Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cops Detained Django Unchained Actress for ‘Showing Affection’

Cops Detained Django Unchained Actress for ‘Showing Affection’

Cops Detained Django Unchained Actress for ‘Showing Affection’

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 11:06 AM PDT

Django Unchained actress Danièle Watts says she was detained and handcuffed by police officers near Studio City, Calif., after “showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place,” according to a Thursday Facebook post she wrote the day the incident took place.

Watts, who has also appeared in Showtime’s Weeds and FX sitcom Partners, had been kissing her partner, Brian James Lucas, when two officers approached them and asked for identification. Lucas offered his ID when asked, according to his own Facebook post about the exchange, but Watts, who was on the phone with her father and believed she had done nothing wrong, refused and was consequently handcuffed and detained in the back of a police car.

Lucas wrote in his account that, based on the questions police asked, he believes the police mistook Watts for a prostitute and contended that race was a factor (she is black, he is white). He also included a photograph of a cut he says Watts sustained from the handcuffs.

“As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong,” Watts wrote. “I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that “authority figures” could control my BEING… my ability to BE!!!!!!!”

California law does not require people to show identification to police if they’re simply walking down the street, according to Steve Meister, the legal analyst for CBS affiliate KCAL9. But if police do have reasonable suspicion, they are allowed to detain someone in order to identify them. The LAPD declined to comment to CBS and did not respond to requests for comment from Entertainment Weekly.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Facing Mounting Pressure to Resign

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 09:37 AM PDT

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is facing mounting calls for his resignation amid the league’s handling of a recently published video tape of Ray Rice, which shows the Baltimore Ravens running back knocking his fiancée unconscious in an elevator.

Rice was given a two-game suspension in July for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy after he was arrested on charges related to domestic violence for the incident. In August, Goodell apologized for the leniency of the punishment and announced stricter punishments for abusers, but two events put him back in the hot seat last week: first, security footage of the actual assault that surfaced on TMZ and, second, an Associated Press report that law enforcement had sent the footage to the NFL the footage five months ago. Goodell has said that nobody in the organization saw the video footage until last week.

But women’s groups have mounted a growing campaign for Goodell’s resignation. UltraViolet, a women’s rights organization, announced plans to fly planes with banners featuring the message “#GoodellMustgo” over three different NFL stadiums on Sunday, Bloomberg News reports. The planes are expected fly for two hours over stadiums in San Francisco, Cleveland and East Rutherford, N.J., before the facilities’ no-fly-zone rules kick in an hour before games begin. Another plane is scheduled to fly over a stadium in Indianapolis on Monday ahead of another NFL game there that night.

Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, said in a statement earlier in the week that Goodell’s resignation was the only solution for the league to “transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL,” citing the San Francisco 49ers’ Ray McDonald (arrested in August on felony domestic violence charges) and the Carolina Panthers’ Greg Hardy (arrested in May for assaulting an ex-girlfriend) as other examples. Hardy had been due to play for the Panthers Sunday, but was placed on the inactive list shortly before the game.

“The NFL sets the example for college, high school, middle school and even elementary school football programs,” O’Neill said in a statement, according to ESPN. “And the example it is setting right now is simply unacceptable. New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL. That’s the only way to restore honor and integrity to the country’s most lucrative and popular pastime.”

A number of lawmakers have also weighed in. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) told The Hill that Goodell should “seriously” consider resignation. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for “stronger stiffer penalties against criminal assault and domestic violence” no matter who was in charge of the league, while Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) “wasn’t prepared” to say whether Goodell should resign but called for the NFL “to be a leader” in addressing domestic violence.

The hashtag #GoodellMustGo has also taken off on Twitter, where an advertisement for CoverGirl’s NFL line with the slogan “Get your game face on!” was modified to show a model with a black eye, USA Today reports, and widely shared.

John Mara, the president and CEO of the New York Giants, said in a supportive statement Wednesday that Goodell took responsibility for Rice’s initial two-game suspension and had made a positive change in the league: “Our policy now on domestic violence has been strengthened. We have all learned a valuable lesson from this episode. We now have a strong partnership with anti-domestic violence groups, and we will be a better league for it going forward.” He also said the NFL had made “repeated requests” to obtain the video footage and had been denied.

Goodell previously told CBS that he did not believe he would lose his job over the incident, saying he was “used to criticism.” He did, however, agree that that the league had a domestic violence problem because, in his words, “one case is too many.”

