida.

Having so much ex-presidential power in one place is unusual. George H.W. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said all five of Saturday night's attendees haven't been together since the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas in 2013, when Obama was still in office.

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The Latest: O'Reilly says he was one of many accused at Fox

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the parent company of the Fox News Channel saying it knew a news analyst had threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Bill O'Reilly says after 21st Century Fox fired founding CEO Roger Ailes following harassment charges, he was one of scores of male employees at Fox News Channel who were accused of harassment.

A spokesman for O'Reilly released the statement Saturday in response to 21st Century Fox acknowledging that it knew a news analyst had threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against him when it renewed his contract in February. The New York Times reported Saturday the company renewed the contract after O'Reilly reached a $32 million settlement.

O'Reilly says 21st Century Fox paid out close to $100 million dollars to settle all the cases brought by dozens of women.

The statement adds that in his 20 years at the channel not one complaint was filed against him by a co-worker, even on the anonymous hotline.

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1:30 p.m.

The Fox News Channel says the company knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

The New York Times reported Saturday the company renewed the TV host's contract after he reached a $32 million settlement with the analyst.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox defended its decision because it said he had settled the matter personally. It also said O'Reilly and the woman had agreed the financial terms would be kept confidential.

The company says O'Reilly's new contract added protections that allowed Fox to dismiss him if other allegations surfaced.

O'Reilly was ousted months later when it was revealed Fox had paid five women a total of $13 million to keep quiet about harassment allegations.

Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations

NEW YORK (AP) — The parent company of the Fox News Channel says it knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

The New York Times reported Saturday the company renewed O'Reilly's contract after he reached a $32 million settlement with the analyst, Lis Wiehl.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox defended its decision because it said O'Reilly had settled the matter personally. It also said O'Reilly and Wiehl had agreed the financial terms would be kept confidential.

The company says O'Reilly's new contract had added protections that allowed Fox to dismiss him if other allegations surfaced.

O'Reilly was ousted months later when it was revealed Fox had paid five women a total of $13 million to keep quiet about harassment allegations.

Mark Fabiani, a spokesman for O'Reilly, said in a statement Saturday that after 21st Century Fox fired founding CEO Roger Ailes in 2015 following harassment charges, dozens of women accused scores of male employees at Fox News Channel of harassment. The 77-year-old Ailes died in Palm Beach, Florida, last May.

21st Century Fox paid out close to $100 million dollars to settle all the cases, Fabiani said, adding that in O'Reilly's 20 years working at the channel not one complaint was filed against him by a co-worker, even on an anonymous hotline.

Wiehl's allegations included repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to the woman, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke to The New York Times.

As part of the terms of their agreement, she signed an affidavit, dated Jan. 17 and obtained by the newspaper, stating that the two sides had resolved their dispute and that she had no claims against O'Reilly concerning any of the allegations in the draft complaint. All photos, text messages and other communications between the two would be destroyed, the newspaper reported.

The Associated Press emailed Wiehl on Saturday seeking comment.

The settlement was by far the largest of a half dozen deals made by O'Reilly or the company to settle harassment allegations against the host, according to the newspaper.

It was reached in January. A month later, 21st Century Fox granted O'Reilly a four-year extension on a $25 million-a-year contract. In April, it fired him.

Fabiani said the newspaper's account was false and taken out of context. The New York Times said it stands by its reporting.

"Mr Fabiani addresses everything but what the story actually says. This article, like our previous reporting on the subject, is accurate and deeply reported and we welcome any challenge to the facts," the newspaper said in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday.

The most-watched figure in cable TV, O'Reilly has called his firing from the Fox News Channel a "political hit job" and that his network's parent company made a business decision to get rid of him. O'Reilly also has said his conscience was clear in how he dealt with women.

The company said it has taken numerous steps to change its workplace environment.

