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Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.
In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. The 55-year-old first-term senator, who is also of South Asian descent, is one of the party’s most prominent figures. She quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

Joe Biden launches new national ad aimed at Black Americans

NBA Foundation created, pledges $300 million to Black growth

Grammy-winning producer Detail accused of sexual assault

Viola Davis, LeBron James among honorees at AAFCA TV Honors

DETROIT (AP) — Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign has launched a new national ad focused on Black Americans, urging them to stand up to President Donald Trump the way their ancestors stood up to “violent racists of a generation ago.” The one-minute ad, which was shared exclusively with The Associated Press before its digital and television release on Thursday, is meant to drum up support among Black Americans, a key constituency for Biden, ahead of November’s general election. The ad, titled “Better America,” also takes a direct swipe at Trump, without mentioning the Republican president by name.

 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The NBA’s Board of Governors and the National Basketball Players Association have finalized plans to create the first NBA Foundation that will work to spur economic growth in the Black community, announcing Wednesday that the initial contribution will be $300 million over the next decade. Each team will donate $1 million annually, or $30 million collectively, over those 10 years. An eight-person Board of Directors will be installed, with four of those seats going to representatives from the board of governors, three seats to NBPA players and executives, and one to the league office.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grammy Award-winning music producer Detail faces more than a dozen felony charges including 11 counts of rape involving six women, authorities said Thursday. The producer was arrested Wednesday night and was being held on nearly $6.3 million bail, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Detail, whose real name is Noel Christopher Fisher, 41, was charged on July 31 with 11 counts of rape, two counts of forcible oral copulation and two counts of sodomy by use of force, authorities said. He was also charged with three counts of assault and two counts of false imprisonment by violence.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Viola Davis, Sterling K. Brown and LeBron James are among several honorees at the AAFCA TV Honors later this month.The African American Film Critics Association announced the recipients of the second annual event on Wednesday. The virtual ceremony is scheduled to air on Aug. 22. Comedian-actress Aida Rodriguez will host the invitation-only streamed event.“In a time of such uncertainty, we have witnessed how powerful the medium of television and streaming is,” said Gil Robertson, co-founder and president of AAFCA. “We couldn’t be more proud to honor shows and performances that uplift and inspire at a time when we all need entertainment the most.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson acquires XFL

Dwayne “The Rock”
Former wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said he has acquired the XFL.

The 48-year-old Johnson made the announcement Monday on Twitter. The price reportedly is $15 million.

The XFL had eight franchises and played five games out of a planned 10-game schedule before canceling the remainder of its season in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It drew decent TV ratings early on and had deals with ESPN and Fox.

The league suspended operations and laid off all of its employees on April 10 and filed for bankruptcy protection on April 13.

Since ending his wrestling career, Johnson has became a movie star, including in the “Fast & Furious” and “Jumanji” franchises.

Kanye West’s NJ ballot petition falls short, complaint says

John Lewis’ funeral set for Atlanta church that MLK once led

Witness: Driver gunned down armed protester in Texas capital

Police and protesters clash in violent weekend across the US

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Kanye West’s petition to appear on New Jersey’s ballot as a presidential candidate fails to pass legal muster because signatures are incomplete, and in some cases appear written with very similar handwriting, according to a formal complaint filed with the state Wednesday.

Election law attorney Scott Salmon, a registered Democrat, filed the objection with the state Division of Elections after reviewing the more than 1,300 signatures the rapper had submitted.

New Jersey requires presidential candidates to get 800 signatures to appear on the ballot, but Salmon said in an interview that he counted more than 600 that were in some way defective.

“Mr. West’s petitions do not contain the valid signatures of 800 qualified voters and should have been rejected by the Division,” Salmon wrote in the complaint.

ATLANTA (AP) — When John Lewis is mourned, revered and celebrated at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday, he returns to a sacred place imbued with civil rights history.