“Every day, I have to, to do a better job,” Goodell said. “And that’s my responsibility to the game, to the NFL and to what I see as society.”

Majority of Americans Lack Confidence in Obama’s ISIS Strategy, Poll Finds

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 09:08 AM PDT

Nearly 70% of Americans say they lack confidence that the U.S. will achieve its goals in fighting the terrorist group ISIS, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll. The findings come in the wake of President Barack Obama’s national address announcing new measures to combat the Sunni militants.

Pressure is mounting on the U.S. and its allies to cripple the militants, who have waged a brutal campaign across Syria and Iraq. ISIS already has beheaded two American journalists and on Saturday released a video showing the execution of a third Westerner, British aid worker David Haines.

Read more from our partners at NBC News

Woman Solves Mystery of Lost 9/11 Wedding Photo After 13 Years

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 08:25 AM PDT

For the past 13 years, Elizabeth Stringer Keefe has been trying to learn the identity of six people in a wedding photo that was uncovered in the rubble of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York City. On Friday, after years of sharing the photo on the Internet and social media, she finally got an answer.

A man named Fred Mahe, who attended the wedding and is in the photo, saw an article about Keefe’s search and sent her a LinkedIn message.

He told her that the photo was once pinned to his cubicle wall on the 77th floor of the second World Trade Center tower and — good news! — all six people in the photograph are alive and well.

“The story is Elizabeth, the story is persistence and trying to help someone she didn’t even know,” Mahe told ABC News. Mahe and Keefe have spoken on the phone and are set to meet this Monday.

Mahe has also been in touch with Christine Loredo, the bride in the photograph, who now lives in San Francisco with her husband and called the picture a “great memento of resilience.”

40 Tell Pope Francis ‘I Do’ in Vatican Mass Wedding

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 08:00 AM PDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Forty “I do’s” — or “Si” in Italian — were pronounced in St. Peter’s Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother.

Francis in his homily likened families to the “bricks that build society.”

Among the couples, all from the Rome area, is one in which the groom’s first marriage was annulled by the church and the bride has a daughter from an earlier relationship. Some of the other couples already were living together.

The Vatican views sex outside marriage as sin, but Francis stresses the church should be a forgiving one.

He said marriage was “real life, not some TV show.” He told the couples love of Jesus can help whenever their love “becomes lost, wounded or worn out.”

Many rank-and-file Catholics have pressed the Vatican to allow divorced faithful who remarry to receive Communion. The Vatican has stood firm, contending only if remarried Catholics forsake sex can they receive Communion. Catholics can only remarry in the Church if their first marriage is annulled, essentially a declaration the initial union never existed.

Some hope a major Vatican meeting next month on family concerns might lead to permission for divorced Catholics who remarry to receive Communion. Francis has reportedly told a woman in his Argentine homeland whose husband’s first marriage wasn’t annulled she was free of sin and should take Communion anyway. The Vatican quickly clarified that the pope’s private conversations don’t reflect church policy.

Sunday’s weddings performed by Francis could also be seen by status-quo defenders as the Vatican’s way of stressing that marriage, because it is a sacrament, should endure. One by one, the 20 couples were called by name by Francis, who asked if they’d be faithful for the rest of their lives.

Kanye West Halts Show Urging Fan in Wheelchair to Stand Up

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 07:57 AM PDT

Kanye West is used to getting his way, and when he doesn’t — well, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

“I decided I can’t do this song, I can’t do the rest of the show until everybody stands up,” West said this weekend during one of his concerts in Sydney, Australia, on the tail end of his Yeezus tour. “Unless you got a handicap pass and you get special parking and sh-t.”

Actually, some of his fans did qualify for a handicap pass, special parking and all. It just took Kanye a long time to realize it. West held up his show and singled out two fans who remained seated (and whom were even initially booed by the rest of the audience for seemingly refusing to get up.) “This is the longest I’ve had to wait to do a song, it’s unbelievable,” a frustrated West told the crowd.

Mr. Kim Kardashian eventually figured out the error of his ways after one fan nearly pulled an Aviva Drescher, the Daily Beast reports, and waved a prosthetic limb around the air; concert-goers near the second fan, who was in a wheelchair, tried to signal the fan’s disability to West, who waited for some additional verification before continuing the show. “Now if he is in a wheelchair, then it’s fine,” West said during the exchange, which you can watch in full above.

The Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie Wants an Independent Scotland

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 07:24 AM PDT

As the debate over Scottish independence heats up ahead of the Sept. 18 referendum, the world is finally hearing from key figures in global politics — like The Simpsons‘ Groundskeeper Willie, the self-professed “prodigal son” of Scotland and the groundskeeper at Springfield Elementary School.

While Willie tries to be diplomatic about the close vote, it’s clear he’s on the side of independence — if only so he can throw his name into the pile as a potential leader. His platform? “I’ve lived in America most of my life,” he says, “so I’ve seen first-hand how not to run a country.”

California Fires North and South Bring Evacuations

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 07:22 AM PDT

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire in Northern California destroyed two homes while a much larger blaze proved stubborn amid high temperatures and dry brush in Southern California.

Dozens of homes were evacuated because of the fires Saturday, officials said.

The Northern California blaze broke out shortly after 2 p.m. in the Sierra Nevada foothills about halfway between Sacramento and Reno and grew to 250 acres, destroying two homes and three outbuildings, said Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

By evening all evacuations were called off and the fire was 20 percent contained, Berlant said.

The burned homes were in Alta Sierra, a community of some 6,000 people about five miles south of Grass Valley.

In Southern California, firefighters coping with high temps sought to contain a wildfire that forced people to flee about 30 homes near the Cleveland National Forest.

The fire, which burned through about 2 ½ square miles of dry canyon brush, was only about 10 percent contained, said Deanne Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Emergency Operations Center.

Both heat and smoke advisories were in effect for the area, with temperatures forecast to reach as high as 105 degrees between Sunday and Tuesday.

More than 700 firefighters, aided by six helicopters and five planes, were battling the blaze.

“The fire is making a couple of uphill runs,” Orange County fire Capt. Mike Petro said Saturday.

The flames sent up a towering column of smoke that could be seen for miles.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.

About 90 to 100 homes in the area were without power Saturday, and Thompson said authorities had opened several cooling centers for people needed to escape the heat.

The Cleveland National Forest sprawls over the rugged peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains, straddling the Orange and Riverside county line southeast of Los Angeles.

Mark Sanford’s Ex-Fiancée Surprised By Facebook Breakup Post

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 07:17 AM PDT

When Rep. Mark Sanford’s (R-S.C.) announced the end of his engagement to the Argentine woman with whom he had an affair five years ago, it didn’t just surprise his constituents — it also surprised his now ex-fiancée, Maria Belen Chapur.

Chapur says she learned about the announcement at the same time the rest of the world did, according to an interview with the New York Times. Though she had asked Sanford to make their breakup public, Chapur says she wasn’t given any warning about the lengthy, 2,346-word Facebook update he posted that discussed the strain his child-custody battle with his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, put on their relationship.

“I learned it from the press today,” Chapur told the paper Saturday. She says the relationship fell apart partly over disputes about setting a wedding date and how she did not “want to continue in the category of mistress.” Chapur disagreed with Sanford’s explanation for their split and said that he should not “leave blame on Jenny.”

In 2009, Sanford’s staff infamously claimed the politician, then South Carolina governor, was hiking the Appalachian trail when he went mysteriously absent from office. Sanford later admitted he was visiting Chapur in Argentina.

Is Beyoncé Pregnant Again? Jay Z Drops a Hint

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 07:02 AM PDT

Jay Z sparked rumors Friday that his wife Beyoncé may be pregnant with a second child, after reportedly changing the lyrics to one of his songs while on tour in Paris.

While performing “Beach is Better” on his “On the Run” tour in Paris, the rapper reportedly replaced the lyric “I replace it with another one” with “‘Cause she pregnant with another one” according to People.

If it’s true Jay Z did change the lyrics on the song, it would seem to be a pretty heavy hint that Beyoncé is pregnant with a little brother or sister for three-year-old Blue Ivy: tabloids widely picked up the rumor and the internet was abuzz Saturday with speculation about another Bey-by.

Reps for the couple didn’t immediately respond to People’s query about whether Beyoncé is indeed pregnant, and it’s not clear whether or not Jay Z even changed the lyrics to his track. Without clear audio proof—though an Instagram post has an alleged recording—the rumor might just be wishful thinking posted on social media by some starry-eyed audience member.

But it wouldn’t be the first time the couple has made an onstage announcement about their family. Beyoncé broke the news about her first pregnancy at the VMAs in 2011.




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