"21st Century Fox has taken concerted action to transform Fox News, including installing new leaders, overhauling management and on-air talent, expanding training, and increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination," Fox said in a statement emailed to the AP. "These changes come from the top, with Lachlan and James Murdoch personally leading the effort to promote civility and respect on the job, while maintaining the company's long-held commitment to a diverse, inclusive and creative workplace."

O'Reilly hosts his "No Spin News" podcast on his website, www.billoreilly.com, contributes to Glenn Beck's radio program on TheBlaze and continues to write books in his best-selling series of historical "Killing" books, including his newest release, "Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence."

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This story has been corrected to say Ailes died in Palm Beach, Florida, not Los Angeles.

UK paper sorry for airbrushing out Solange Knowles's braids

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Evening Standard newspaper has apologized to Solange Knowles for digitally altering an image of the singer on the cover of its magazine.

Knowles — who had released a song called "Don't Touch My Hair" — complained on Instagram that an elaborate braided crown on her head had been digitally removed from the cover photo.

The magazine article featured the singer talking about her experiences spending time at her mother's salon as a child. She also discussed braiding's importance to her and praised it as "its own art form."

The magazine said in a statement Saturday that the photo was altered for "layout purposes" but it was sorry for the offense caused. The statement said: "Plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange."

World Series tickets for Dodger Stadium games soar in price

Emotions among fans in Southern California were sky-high after the Los Angeles Dodgers nailed down their first World Series berth in 29 years.

>> Read more trending news

Also rising are the cost of World Series tickets.

According to TicketIQ, a firm that tracks ticket sales and availability, the average asking price for games in Los Angeles are $3,164 per ticket. Only the Chicago Cubs last year, with an average asking price for games at Wrigley Field, had a higher amount, at $3,480, ESPN reported.

StubHub had several large sales for Game 1 of the World Series, which will be played in Los Angeles for the first time since 1988. One fan paid $37,804 (including fees) for a pair of front-row seats behind the Dodgers’ dugout, ESPN reported. Another paid $72,008 (also including fees) for four seats in the second row behind the Dodgers’dugout.

According to reseller Vivid Seats, the cheapest ticket available for Game 1 on Tuesday night is a standing room-only pass for $1,002, before fees. There was only one of those tickets available as of late Saturday morning.

Prices could even jump higher if the New York Yankees defeat the Houston Astros in tonight’s Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. The Dodgers and Yankees have met 11 times in the World Series since the two longtime rivals faced each other for the first time in 1941, when the Dodgers were based in Brooklyn. The Yankees have beaten the Dodgers in eight of those World Series.

Country Artist’s Fiance Teases That The Wedding May Have Already Happened

It was, maybe, just over a year that Dan & Shay’s Shay Mooney got engaged to his fiance, Hannah Billingsley. Then they had a baby, Asher James, who is adorable. Then Shay’s bandmate Dan Smyers got married to his longtime girlfriend, Abby Law. So it’s coming up to that time that Shay and his fiance tie the knot. Well according to Hannah’s Instagram story from Saturday morning… the wedding may have already happened!

Hannah shared the photo below of a hand with an engagement ring and a wedding band with the caption “Time for the #Honeymooney. Since Shay’s last name is Mooney, this hand could only belong to one person… Hannah herself! So we will have to wait for confirmation and more photos.. but you’ll find them right here, at K923orlando.com.

Former presidents call for unity at hurricane aid concert

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The five living former presidents put aside politics and appeared together for the first time since 2013 at a concert on Saturday to raise money for victims of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush gathered in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, to try to unite the country after the storms.

Texas A&M is home to the presidential library of the elder Bush. At 93, he has a form of Parkinson's disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event. His wife, Barbara, and George W. Bush's wife, Laura, were in the audience.

Grammy award winner Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert that also featured country music band Alabama, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer 'Soul Man' Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams and Texas musicians Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.

