The Urban Fly
Arts Entertainment Culture Politics
Spike Lee, ‘Annette’ kick off 74th Cannes Film Festival
CANNES, France (AP) — The Cannes Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the first time in more than two years on Tuesday, launching the French Riviera spectacular with the premiere of Leos Carax’s “Annette,” the introduction of Spike Lee’s jury, and with high hopes for shrugging off a punishing pandemic year for cinema.
Wife of drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ arrested on US drug charges
33 years later, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall return to Zamunda
O’Neal hosting SHAQ Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday
Viola Davis, LeBron James among honorees at AAFCA TV Honors
WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested Monday in the United States and accused of helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar cartel and plot his audacious escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and is expected to appear in federal court in Washington on Tuesday. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico.
Her arrest is the latest twist in the bloody, multinational saga involving Guzman, the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Guzman, whose two dramatic prison escapes in Mexico fed into a legend that he and his family were all but untouchable, was extradited to the United States in 2017 and is serving life in prison.
NEW YORK (AP) — When Eddie Murphy made the original “Coming to America,” he was, almost indisputably, the funniest man in America.
Murphy was at the very height of his fame, coming off “Beverly Hills Cop II” and the stand-up special “Raw.” They were heady times. Arsenio Hall, Murphy’s longtime friend and co-star in “Coming to America,” remembers them sneaking out during the shoot to a Hollywood nightclub while still dressed as Prince Akeem and his loyal aide Semmi. “We were insane,” says Hall.
The ’80s, Murphy says, are “all a blur.”
Shaquille O’Neal will be holding the virtual SHAQ Bowl on Feb. 7. It’s one of the few events taking place in Tampa, Florida, since many parties that traditionally take place during Super Bowl week have been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The SHAQ Bowl takes the place of Shaq’s Fun House, which had been held the past two years in Atlanta and Miami.
Police: Minnesota officer meant to draw Taser, not handgun
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — The police officer who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb apparently intended to fire a Taser, not a handgun, as the man struggled with police, the city’s police chief said Monday, as police clashed with protesters for the second night in a row.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as “an accidental discharge.” It happened as police were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant. The shooting sparked protests and unrest in a metropolitan area already on edge because of the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.
“I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” the officer is heard shouting on her body cam footage released at a news conference. She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel.
After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”
Kanye agrees with Kim on joint custody in divorce response
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kanye West agrees with Kim Kardashian West that they should have joint custody of their four children and neither of them need spousal support, according to new divorce documents.
West’s attorneys filed his response Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court to Kardashian West’s divorce filing seven weeks earlier, which began the process of ending their 6 1/2-year marriage.
West’s filing was virtually identical to Kardashian West’s original petition, agreeing that the marriage should end over irreconcilable differences, and that the two should share custody of their children: North, age 7, Saint, age 5, Chicago, age 3, and Psalm, who turns 2 next month.
And like Kardashian West’s filing, West’s asks that the court’s right to award spousal support to either person be terminated.
According to Kardashian West’s Feb. 19 petition, the two have a pre-nuptial agreement, and under it they kept their property separate throughout their marriage.
Rapper DaBaby arrested on Beverly Hills weapons allegation
Law enforcement diversity may improve policing, study shows
Witness: Driver gunned down armed protester in Texas capital
Police and protesters clash in violent weekend across the US
DaBaby, whose legal name is Jonathan Kirk, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle, Beverly Hills police said.
The 29-year-old was one of a group of men who walked into a store on an upscale stretch of Rodeo Drive, police said. Store security called police after seeing a gun in one man’s waistband, and officers met the men as they returned to their vehicle, police said.
CHICAGO (AP) — In the last decade, high-profile police killings — including George Floyd in 2020 — have shaken the nation and led to widespread protests and calls for reform, including hiring more nonwhite and female officers.
But there was little research to back that up. Now, a new study published Thursday in the journal Science, suggests that diversity in law enforcement can indeed lead to improvements in how police treat people of color.
“It’s a system that very clearly needs reforming,” said University of Pennsylvania data scientist Dean Knox, a co-author of the study. “We just haven’t had good data on what reforms work.”
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.
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.
DALLAS (AP) — The power outages tormenting Texas in uncharacteristically Arctic temperatures are exposing weaknesses in an electricity system designed when the weather’s seasonal shifts were more consistent and predictable — conditions that most experts believe no longer exist.
This isn’t just happening in Texas, of course. Utilities from Minnesota to Mississippi have imposed rolling blackouts to ease the strain on electrical grids buckling under high demand during the past few days. And power outages have become a rite of summer and autumn in California, partly to reduce the chances of deadly wildfires.
But the fact more than 3 million bone-chilled Texans have lost their electricity in a state that takes pride in its energy independence underscores the gravity of a problem that is occurring in the U.S. with increasing frequency.
WHAT HAPPENED IN TEXAS?
Plunging temperatures caused Texans to turn up their heaters, including many inefficient electric ones. Demand spiked to levels normally seen only on the hottest summer days, when millions of air conditioners run at full tilt.