The arc of Lewis’ legacy of activism will once again be tied to Ebenezer’s former pastor Martin Luther King Jr., whose sermons Lewis discovered while scanning the radio dial as a 15-year-old boy growing up in then-segregated Alabama.

King continued to inspire Lewis’ civil rights work for the next 65 years as he fought segregation during sometimes bloody marches, Greyhound bus “Freedom Rides” across the South and later during his long tenure in the U.S. Congress.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A protester who was apparently armed with a rifle at a demonstration against police violence in the Texas capital was shot and killed after a witness says he approached a vehicle that had driven through the crowd and the driver opened fire.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. Saturday as demonstrators were marching through downtown Austin, police spokeswoman Katrina Ratliff told reporters early Sunday. The man who was shot was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

 

ATLANTA (AP) — Protests took a violent turn in several U.S. cities over the weekend, with demonstrators squaring off against federal agents outside a courthouse in Portland, Oregon, forcing police in Seattle to retreat into a station house and setting fire to vehicles in California and Virginia.

A protest against police violence in Austin, Texas, turned deadly when a witness says the driver of a car that drove through a crowd of marchers opened fire on an armed demonstrator who approached the vehicle. And someone was shot and wounded in Aurora, Colorado, after a car drove through a protest there, authorities said.

Antebellum

Antebellum(Lionsgate)

Release: 08/21/2020

Tamar Braxton pays tribute to boyfriend for ‘saving my life’

Tamar Braxton
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tamar Braxton is thanking her boyfriend for “saving my life” after her hospitalization last month.

Braxton posted a lengthy message on social media late Saturday that paid tribute to David Adefeso being her “angel on earth.” She said she is grateful for Adefeso who found her “lifeless” in their home, saying it “couldn’t have been easy” for him.

The R&B singer did not provide details about her hospitalization. Police only confirmed they responded to a medical emergency July 16 at the downtown Los Angeles high rise that she calls home.

“Through this entire time, you have held my hand, heard my cries, held me when I have been weak. You have had my ENTIRE back‼️” she said in the post

Braxton, 43, shared the post along with an older video of the couple talking about getting engaged. She called Adefeso and her 7-year-old son Logan, whom she shares with former husband Vincent Herbert, a priority.

“Although I been said yes in this old video… now and then, I couldn’t imagine what life would be like if you weren’t by my side,” she wrote. “Thank God I’m here and thank God for you.”

Arts – Entertainment – Culture – Politics

For racial justice protests, US taps tactical border squads

Jul 25, 2020 11:58AM

US taps tactical border squads
WASHINGTON (AP) — They are the most highly trained members of the Border Patrol, agents who confront drug traffickers along the U.S.-Mexico border and track down dangerous fugitives in rugged terrain.

One day this past week, they were in a far different setting — a city park in Portland, Oregon, looking for two people suspected of throwing rocks and bottles at officers guarding the downtown federal courthouse.

Beyond the debate over whether the federal response to the Portland protests encroaches on local authority, another question arises: whether the Department of Homeland Security, with its specialized national security focus, is the right agency for the job.

It’s not just the Border Patrol Tactical Unit that has been called to duty in Portland. DHS has dispatched air marshals as well as the Customs and Border Protection Special Response Team and even members of the Coast Guard.

“The Department of Homeland Security was never intended as a national police force let alone a presidential militia,” said Peter Vincent, a former general counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is also an agency within DHS.

The deployment of DHS agents and officers is legal, both under existing law and an executive order President Donald Trump signed June 26 to protect federal property and monuments. But it has made the agency, created to improve the nation’s response to terrorism, a target of widespread criticism.

Culture

Octavia Spencer: Cast more actors with disabilities

Octavia Spencer
BOSTON (AP) —

Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer says Hollywood needs to do better casting people with disabilities.

The star of “The Help” and “Hidden Figures” is part of a new video campaign timed with the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this month.

“Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust, and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities,” she says in the nearly three-minute clip.