The appeal backed by the ex-presidents has raised $31 million since it began on Sept. 7, said Jim McGrath, spokesman for George H.W. Bush.

President Donald Trump offered a video greeting that avoided his past criticism of the former presidents and called them "some of America's finest public servants."

"This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and devotion to one another," Trump said in the greeting, played during the concert.

Four of the five former presidents — Obama, George W. Bush, Carter and Clinton — made brief remarks that did not mention Trump. The elder Bush did not speak but smiled and waved to the crowd. They appealed for national unity to help those hurt by the hurricanes.

"The heart of America, without regard to race or religion or political party, is greater than our problems," said Clinton.

The last time the five were together was in 2013, when Obama was still in office, at the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas.

There is precedent for former presidents joining forces for post-disaster fundraising. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton raised money together after the 2004 South Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina the next year. Clinton and George W. Bush combined to seek donations after Haiti's 2011 earthquake.

"It's certainly a triple, if not a home run, every time," said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. "Presidents have the most powerful and prolific fundraising base of any politician in the world. When they send out a call for help, especially on something that's not political, they can rake in big money."

Amid criticism that his administration was initially slow to aid ravaged Puerto Rico, Trump accused island leaders of "poor leadership," and later tweeted that, "Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes" while saying that Federal Emergency Management Agency, first-responders and military personnel wouldn't be able to stay there forever.

But Rottinghaus said ex-presidents are seen as less polarizing than the current president.

"They can't get away from the politics of the moment," he said of current White House occupants. "Ex-presidents are able to step back and be seen as the nation's grandfather."

Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 25, unleashing historic flooding in Houston and killing more than 80 people. Shortly thereafter, all five ex-presidents appeared in a commercial for a fundraising effort known as "One America Appeal." In it, George W. Bush says, "People are hurting down here." His father, George H.W. Bush, then replies, "We love you, Texas."

Hurricane Irma subsequently hit Florida and Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, while both devastated the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A website accepting donations, OneAmericaAppeal.org, was created with 100 percent of proceeds pledged to hurricane relief.

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‘Game of Thrones’ actor Peter Dinklage, wife Erica Schmidt celebrate birth of 2nd child

“Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage and his wife, Erica Schmidt, welcomed their second child, Us Weekly reported Friday.

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It is the second child for the couple. Their daughter was born in 2011, Us Weekly reported.

The couple did not publicly confirm the second pregnancy, but Us Weekly confirmed they were spotted with their newborn at a concert in September.

Dinkage plays the part of Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” which ended its seventh season in August.

New film claims to have solved Jim Thompson mystery

BANGKOK (AP) — A new documentary is set to stir fresh debate over one of Asia's most enduring mysteries: What happened to Jim Thompson, Thailand's legendary silk king.

The former American intelligence officer turned textile tycoon went for a walk in the Malaysian jungle 50 years ago and never returned. Despite a massive search, no trace of Thompson was ever found. One of the most prominent Westerners in Asia had simply vanished.

Theories abound: He was killed by a tiger; he got lost and perished in deep forest; he disappeared himself as part of a political intrigue. Those behind the documentary say they have new evidence that Thompson was killed.

Their film, "Who Killed Jim Thompson," premiered Oct. 20 at the Eugene International Film Festival in the U.S. state of Oregon.

"There's been all sorts of theories and mostly silly theories, but I'm hoping that this will put some closure to, you know, the whole story," said Barry Broman, the film's producer.

The filmmakers, from Adventure Film Productions, said they got their break out of the blue: An old contact approached them with a tale of a death-bed confession. They eventually found a second source whose information dove-tailed with the first.

Their conclusion: Thompson was slain by rebels from the Communist Party of Malaya who grew suspicious after he arrived in the jungle and began requesting a meeting with the party's secretary-general, at the time Malaysia's most-wanted man. Rather than vacationing, the filmmakers said, Thompson was on what turned out to be a final, fatal mission.

