JUSSIE SMOLLETT – INVESTIGATION
CHICAGO (AP) – The back and forth between Jussie Smollett and police in Chicago continues – even as there have been no arrests made in the beating of the “Empire” star last month. Yesterday, reps for Smollett put out a statement responding to the griping from Chicago police about phone records the actor gave investigators. Smollett acknowledges he removed some information from his phone before turning it over to authorities. But he says he did that to protect the privacy of his contacts and people who aren’t relevant to the attack. Police say the information they got from the actor was insufficient for a criminal investigation.
TRUMP DENIES KNOWLEDGE OF PROBE OF BEZOS BY NATIONAL ENQUIRER
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says he didn’t know that the National Enquirer had launched an investigation into Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Asked yesterday if he knew of efforts to unearth details about Bezos’ affair Trump replied, “no.” The Enquirer has a history of pitching in to help Trump. For example, it acknowledged paying money to Playboy model Karen McDougal for the rights to her story about an alleged affair with Trump – then buried the story as Trump went on to win the presidency in 2016. Trump has beef with Bezos because he owns The Washington Post – a newspaper the president says has been critical of his administration.
GUCCI – “BLACKFACE” SWEATER
NEW YORK (AP) – The Gucci designer whose sweater touched off a firestorm of criticism is apologizing for his creation. Alessandro Michele is the creative director at the upscale retailer – and he says it was never his intention to be racist with his design of a sweater. The $890 black sweater with a pull up neck featured a cutout surrounded by cartoonish red lips – and was criticized as mimicking blackface. Michele says it hurts him that people saw an intolerable insult” in his design – and that he takes “full accountability” for the sweater. Gucci has also apologized, amid calls among celebrities and activists to boycott the company.
CARDI B – BACKLASH
NEW YORK (AP) – For Cardi B, the thrill of victory has been replaced by the agony of the internet. The newly-minted Grammy winner has deactivated her Instagram account – because of backlash she has received for winning the Grammy for best rap album. Some people posting to her page said Card B didn’t deserve to win. In a post before she shut down her Instagram feed, Cardi B said she has never been one to “put other people down to uplift somebody else.” She also notes that when she lost in her bid for a Grammy last year – people were saying she was snubbed.
AZIZ ANSARI ADDRESSES SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CLAIM
NEW YORK (AP) – Aziz Ansari says the sexual misconduct allegation lodged against him last year was humiliating – but he hopes he’s a better man now because of it. The comments made in New York on Monday were the first that the comedian and actor has made publicly since an online story carried a claim that he acted improperly on a date. Ansari says he “just felt terrible” that the unidentified accuser felt as she did. Vulture reports Ansari told the audience at the Village Underground he hopes he has “become a better person” since the allegations were made.
HARRISON FORD – OCEANS
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – He’s best known for his appearances in the “Star Wars” movies. But Harrison Ford wants people to give attention to a problem that is much closer to home. The actor spoke at the World Government Summit in Dubai, calling for increased efforts to protect the world’s oceans. In his comments Ford denounced those who “deny or denigrate science.” While the 76-year-old actor didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name, Ford did say that leaders – including those in his home country – “are on the wrong side of history” by denying climate change. This week, Trump again belittled the idea that the earth is getting warmer, noting a political rival announced her campaign to unseat him as president – while standing in a Minnesota snowstorm.
GLENN CLOSE – OSCAR
NEW YORK (AP) – Glenn Close says she isn’t worried if her upcoming trip to the Oscars ends up with another “close, but no cigar” finish. Close has been nominated six times before – but has never scored an Oscar. She – and her fans – hope that will change with her nomination for best actress for “The Wife.” Close is 71 – and is the most-nominated living actor never to win an academy award. She says breaking the streak this time “would mean a lot” to her – but that she doesn’t want “a pity Oscar.” Still, Close says if she loses again, she’ll look at the camera tracking her and make sure everybody sees that she’s OK.
W.H. CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION CONDEMNS ATTACK ON TV CAMERAMAN AT TRUMP RALLY
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House Correspondents’ Association has condemned an attack on a TV cameraman covering President Donald Trump’s rally in El Paso, Texas. The group says it’s pleased no one was seriously hurt in the Monday night incident. But Association president Olivier Knox says Trump should make it clear to his supporters that violence against journalists is unacceptable. During the event, a man began shoving members of the news media on a press platform away from the stage. The man was restrained – and the BBC says the cameraman is doing fine.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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