Spencer argues that the industry needs to recognize that “nothing can replace lived experience and authentic representation.” She also notes how the entertainment industry has been notoriously slow at embracing diversity.

“It’s only been a few decades since white actors would portray Black, Asian and even Native American characters on screen,” Spencer says. ”There is no reason that we should continue to repeat the same mistakes of the past. Together, we should and can do better.”

The campaign was launched by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a Boston-based organization that advocates for people with disabilities.

The foundation earlier this year issued an open letter to the entertainment industry making a similar plea that was signed by George Clooney, Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Norton, Bryan Cranston, Mark Ruffalo, Glenn Close, Eva Longoria and other prominent names in Hollywood.

Some worry that White House briefings are a broken tradition

Jul 25, 2020 8:49AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A few times each week, reporters sit in the White House briefing room to fire questions at the Trump administration’s press secretary as she stands at a podium to respond.

That visual, however, may be the only part of a time-honored government tradition that is familiar.

Under Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press briefing has become a streamlined, full-throated advertisement for a president facing re-election, a venue for attacks on the media and a forum relatively light on information about what government is doing.

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, whose term as White House Correspondents’ Association president just ended, wrote in The Washington Post this month that he believed it is the White House press secretary’s duty to hold briefings regularly, “but not like this.”

Arts Entertainment Culture

Fresh comedy faces, ‘Modern Family’ farewell seek Emmy nods

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Morning Show” and “Ramy” are among the series vying for Emmy nominations as TV’s top honors strive to keep Hollywood’s awards tradition going despite the pandemic.

The 72nd prime-time Emmys are the first major entertainment honors to unfold amid the coronavirus’ disruption, and Tuesday’s virtual announcement makes clear how much improvising is required.

The nominations, typically unveiled with fanfare at the TV academy’s Los Angeles headquarters, will be announced online Tuesday by host Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”) and presenters Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”), Josh Gad (“Frozen”) and Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”).

Last year’s best series winners “Game of Thrones” and “Fleabag” called it a wrap, clearing the path for others to prevail. With the downtime forced on academy TV voters by the virus, the field could include underdogs that benefited from more attention.

Something else to look for: Whether recent social justice tumult affects the Emmys’ up-and-down record of ethnic and gender inclusivity in nominations and awards.

On the drama side, “The Morning Show” is aiming for best series and actress bids for Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. It’s the flagship entry from Apple TV+, one of the new kids on the increasingly competitive streaming block.

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” which took the best drama trophy in 2017, is vying for its third nomination in the category. “Big Little Lies,” last year’s winner for best limited series, is hunting for a drama series nod for its second season.

Culture

Among the previously nominated drama contenders asking for more: “Succession”; “Better Call Saul”; “The Crown”; “Ozark”; “Stranger Things”; “Westworld”; “This Is Us”; “Pose,” and the eighth and final season of past winner “Homeland.”

The comedy categories hold the promise of fresh faces, including the Muslim American series “Ramy.” Its star and co-creator, Ramy Youssef, earned a Golden Globe in January for his performance.

Others seeking their first top comedy nod include the female-led comedies “Insecure”; “Dead to Me”; “Better Things” and “The Great,” with past winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” also in the running.

Previous nominees “Schitt’s Creek,” “The Good Place” and “Silicon Valley” are pursuing recognition for their farewell seasons, as is “Modern Family” — which aired for 11 seasons and has five wins to date in the category, a record it shares with “Frasier.”

The Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be presented Sept. 20 on ABC.

2nd presidential debate host withdraws amid virus outbreak

By ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The University of Notre Dame has become the second university to withdraw as the host of one of this fall’s three scheduled presidential debates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The university was set to host the inaugural face-off between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Sept. 29. The first debate will now be hosted by Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday.

The commission has selected Cleveland Clinic as its health adviser for all three presidential debates and the one scheduled vice presidential debate.

In a release, Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins said the university made “this difficult decision because the necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus.”

