New York, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — Jennifer Lopez kept her word to fans who were disappointed when a power outage in New York City v forced her to postpone her concert over the weekend.
Lopez returned to the stage Monday at Madison Square Garden, saying she was going to celebrate "no matter what." She called it an "amazing night."
Lopez's show was cut short on Saturday night when problems at a substation left parts of Manhattan without electricity. The Garden, Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts were all evacuated.
The power outage came on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power.
Philadelphia, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — Lawyers for Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill will ask an appeals court Tuesday to overturn a 2008 drug and gun conviction that's kept the Philadelphia rapper on probation for a decade.
The city judge who oversees the case and sent him to prison in 2017 on a parole violation has a grudge against the performer, the lawyers said, and city prosecutors agree.
Prosecutors under District Attorney Larry Krasner have filed a motion supporting his bid to toss the conviction and be retried under a new judge.
Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, has become a symbol for criminal justice reform after Judge Genece Brinkley sentenced him in 2017 to two to four years in prison for minor probation violations. He spent about four months in prison before a court ordered him released last year.
Defense lawyers hope to persuade the state Superior Court that Williams' conviction be thrown out based on alleged credibility issues with the now-retired police officer who was the key witness against him at the nonjury trial. The officer said the then-19-year-old Williams pointed a gun at him during the arrest outside his southwest Philadelphia home. Williams has denied pointing a gun at police.
Williams has frequently tangled with the judge over terms of his parole, especially over reporting requirements and travel rules that he says conflicts with his music career. Brinkley, after a 2015 hearing that included testimony from Williams' then-girlfriend, Nicki Minaj, said she "has done nothing but try to help the defendant."
Williams is a fixture at NBA games in Philadelphia and has the support of many high-profile celebrities and athletes. He appeared in last month's season finale of Saturday Night Live, performing beside DJ Khaled, John Legend, SZA and other artists in a tribute to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.
New York, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic has found its King.
After a competitive casting contest, 27-year-old actor Austin Butler has been cast as Presley. Ansel Elgort, Harry Styles and Miles Teller all reportedly tested for the role ultimately won by Butler, who last year appeared in the Denzel Washington Broadway revival of "The Iceman Cometh."
Luhrmann says in a statement that through "a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world's most iconic musical figures."
Production is to begin early next year on the Luhrmann-directed film. Tom Hanks co-stars as Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker.
Butler also has a role in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood."
Los Angeles, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — An Australian model was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to community service and probation for slapping a flight attendant and going on an obscene tirade during a flight, with a federal judge saying he believed she was deeply remorseful and did not deserve fines or prison time.
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney sentenced Adau Mornyang to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
Prosecutors had sought a month in jail for Mornyang. But Carney said he believed she was truly sorry after she tearfully read a statement in court saying she is now receiving treatment for anxiety and depression brought on by childhood trauma, instead of self-medicating like she did at the time of the flight.
"I've learned to deal with my emotions and trauma in a proper way," Mornyang said as she stood crying with her arm around her lawyer, her usually long hair cropped to a short flattop.
The incident, she said, has "pushed me to have proper medical treatment."
She talked about the humiliation of hearing the recording of herself during the trial.
"I'll do what it takes to prove to the world that I am not that woman," Mornyang said, and asked the court for "forgiveness, kindness and mercy."
The 25-year-old, a native of South Sudan who migrated to Australia as a refugee at age 10, was convicted of felony interference with a flight crew and misdemeanor assault. She was acquitted of a third count of assaulting an air marshal.
Mornyang was nine hours into a Jan. 21 flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles and had apparently been drinking wine excessively when she began "yelling obscenities and racial slurs and flailing her arms," prosecutors said in their sentencing memorandum.
Her fellow passengers complained to the crew. But she only lashed out more when flight attendants attempted to calm her, and she slapped one of them. Several air marshals had to come out from undercover to help deal with her, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said in court Monday that Mornyang's statement of remorse said little about the passengers and crew whose flight she made so difficult.
But Carney welcomed the statement, and he said before sentencing that "I do believe she's remorseful and that she's committed to getting treatment to make sure this never happens again."
Carney said he had often sentenced terrorists, murderers and drug dealers, and that "those people need to be in custody," but not people like Mornyang.
"The trial process was punishment in and of itself," Carney said.
He added that her financial circumstances made the fine that would usually come with this crime untenable.
Mornyang is also required to submit to drug tests and receive mental health counseling throughout her three-year term.
She appeared relieved as the hearing ended. She did not talk to reporters outside court.
"I want you to have a wonderful life," the judge said after handing down his sentence. "I hope I never see you again."
Kampala, Jul 15 (AP/UNB) — Bobi Wine, Uganda's pop star-turned-opposition leader, said on Monday he will challenge longtime President Yoweri Museveni in elections set for 2021.
"I will challenge President Museveni on behalf of the people," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
But Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said he was concerned about his safety after surviving what he believes was an attempt on his life last August when his driver was shot dead in his car following an incident in which protesters threw stones at the president's motorcade.
"I live every day as it comes, not being sure of the next day," he said in an interview at his home just outside the capital, Kampala. "I am not blind to the fact that the regime wants me dead and wants me dead as soon as possible."
Wine, who is 37, said he is fearful because "there has never been a threat to this regime like the threat we pose to it today as a generation."
As the leader of a popular movement known as "People Power," Wine has captured the imagination of many who want to see the exit of Museveni, who has held power since 1986 and looks set to run for a new term.
Wine first came to prominence in 2017 when, as an independent candidate, he won election as a lawmaker representing a constituency near Kampala. He has since successfully campaigned for other opposition candidates, raising his profile as a national leader and attracting calls urging him to run for president.
But Wine faces multiple challenges, including limited opportunities to hold rallies or stage concerts ahead of elections. The police have violently foiled his most recent attempts to hold public events. He also faces treason charges stemming from his alleged role in the incident in which the president's convoy was attacked with stones. Prosecutors have since amended the charge sheet to include the alleged offence of annoying the president, in addition to a separate charge related to alleged disobedience of lawful orders. He denies all the charges.
Wine would be ineligible to run for president if he were to be convicted of any of those crimes.
"We know that the regime is going to try anything within their reach to block us from contesting," Wine said.