Little Rock, July 26 (AP/UNB) — The Little Rock Zoo says Trudy, believed to be the oldest Western Lowland gorilla in captivity, has died at age 63.
Zoo spokeswoman Susan Altrui said zookeepers found Trudy dead when they checked on her Wednesday morning.
Altrui says Trudy was the oldest gorilla in the records of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, an international accrediting organization. Altrui says it's possible but highly unlikely non-accredited zoos have older gorillas.
Trudy came to the Little Rock Zoo from Buffalo in 1988 with a male gorilla, Ollie, on a breeding loan.
Syd Tanner, one of her former keepers, called her the "boss lady" of her all-male group.
Trudy was also one of the last gorillas captured in the wild. Today, North American gorillas are born in zoos.
Dhaka, Jul 25 (AP/UNB) - A Pennsylvania appeals court on Wednesday overturned rapper Meek Mill's conviction in a drug and gun case that has kept the rapper on probation for a decade and made him a celebrity crusader for criminal justice reform.
The unanimous three-judge panel said that new evidence that undermines the credibility of the officer who testified against the rapper at his trial made it likely he would be acquitted if the case were retried.
City prosecutors have backed the defense bid for a new trial and confirmed they do not trust the officer, who has since left the force and was the only prosecution witness at the 2008 nonjury trial. Still, District Attorney Larry Krasner said Wednesday his office needs time to decide whether to drop the case.
The 32-year-old performer, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, is now free of the court supervision he's been under most of his adult life. Williams has said he had trouble notifying probation officers about his travels as required because of the erratic nature of the music industry. A little more than a year ago, he spent five months in prison over technical violations of his parole.
"The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I'm ecstatic that justice prevailed," Williams said in a statement. "Unfortunately, millions of people are dealing with similar issues in our country and don't have the resources to fight back like I did. We need to continue supporting them."
Reginald Graham, the officer who wrote the search warrant in Williams' case and testified at his trial, left the Philadelphia Police department a few years ago after an internal probe found he had stolen money and then lied about it.
Graham testified at trial that Williams pointed a gun at him during his 2007 arrest outside his southwest Philadelphia home. Williams, who was 19 at the time, has denied pointing a gun at police.
A police colleague who took part in the arrest later said Graham lied about Williams brandishing a gun.
"Rather, (he) observed Williams attempt to discard his weapon," President Judge Jack A. Panella wrote in Wednesday's opinion, concluding that the new evidence was so strong "that a different verdict will likely result at a retrial."
In arguments in the case last week, Assistant District Attorney Paul George said the office wouldn't call Graham at a retrial in light of the questions about his credibility and due it its "legal, ethical and constitutional obligations."
Graham was also investigated, but not charged, by the FBI in a separate corruption probe. The six city drug squad members indicted were all acquitted at a 2015 trial.
"I never lied, I never stole, and I never said I did," Graham, now living in Florida, told Philadelphia Magazine for an article last year.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court also overturned the trial judge's parole violation findings and, in a rare move, pulled her off the case because "she heard highly prejudicial testimony ... and made credibility determinations in favor of a now discredited witness."
Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley had kept Williams on probation for 10 years and sent him back to prison for several short stints for violating parole. He has been called back to court repeatedly over concerns about his travels and, in one instance, use of painkillers. Then-girlfriend Nicki Minaj testified for him at one such hearing in 2016.
The Philadelphia rapper-turned-entrepreneur is launching a new record label in a joint venture with Jay-Z's Roc Nation.
The two performers celebrated the launch of Dream Chasers Records on Tuesday in New York City. Hours later, the court ruling came down.
Williams, in his statement, said he appreciated the support he has received from his family, his legal team, Krasner's office and celebrity friends, including Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin.
Los Angeles, Jul 25 (AP/UNB) — Bill Cosby's spokesman says an insurance company has settled another defamation suit filed by an accuser, this one by model Janice Dickinson. ?
Dickinson and lawyer Lisa Bloom have scheduled a press conference Thursday near Los Angeles.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt says American International Group Inc. settled the case without Cosby's approval, as they've done with at least eight other women who say the comedian and his agent maligned them by denying their allegations.
Bloom promises a "major, final, legal victory" in Dickinson's case.
Dickinson says Cosby drugged and raped her in 1982. She's one of six accusers who testified at the 2018 criminal trial that led to Cosby's conviction and a three- to 10-year prison term for a 2004 sexual assault.
An AIG spokesman did not return messages seeking comment.