Broman, who has decades of Asia experience as a photographer, U.S. marine and diplomat, said the conclusion is unequivocal: "Jim was never going to be found. He was murdered."

The filmmakers acknowledged the murder theory's not new, but they believe their version is more substantial.

While some of the film's conclusions are plausible based on what is known about Thompson's life, there is nothing definitive given that it relies on second-hand information from relatives of those allegedly involved and leaves many questions unanswered.

During World War II, Thompson was a highly decorated operative with the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. After the war, he was stationed in Thailand with the OSS and chose to make his home there after turning businessman and founding his silk firm in 1948.

Thompson helped revive the Thai silk industry and his company has since grown into one of Thailand's flag-ship luxury brands. His former Bangkok home, once the site of legendary parties, is now a museum filled with his fabulous collection of Asian art and antiques. Both have become must-see attractions for the millions of tourists who visit Thailand each year.

The company declined to comment on the new claims about the fate of its founder.

Thompson had a $1.5 million a year business by 1967, when the Vietnam War was in full swing with Thailand playing an essential role, hosting bases from which the U.S. Air Force bombed communist-controlled areas of Indochina.

Thompson decamped in March of that year to Malaysia's Cameron Highlands, a hill station dotted with tea plantations that was once popular with British colonists, for some rest and relaxation with Singaporean friends at their Tudor-style Moonlight Cottage vacation home.

On March 26, Easter Sunday, as his hosts were taking a rest, they heard their guest from Bangkok leave the house, presumably to take a stroll in the area's crisp fresh air.

Not a trace of Thompson was found after that. Hundreds of people were involved in the initial sweep to find him: soldiers, police, professional jungle trackers, native tribespeople. When no clues were unearthed, psychics and medicine men joined the fruitless quest.

"I still have questions. I'd like to have a couple of more sources," Broman acknowledged. He hopes bringing the story to the screen may jog some memories, and perhaps someone, somewhere will be struck by a realization along the lines of, "say, didn't Grandpa talk about that?"

Kansas City looks at taking over struggling jazz museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A jazz museum that's plagued by operating losses and bounced checks to musicians could be headed for a takeover by Kansas City.

City Council members Jermaine Reed and Scott Wagner introduced an ordinance Thursday that asks officials to study the transfer of the American Jazz Museum to the Parks and Recreation Department by next spring, The Kansas City Star reported .

The measure includes $225,000 to help the museum meet payroll.

The 20-year-old museum located in the historic 18th and Vine district currently operates in a city-owned building but under an independent board. The institution has been unable to raise the money necessary to stand on its own financially.

Wagner said the museum has already spent its annual city subsidy for the fiscal year that ends next April.

Reed sent a letter this week to city and museum officials outlining a proposal to move the museum, the Blue Room jazz club and the Gem Theater to the Parks Department. He said the city has an obligation to safeguard its assets.

"It is clear business as usual will not suffice," Reed said. "The Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners has a long history of full collaboration with neighborhood groups and business leaders in managing certain city-owned assets and tourist sites such as the Kansas City Zoo, the Liberty Memorial, Starlight Theatre and the Kansas City Museum."

The museum's financial difficulties became apparent earlier this year when performers from a May jazz festival realized their checks from the museum had bounced. The performers were owed $150,000 at one point.

"They have issues of sustainability and economy. It can't be ignored anymore," Wagner said.

City Manager Troy Schulte said there are no legal obstacles to a city takeover of the museum.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store

iTunes Official Music Charts for the week ending October 19, 2017:

Top Songs

1. Thunder, Imagine Dragons

2. rockstar (feat. 21 Savage), Post Malone

3. Perfect, Ed Sheeran

4. What About Us, P!nk

5. Feel It Still, Portugal. The Man

6. Havana (feat. Young Thug), Camila Cabello

7. Bodak Yellow, Cardi B

8. Sorry Not Sorry, Demi Lovato

9. Too Good at Goodbyes, Sam Smith

10. Every Little Thing, Carly Pearce

Top Albums

1. Beautiful Trauma, P!nk

2. Colors, Beck

3. Mr. Davis, Gucci Mane

4. Southern Girl City Lights, Jessie James Decker

5. The Saga Continues, Wu-Tang

6. SWIM TEAM, Dirty Heads

7. MASSEDUCTION, St. Vincent

8. Yours, Russell Dickerson

9. Greatest Hits, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

10. Evolve, Imagine Dragons

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(copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.

