WHITE HOUSE TO CONTACT NICKI MINAJ ABOUT VACCINE MISINFORMATION
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House wants to “school” Nicki Minaj – after she posted false information about the COVID-19 vaccine. The Biden administration says it wants to get the rap star on key when it comes to a unverified claim she made about vaccine side effects. This week, Minaj told her more than 22 million online fans a man in her native Trinidad became impotent and had his testicles swell up after getting the shot. The claim was shot down by disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. Minaj says she’s open to hearing from the White House about the vaccines.
WHITE HOUSE SEEKS CHAT WITH NICKI MINAJ OVER FALSE VAX CLAIM
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is offering to connect Nicki Minaj with one of the Biden administration’s doctors to address her concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. The offer comes after the Trinidadian-born rapper’s erroneous tweet alleging the vaccine causes impotence went viral. The White House says they’ve offered such calls with others concerned about the vaccine. It’s part of an aggressive public relations campaign to beat back disinformation about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. Minaj made headlines this week when she tweeted to her more than 22.6 million followers claiming a cousin’s friend in Trinidad “became impotent” after receiving the vaccine.
JURORS HEAR TAPES OF R. KELLY ALLEGEDLY THREATENING VICTIMS
NEW YORK (AP) – The jury in R. Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial in New York yesterday heard recordings that prosecutors say are of Kelly threatening violence against his alleged victims. The jurors wore headphones, so spectators and the press could not hear what was played. Kelly himself did not wear headphones that would have allowed him to hear the evidence against him. Kelly has denied wrongdoing. The trial will not be in session today. The prosecution likely will rest its case tomorrow. Kelly’s defense is prepared to start arguing his side on Monday.
FAITH NO MORE’S MIKE PATTON CANCELS TOUR FOR MENTAL HEALTH REASONS
UNDATED (AP) – Mike Patton is calling off the tour with his bands Faith No More and Mr. Bungle due to “mental health reasons.” Patton says in a statement his issues were “exacerbated by the pandemic.” The rest of Faith No More have issued their own statement saying they are “shattered” to cancel, but it would be “profoundly destructive” to Patton’s health to continue with the tour.
JOHN LENNON INTERVIEW FOR A HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER GOES ON SALE
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Fifty years after four teenagers landed an interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono for their Danish school paper, they are selling the cassette of that interview. Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneer estimates the cassette, 23 still photos and a copy of the school paper could sell for nearly $32,000 at auction on Sept. 28. In 1970, the teens had shown up late for a press conference, knocked on the door and managed to land the interview. One of the teens, Karsten Hoejen, says he recorded the 33-minute interview on a borrowed tape recorder, while a friend took photos. Lennon and Ono discussed Denmark and world peace. They even sang “Give Peace A Chance” and another song, never published, called “Radio Peace.” Hoejen says the tape has been in a bank vault all these years.
SOCCER CLUB TOLD IT CANNOT SELL BOB MARLEY-INSPIRED JERSEYS
NYON, Switzerland (AP) – While fans of the Dutch soccer club Ajax sing the Bob Marley song “Three Little Birds” as their anthem, the soccer governing body says no to putting three little birds on the team’s uniforms. The game shirts with red, yellow and green birds on the back of the shirt collar became a fan favorite. However, the administrative body UEFA says the birds “do not represent a team identification of Ajax” as set out in its regulations. Ajax says players will wear regular game shirts, but the bird version will be on sale for fans.
STEVEN VAN ZANDT WILL ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
NEW YORK (AP) – For once, it’s Bruce Springsteen who will be asking the questions, rather than answering them. Springsteen will interview Steven Van Zandt for a virtual event to mark the release of Van Zandt’s memoir, “Unrequited Infatuations.” The event is Sept. 28 at www.UnisonEvents.com. “Unrequited Infatuations” is on sale that same day.
WORLD COLLEGE RADIO DAY NAMES “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC ITS AMBASSADOR
NEW YORK (AP) – “Weird Al” Yankovic has been named the ambassador for World College Radio Day, set for Oct. 1. Students interviewed Yankovic for a broadcast that will run that day on more than 600 college radio stations. Yankovic himself had worked at KCPR in San Luis Obispo, California. It’s where he adopted the name “Weird Al” professionally. That was a nickname from others in his dorm, and he initially took it as an insult until he decided to run with it.
ELTON JOHN POSTPONING EUROPEAN DATES FOR HIP SURGERY
LONDON (AP) – There’s a major bump in Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. The musician is postponing his European dates so he can have hip surgery. John says he hurt his hip in a fall this summer. And despite having treatment, he says, “the pain has continued to get worse and is leading to increasing difficulties moving.” He says his doctors are recommending surgery now to prevent possible long-term damage. Elton John is 74. He says he’ll reschedule the missed shows in 2023. Meanwhile, the U.S. leg of the tour is still set to begin in January.
R. KELLY SEX-TRAFFICKING CASE TAKING A BREAK
NEW YORK (AP) – Today, a pause, tomorrow a rest. Federal prosecutors in R. Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial are expected to rest their case against the R&B star, after the court sits silent today. The scheduled day off gives jurors the chance to mull over the latest big chunk of testimony: audio tapes of the singer berating and threatening women in his compound. If the prosecution rests tomorrow, the defense will open its case on Monday. Kelly denies charges that he’s a sexual predator who groomed and sexually exploited young victims.
FORMER “LOVE & HIP-HOP: ATLANA” STAR SENTENCED TO PRISON
ATLANTA (AP) – On the TV show “Love & Hip Hop,” he was known as Arkansas Mo. His real name is Maurice Fayne. But soon, he will be known by a number. That’s because a federal judge in Atlanta has sentenced Fayne to 17 1/2 years in prison for conspiracy and wire fraud related to a Ponzi scheme. Authorities say he put in a bogus loan application for the Paycheck Protection Program, which was set up to help businesses keep employees working during the pandemic. Prosecutors say instead of using the funds to keep his business afloat, he used it for himself. They say he paid off past-due child support, bought custom-made jewelry, leased a Rolls Royce – and blew $5 million at a single casino.