Arts – Entertainment – Culture – Politics
Lil Wayne, Kodak Black get clemency; Joe Exotic does not
— Rapper Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was given a full pardon. The Grammy-winner was charged in Florida on Nov. 17 with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a federal offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. In the pardon, Lil Wayne was praised for his “commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks.” Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders backed the pardon. Lil Wayne is one of the seminal figures in rap in the last two decades, selling more than 20 million albums in the U.S. since releasing his debut in 1999. Sentencing for the rapper, who frequently expressed support for Trump, was set for Jan. 28. In a statement, Carter’s attorney Howard Srebnick said a pardon was appropriate since “prosecuting a non-violent citizen for merely possessing a firearm violates the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.”
NEW YORK (AP) — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, has put Rihanna’s Fenty fashion collection on hold.
The move, confirmed by LVMH Wednesday, comes nearly two years after the fashion conglomerate announced the collaboration with the pop artist and business mogul. Rihanna became the first Black woman to head a luxury house with LVMH, which owns such labels as Christian Dior, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton.
“Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the RTW activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions,” according to the statement by LVMH emailed to The Associated Press.
A representative for Rihanna couldn’t immediately be reached.
LVMH said that the Paris-based company and Rihanna will focus their efforts on the growth and long-term development of Fenty on cosmetics, skincare and lingerie.
WWD first reported the news on LVMH’s pause of Fenty fashion collection.
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Daniel Kaluuya plays the Black Panther Party chairman and his “Get Out” co-star Lakeith Stanfield plays FBI informant William O’Neill who agrees to infiltrate the group in the late 1960s. Martin Sheen co-stars as J. Edgar Hoover, who headed the FBI during that time.
“Judas and the Black Messiah” will premiere Feb. 1 on the Festival’s digital platforms and at various drive-ins in locations like Birmingham, Alabama, Columbia, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.
The 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Jan. 28, is going largely virtual this year due to the pandemic. Tickets are currently on sale.
The 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Jan. 28, is going largely virtual this year due to the pandemic. Tickets are currently on sale.
Coogler, who directed “Black Panther,” has a long history with Sundance. His first film “Fruitvale Station” premiered at the festival in 2013, winning the top audience and jury awards.
Arts Entertainment Culture
Black scholar: It’s time France confronts its colonial past
PARIS (AP) — A Black French scholar and expert on U.S. minority rights movements who’s taking charge of France’s state-run immigration museum says it’s “vital” for his country to confront its colonial past so that it can conquer present racial injustice.
“The French are highly reluctant to look at the dark dimensions of their own history,” Pap Ndiaye told The Associated Press in his museum, initially built to display colonial exploits but now meant to showcase the role of immigration in shaping modern France.
Ndiaye was named to head France’s National Museum of the History of Immigration at a crucial time, as his country is under pressure to reassess its colonial history and offer better opportunities for its citizens of color, in the wake of Black Lives Matter and other racial justice movements.
Following George Floyd’s death in the U.S. last year, thousands took to the streets in Paris and across the country expressing anger at racism and discrimination in French society, particularly toward people from the country’s former colonies in Africa.
What happened in the U.S. “echoes the French situation,” Ndiaye said.
The upcoming trial of a former police officer charged in Floyd’s death will be closely monitored in France, Ndiaye said, because “it tells about the reality of police violence, and we would like very much for this reality of police violence to be discussed the same way in France.”
Many young French are increasingly pushing back against a national doctrine of colorblindness, which aims at encouraging equality by ignoring race altogether — but has failed to eradicate discrimination.
They “are disappointed in many ways in the French promise of equality and opportunities for all,” Ndiaye said. “We must go beyond the official discourse and acknowledge reality.”
These issues “have to be discussed. They have to be measured also through the use of statistics,” Ndiaye said, also urging “more effective policies” targeting discrimination in the job and housing markets.
These are bold statements for a top government-appointed official in France, where collecting data based on race or ethnicity is frowned upon, and where the far-right has brought anti-immigrant rhetoric to the mainstream. President Emmanuel Macron has promised more steps to fight discrimination and has treaded carefully on how to address colonial wrongs.
Ndiaye, who was born and raised in France, described his stay in the U.S. from 1991 to 1996 to study as “a personal revelation.” Born to a French mother and Senegalese father, he said his U.S. experience “helped me integrate that Black part of me I had put aside a little bit to make it a source of pride.”
Recordings reveal confusion behind Breonna Taylor’s death
And neighbors roused by the gunfire at Taylor’s apartment after midnight on March 13 only added to conflicting testimony about whether police serving a narcotics warrant announced themselves before using a battering ram to break down her door.
Details of the chaos and confusion during the raid that resulted in the 26-year-old Black woman’s death were revealed in 15 hours of audio recordings released Friday. They contained testimony and recorded interviews presented last month to the Kentucky grand jury that decided not to charge any Louisville police officers for killing Taylor.
“If you told me I didn’t fire a gun, I would be like, OK,” detective Myles Cosgrove told investigators soon after the shooting.
In fact, investigators determined Cosgrove shot 16 of the 32 bullets police fired into Taylor’s apartment, responding to a single gunshot from her boyfriend when they rammed down her door. Evidence showed one of Cosgrove’s bullets killed Taylor.
Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought intruders had burst into Taylor’s home, not police. As she lay bleeding, Walker said he called his mother — then dialed 911, telling an operator: “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”
The dramatic accounts of the moments before Taylor’s death are key to a case that has fueled nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Police said they knocked and announced themselves for a minute or more before using a battering ram to get inside. Walker said he did not hear officers identify themselves, perhaps because he was too far from the door.
Game on: NBA finally set to see games that count again
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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
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
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.
“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.”
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.