Jason Aldean releases 'I Won't Back Down' for charity

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Aldean's moving rendition of "I Won't Back Down" on "Saturday Night Live" will soon be raising money to help victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

The song was made available on Friday on various sites. Aldean's representative says all proceeds will be donated to the Direct Impact Fund dedicated to victims of the tragedy.

Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 2 when a gunman fired on the crowd a hotel room, killing 58 people. Hundreds more were injured.

The country star made his first public performance on "SNL" five days later and sang the Tom Petty song. It was in part a tribute to the late rocker, who died that week, but also a show of resiliency in the face of tragedy.

Ex-prosecutor to sue Cosby accuser, alleging personal injury

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former district attorney who declined to press sexual-assault charges against Bill Cosby in 2005 has filed the beginnings of a lawsuit against Cosby's accuser in Philadelphia.

An attorney for Bruce L. Castor says the personal-injury complaint will claim Andrea Constand sued Castor for defamation in 2015 so he would lose the prosecutor's race. The winner, Kevin Steele, had criticized Castor's handling of the Cosby case.

Castor's lawyer James Beasley Jr. tells The Philadelphia Inquirer paperwork filed earlier this month will lead to a lawsuit seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

A lawyer representing Constand's attorneys says the potential lawsuit sounds "legally deficient."

Cosby is charged with knocking out Constand with pills and sexually assaulting her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.

Norman Rockwell's 3 sons seek to halt sale of his artworks

BOSTON (AP) — Norman Rockwell's three sons were among several people who went to court on Friday seeking to halt a museum's plans to sell 40 works of art, including two by him.

A complaint seeking a temporary restraining order filed in Berkshire Superior Court alleges the board of trustees at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield contracted with Sotheby's for a public auction of the works before it announced its plans publicly, acted in breach of its fiduciary duties and trust and acted without legal authority to sell the art.

The planned sale is against Massachusetts laws establishing the museum, which requires the museum to maintain any gifts it receives "for the people of Berkshire County and the general public," the complaint says.

"Once sold, it is highly unlikely that any of the pieces will remain in Berkshire County or in a public institution where they can be seen and enjoyed," the complaint says.

Besides Thomas, Jarvis and Peter Rockwell, the plaintiffs include two local artists and several members of the museum. They are represented by the Boston law firm Foley Hoag LLP.

The museum has consistently stood by its decision to sell the art.

"We believe we have strong legal grounds for our deaccessioning and we are confident in our new vision plan which will allow this important local museum to continue to contribute to the educational and cultural life of this region for another century," trustees president Elizabeth McGraw said in a statement on Friday.

The museum came under intense national and local criticism after it announced in July that is was auctioning the art.

The American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors said in a joint statement that the sale violated a sacred museum rule that collections are not to be sold to pay bills.

The works for sale include Rockwell's "Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop" and "Shuffleton's Barbershop," both of which the illustrator gave as gifts to the museum when he lived in nearby Stockbridge. Works by Alexander Calder, Albert Bierstadt and George Henry Durrie also are on the auction block.

Museum trustees and officials say the museum is in dire financial straits and may close for good if it doesn't sell the works. They say it is hoped that the sale will raise as much as $60 million, which will be used to boost the endowment by $40 million, with the other $20 million being used to renovate the museum as it changes its mission to focus more on natural history and science.

The complaint says the museum's financial troubles are greatly exaggerated.

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