DAVID ORTIZ – SECURITY FOOTAGE SHOWS SHOOTING
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – It’s footage of David Ortiz that is gripping and mesmerizing – except it is not of him on a baseball diamond, slugging a home run or making a great play in the field. It’s of the former Boston Red Sox slugger being ambushed by a gunman at a club in his native land, the Dominican Republic. In the footage, which appears on several news websites, Ortiz is seen sitting with a man later identified as a TV host – when the assailant approaches up from behind. Without saying a word, he crouches slightly and fires a single shot into Ortiz’s back. The ex-baseball star lurches upward in his seat, then slumps to the ground, clutching his midsection. Ortiz is now back in Boston, having been flown from Santo Domingo following surgery.
DAVID ORTIZ – MOTIVE UNCLEAR
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – It’s the question everyone seems to be asking about David Ortiz – but few are finding the answers to: Why? Why would a person walk up to a person revered in both his native Dominican Republic and the city of Boston – and shoot him in the back at a popular nightclub in a swanky part of the capital, Santo Domingo? So far, there has been no official word about a motive for the Sunday night shooting – only speculation. The injuries Ortiz suffered have cost him his gallbladder and part of his intestines. Doctors say the bullet also damaged his liver. The former major league slugger has been transported to Boston for continued treatment.
DAVID ORTIZ – FENWAY TRIBUTE
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – He was born in the Dominican Republic – but it’s the city of Boston that claims David Ortiz as its native son. And at last night’s game in Fenway Park, Red Sox fans turned out to urge David Ortiz to rally from the gunshot that felled him Sunday night. Before last night’s game, players stood at the foul lines to pay tribute to him as the scoreboard displayed his uniform number – and a message urging his full and quick recovery. Boston fans remember how Ortiz defiantly stood up for the city after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. His comments at the first Red Sox home game after the bombing helped unite the city. He defiantly declared, “This is our f—— city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!” No doubt many baseball fans are echoing Ortiz’s exhortation to “stay strong” as he tries to recover from his injuries.
WOODSTOCK AGAIN IN JEOPARDY
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) – Around this time 50 years ago, people were either finalizing their plans to go to Woodstock – or begging their parents for permission to attend the outdoor festival in New York State. But this year, the biggest question remains: will there even be a Woodstock 50? The fate of the commemorative event is unclear, again – this time, after the host of the event pulled out. Officials at Watkins Glen International say they’ll no longer host the event. Normally that would doom it but organizers say they’re in talks to line up another venue for the Aug. 16-18 event. Despite all the talk – and despite having a lineup featuring Jay-Z, Santana, Miley Cyrus, John Fogerty, Dead & Company and Imagine Dragons – no tickets have yet been sold for the event.
“STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” LAWSUIT REVIVED
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – There are still a bunch of legal steps to climb before the “Stairway to Heaven” dispute is resolved. A panel of 11 judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear Led Zeppelin’s appeal in a copyright lawsuit. The suit alleges the rock band stole its 1971 rock classic from an obscure 1960s instrumental. In the original trial, held in 2016, a jury found in favor of Led Zeppelin. But in September, a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit ruled the judge erred in jury instructions – and ordered a new trial. Now, attorneys for Led Zeppelin have escalated the matter, asking the full appeals panel to rehear the case. That request was granted and the case is set for this fall in San Francisco.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – When it comes to culture and morals, the Pacific nation of Samoa is about as conservative as they come. So it should be no surprise that officials are none too pleased about the new Elton John movie, “Rocketman.” Samoan officials have banned the movie because it features some same-sex scenes. In Samoa, sodomy is a criminal offense – one that can be punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if it is consensual.
ANDY COHEN – N.Y. SURROGACY
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Andy Cohen is trying to get lawmakers in New York State to pick up the pace when it comes to the subject of surrogacy pregnancies. The comedian and talk show host appeared with governor Andrew Cuomo (KWOH’-moh) to urge the legislature to change state rules on surrogacy pregnancy. Current law forbids contracting with a woman to carry a baby for a couple. Cohen had a son through a surrogate earlier this year – and he says the law forces many who want to hire a surrogate to go outside the state, making the process more difficult and expensive.