The University of Michigan was scheduled to host the second presidential debate but withdrew last month. That debate will now be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

Culture

Game on: NBA finally set to see games that count again

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Games were canceled. Practice facilities were shuttered. A season ended unceremoniously for eight teams. The draft process was delayed, as was free agency. Some players tested positive for the coronavirus. Many more took to the streets and used their voices to demand justice and equality as racism and police brutality sparked a nationwide conversation.

The world has changed since the NBA stopped on March 11.

For 22 franchises, however, there is a goal that remains in place.

The NBA, at long last, is officially back. A re-opening night doubleheader inside the bubble at Walt Disney World awaits Thursday, when New Orleans takes on Utah before a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference — the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

There won’t be any fans in attendance, health and safety protocols that were painstakingly written in response to the coronavirus pandemic will be paramount, and teams can’t even shower in the arena after games. But after 20 weeks of waiting, wondering and worrying, the 2019-20 NBA season is ready to hit the restart button with a champion scheduled to be crowned in October.

Arts Entertainment Culture

Barack Obama to appear on Michelle Obama’s podcast debut

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first guest of Michelle Obama’s new podcast will have a familiar presidential voice: Barack Obama.

The former United States president is expected to appear on “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on Spotify, the Obama’s Higher Ground and streaming service announced Friday. The podcast will debut Wednesday.

In the premiere episode, the former first lady and her husband will hold an intimate conversation about community, the love that powers relationships and life after living eight years in the White House.

“For eight years my life was full of crazy schedules, juggling big initiatives, speeches, state dinners,” Michelle Obama says in the first episode’s intro. “Not to mention trying to raise two daughters and keeping my head above water. But once Barack’s second term ended, the presidency was over and finally had some time to breathe.”

Arts. Entertainment. Culture. Politics.

Breaking News

From police chief to VP? Inside Val Demings’ unlikely path

South Texas drenched by cyclone amid surge in virus cases

Police investigate anti-Semitic tweets by grime artist Wiley

Oprah’s O Mag to end regular print editions after 20 years

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Val Demings has already been vice president.

In 1972, the future Florida congresswoman was a young Black girl struggling to make friends at a predominantly white Jacksonville high school. She and her best friend, Vera Hartley, created the Charisma Club. Hartley was president and Demings was her second-in-command.

“We created an environment of inclusion,” Hartley said, recalling how she and Demings invited white students to join. Then “we were able to get into other clubs.”

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A day after roaring ashore as a hurricane, Hanna lashed the Texas Gulf Coast on Sunday with high winds and drenching rains that destroyed boats, flooded streets and knocked out power across a region already reeling from a surge in coronavirus cases.

Downgraded to a tropical storm, Hanna passed over the U.S.-Mexico border with winds near 50 mph (85 kph), the National Hurricane Center said. It unloaded more than 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain on parts of South Texas and northeastern Mexico.

LONDON (AP) — London’s police are investigating after a stream of anti-Semitic comments were posted on British grime artist Wiley’s social media accounts.

Twitter banned the rapper for seven days after rants on Friday and Saturday. He was also dropped by his management company after he shared the comments, which called Jews “cowards’’ and “snakes,’’ among other things.

9

O, The Oprah Magazine is ending its regular monthly print editions with the December 2020 issue after 20 years of publication.

The brand, which is among the most recognizable magazines in the U.S., is not going away but will become more “more digitally-centric,” a Hearst spokeswoman Monday said. There will be “some form of print” after the December issue “but what it is exactly is still being worked out,” she said.

 

Movie theaters implore studios: Release the blockbusters

NEW YORK (AP) — A long time ago in a pre-COVID universe far, far away, blockbusters opened around the globe simultaneously or nearly so. In 1975, “Jaws” set the blueprint. Concentrate marketing. Open wide. Pack them in.

Since then, Hollywood has turned opening weekends into an all-out assault. Staggered rollouts still happen, of course, but the biggest films are dropped like carpet bombs. Anything less risks losing the attention of moviegoers. Global debuts north of $300 million became commonplace. Last year, “Avengers: Endgame” made well north of $1 billion in a couple days.