New York, Jul 25 (AP/UNB) — Bindi Irwin, the daughter of the late conservationist, Steve Irwin, is getting married.
She posted Wednesday on her social media that longtime boyfriend Chandler Powell's proposed on her 21st birthday, Tuesday.
Powell is a 22-year-old wakeboarder from Florida whom she met in 2013 when he was visiting the Irwin family's Australia Zoo .
Steve Irwin, known as "The Crocodile Hunter," was a popular TV personality. He was killed by a stingray in 2006 while filming an underwater documentary.
His wife, Terri, and children Bindi and Robert have carried on his conservation work.
Bindi Irwin starred in her own wildlife series as a child. She won season 21 of "Dancing with the Stars."
New Orleans, July 24 (AP/UNB) — Don't ask Brian McKnight where he's been. That question is really telling, he says, because his true fans know where to find him.
"That question tells me you don't really follow me on Instagram and you're not really in tune with where R&B is today," McKnight said. "If you're listening to where they play music today, you'd know I have a Top 10 single on that chart. If you're an avid concertgoer, you'd know I do 150 shows every year. I'm here. You just have to know where to look."
During a recent tour stop in New Orleans, the 17-time Grammy nominated artist sat down with The Associated Press to discuss his latest project, "Bedtime Story," which dropped last month, and his thoughts about music today.
"It's 60 minutes of love-making music," the crooner said, with a smile, about the new release. "I don't know what anybody else's situation is, you might just need 7 minutes or 12 minutes or 20 minutes, but I'm giving you 60 so that you can just press play and let it flow, let it happen."
McKnight, now 50, has been serenading fans for nearly 30 years and in that time, he said he's been asked over and over to make an entire record dedicated to love — and all that that entails.
"We'll see if those people, who think they're genius and know what I should be doing, know what they're talking about," he said laughing. "It's been fun and a challenge to make because all the songs are about the same tempo, and how do you make a whole record this way and not repeat the same idea without being redundant?"
"Bedtime Story," featuring the hit single "When I'm Gone," follows his 2017 release "Genesis," which had three Top 15 singles, including "I Want You."
"I feel very fortunate after all this time that there are people in this world who still want to pay to hear me sing songs that I've created, some more than 20 years ago," McKnight said. "My joy comes from seeing their faces when I sing a song or I'm about to play a song I wrote and they recognize it."
That was evidenced during his June 4 show at New Orleans' legendary music hall Tipitina's, where he closed out an appearance broadcast live on Sirius XM's "Heart and Soul" channel that included sets by singers V. Bozeman, Raheem DeVaughn and Avant.
McKnight went through songs like "Never Felt This Way," ''Crazy Love," ''Back at One," and "Anytime," bringing familiar screams from the women in the audience.
"When someone is paying to see me, I want them to think when they leave that they didn't pay enough," he said. "I want them to leave knowing I played everything they wanted to hear, that I sang as well or better than they thought I would, that I was funnier than they thought I would be and that they leave saying 'When he comes back, I'm definitely coming back to see him again.'"
Anita Brown, a fan from New Orleans, said there's no doubt about that.
Brown said his performance was "brilliant" and she'd definitely "invest in a ticket or two" if he returns to the Big Easy.
"He was amazing," she said. "His voice was on point and, oh my God, he's looks better now than he did back then!"
McKnight's career began at 19 when he signed his first recording deal with Mercury Records subsidiary, Wing Records. His self-titled debut album dropped in 1992 and featured the Top 20 hit "One Last Cry." In 1999, he released his most successful album to date, "Back At One," which went on to sell over 3 million copies.
McKnight, who also plays eight instruments, shared his thoughts on the music genre that is R&B.
"I'm not sure what I do or have ever done has been R&B," McKnight said. "When I think of rhythm and blues music, I'm thinking of the Temptations or James Brown, and I've never created music that looks like that. I think we as a people get caught up in labels and have to name something, something. And, if the artist is black and they're singing, it's R&B.
"But what we should do, is say 'This is this music, I don't know what it's called, and let's see if we can listen to it without having to make a label for it.'"
In regards to current music popular to young audiences, McKnight says he's glad young people have found a voice.
"It's really just these kids expressing themselves through the lives they're leading with the tech that's been given to them. As parents, we may not understand the music they're creating or like it or dislike it, whatever the case may be, but this is the way they're expressing themselves," he said. "I love that they've found a way to be creative and found a way for their voice to be heard and a way to make it so mainstream. I would say to the old heads out there, 'Let these kids be kids. It's their time now.'"