COMEDIAN JON STEWART BERATES CONGRESS ON NO SHOW FOR 9/11 HEARING
WASHINGTON (AP) – Comedian Jon Stewart is scolding Congress for failing to ensure that a victim’s compensation fund set up after the 9/11 attacks never runs out of money. Stewart, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders, angrily called out lawmakers for failing to attend a hearing on a bill that would ensure the fund can pay benefits for the next 70 years. Pointing to rows of empty seats at a House Judiciary Committee hearing room, Stewart said “sick and dying” first responders and their families came to Washington for the hearing, only to face a nearly deserted dais. Lawmakers said they support the bill and were monitoring the hearing amid other congressional business.
SKI RESORT WANTS OUT OF LAWSUIT AGAINST QWYNETH PALTROW
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) – A Utah ski resort is trying to dig itself out from under a lawsuit it says it shouldn’t even be a part of. The Deer Valley Resort in Park City says as a ski venture, it should be immune from lawsuits that arise over collisions that take place on the slopes. And it has asked to be relieved from a suit that holds it responsible for a crack-up involving actress Gwyneth Paltrow and another skier. An attorney for the resort says such facilities can’t be held liable because people know the risks involved in taking to the slopes. But the plaintiff’s attorney that is suing Paltrow says a ski instructor failed to call for the ski patrol – and made things worse after the collision by berating the injured skier. The attorney said his client suffered severe emotional distress after the instructor skied up to him as he lay face down in the snow, having suffered a concussion after Paltrow slammed into him, lifted his client up on his skis and then skied off with Paltrow and her family.
2021 AND 2022 OSCARS DATES SET FOR LATE FEBRUARY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Oscars will be headed back to late February after next year’s show. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said today that the 93rd and 94th ceremonies will be held on Feb. 28, 2021 and Feb. 27, 2022 respectively. The 2020 show was moved up significantly on the calendar to Feb. 9, drastically truncating the awards season calendar. The following two shows will remain on the last Sunday of February to account for events like the 2022 Olympics, the Super Bowl and national holidays.
RADIOHEAD TO RELEASE STOLEN MUSIC FOR CLIMATE CAMPAIGN
LONDON (AP) – Radiohead says a trove of unreleased music has been stolen for ransom. But instead of paying up the $150,000 demanded by hackers, the band will release it to aid the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood has tweeted that about 18 hours of material from around the time of Radiohead’s 1997 album “OK Computer” was stolen from singer Thom Yorke’s minidisc archive last week. Fans can buy the music for $18 for the next 18 days.
EX-DRUMMER TURNS POLICE OFFICER
ROCKPORT (AP) – The former drummer of the heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch has a new gig, as a southern Indiana police officer. Jeremy Spencer was sworn in Sunday with the Rockport Police Department. He grew up near that Ohio River community in the city the Boonville, which he left at 19. Spencer joined Five Finger Death Punch in 2005 and was its drummer until last year. Spencer’s police duties are part-time. He’s splitting his time between Rockport and Las Vegas, because, he says he hasn’t retired from the music business. Loudwire, an online magazine that covers hard rock and heavy metal music, voted him “Best Drummer of 2015.”
EX-NFL PLAYER CONVICTED OF RAPE, STILL FACES RULING ON OTHER CRIMES
SAN DIEGO (AP) – He has already drawn a sentence of life in prison. And before the day is out, former NFL star Kellen Winslow Jr. may be facing additional prison time. A jury in San Diego convicted him yesterday of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman last year. The panel returns to work today to consider eight other charges he’s been tried on. The panel had reported being deadlocked on some of the other counts – but the trial judge has urged the jury to return and give it another shot today.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2