Hollywood has now gone more than four months without a major theatrical release. While some films have found new streaming homes, the biggest upcoming ones — “Tenet,” “Mulan,” “A Quiet Place Part II” — remain idled like jumbo jets on the tarmac. The leading chains are still shuttered. Recent coronavirus spikes have forced release dates to shuffle and chains to postpone reopening to August.

Civil rights icon John Lewis remembered in his hometown

US attorney: Feds will stay in Portland until attacks end

Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas greet first child

fter talk of collaboration, conferences go their own way

Lights Out

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — After George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, people in Portland came out in droves to protest police brutality and racism, chanting that “Black lives matter.” As the weeks went by, the crowds dwindled to a few dozen and the protests increasingly turned violent.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. militarized officers will remain in Portland until attacks on a federal courthouse cease, a top official said Monday after another night of violence. And more officers may soon be on the way.

“It is not a solution to tell federal officers to leave when there continues to be attacks on federal property and personnel,” U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said. ”We are not leaving the building unprotected to be destroyed by people intent on doing so.”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas have had their first child.

The 24-year-old “Game of Thrones” star Turner and the 30-year-old singer Jonas announced the birth Monday.

“Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are delighted to announce the birth of their baby,” they said in a statement released through his label Republic Records.

By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer

Plans for the college football season — if it is played — should start coming into focus this week.

They will trickle down from the top of major college football, with Power Five conferences putting in place revised schedules they hope will make it easier to manage potential disruptions brought on by COVID-19.

The Power Five commissioners talked a lot in the spring about the importance of collaboration and trying to launch the season together, with all of the Football Bowl Subdivision acting in unison. The way things are heading, that appears to be out the window.

Here’s where each conference stands with the first scheduled college football games about a month away.

LEADING OFF: Marlins postponed again amid virus outbreak

Here’s how Trump’s opposition to mail voting hurts the GOP

The Latest: South Africa nearing half-million virus cases

Ex-49er Dana Stubblefield convicted of raping disabled woman

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

PANDEMIC PANIC

Major League Baseball has already postponed a second scheduled game between Miami and Baltimore after more than a dozen Marlins players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the club to lock down in Philadelphia. Commissioner Rob Manfred said the soonest the Marlins could resume their schedule is Wednesday, when they are set to play in Baltimore.

“I don’t see it as a nightmare,” Manfred told MLB Network on Monday night. “We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters, that’s why we have the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republicans once dominated voting by mail in Florida. But that was before President Donald Trump got involved.

After months of hearing Trump denigrate mail-in balloting, Republicans in the critical battleground state now find themselves far behind Democrats in the perennial push to urge their voters to cast ballots remotely. While Democrats have doubled the number of their voters who have requested mail ballots compared to 2016, Republicans have increased their numbers by about 20% since the same time.

The recent tally is the hard evidence confirming many Republicans’ fears about Trump’s tweeting about mail-in voting: GOP voters are listening and appear less likely to take advantage of what many election and health officials agree is the easiest and safest way to vote in a pandemic.

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa is closing in on a half-million confirmed coronavirus cases as the country posted nearly 300 deaths in a single day.

South Africa now has 452,529 cases and 7,067 deaths, making up more than half the reported cases on the African continent. It has the fifth highest caseload in the world.

Like many others, the country has struggled with trying to ease lockdown restrictions and then seeing cases rise. But businesses have expressed frustration as unemployment is now above 30% and likely to keep increasing.

And corruption related to pandemic aid is a problem as the president has warned that now, more than ever, persistent graft puts people’s lives at risk.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield was convicted Monday of the rape of a developmentally disabled woman, after prosecutors said he lured the victim to his home with the promise of a babysitting job.

A jury found Stubblefield, 49, guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment, and acquitted him of raping a person incapable of giving consent, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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