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March 29, 2019 - 11:39 AM

CITY LEADERS: SMOLLETT OWES CHICAGO $130,000 FOR INVETIGATION

CHICAGO (AP) — City leaders say "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett owes Chicago $130,000 to cover the cost of investigating his claims of being the victim of a racist, homophobic attack. Smollett told police he was attacked in January. He was later charged with making a false police report. Prosecutors abruptly dropped the case this week, yet still insisted Smollett staged the attack. Chicago leaders say more than two dozen detectives and officers spent weeks investigating. Investigators believe Smollett, who is black and gay, hired two brothers to stage the Jan. 29 attack in downtown Chicago and that Smollett hoped the attention would help advance his career. Police also allege that before the attack, Smollett sent a letter threatening himself to the Chicago television studio where "Empire" is shot. Smollett insists the attack was real. If Smollett fails to pay, officials could charge him with violating a city ordinance and seek fines, damages and court costs

FRENCH NEW WAVE DIRECTOR AGNES VARDA DIES AT AGE 90

NEW YORK (AP) — Filmmaker Agnes Varda, a central figure of the French New Wave who later won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, has died. She was 90. Her production company, Cine-Tamaris, said Varda died early Friday morning at her home in Paris from cancer. Varda's rich filmography includes movies such as "Cleo de 5 a 7," ''Sans toit ni loi" ("Vagabond") — for which she won the Golden Lion in 1985, "Jacquot de Nantes" and "Les glaneurs et la glaneuse" ("The Gleaners and I"). Varda was a fixture for years at the Cannes Film Festival, where she presented more than a dozen films from 1958 to 2018. She took part in two Cannes juries and the festival gave her an honorary Palme d'Or, or Golden Palm, in 2015 for her life's work.

DEF LEPPARD TOASTED THEIR ROCK HALL NOMINATION IN A CASTLE

NEW YORK (AP) — When Def Leppard found out they would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they celebrated medieval-style. Singer Joe Elliott says they were staying in a castle-hotel outside Glasgow, Scotland, in December when they heard the news. He says they pretty much had the dining hall to themselves, so they opened "a couple bottles of bubbly" and toasted each other. The other inductees are The Cure, Radiohead, The Zombies, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks and Roxy Music. The induction ceremony is tonight in New York. HBO will broadcast the ceremony on April 27.

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059108-r-491:04-(Sound of Def Leppard, performing "Bringin' on the Hearbreak")-"(music fades)"-Rock Hall of Fame welcomes new class tonight (29 Mar 2019)

<<CUT *059108 (03/29/19)££ 491:04 "(music fades)"

059106-a-210:96-(Joe Elliott, singer for Def Leppard)-"it. We're in"-Rock Hall of Fame welcomes new class tonight (29 Mar 2019)

<<CUT *059106 (03/29/19)££ 210:96 "it. We're in"

059107-a-156:48-(Joe Elliott, singer for Def Leppard)-"know, no pressure (laughs)"-Rock Hall of Fame welcomes new class tonight (29 Mar 2019)

<<CUT *059107 (03/29/19)££ 156:48 "know, no pressure (laughs)"

KEN BURNS PREVIEWS "COUNTRY MUSIC" PBS SERIES

NASHVILLE (AP) — Documentary maker Ken Burns could have spent the rest of his days trying to tell the story of country music. He created a series called "Country Music" that will air on PBS stations in September. He says rather than try to be an encyclopedia of country music, he focused on the largest, most compelling personalities. Burns says telling the story of this music is another way to understand American history. He says in a time when the country is so divided, it's good to be reminded of stories we have in common.

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059118-a-185:28-(Ketch Secor, singer for Old Crow Medicine Show)-"of country music (second reference)"-Ken Burns hits the road to promote new 'Country Music' doc (29 Mar 2019)

<<CUT *059118 (03/29/19)££ 185:28 "of country music (second reference)"

059119-a-180:48-(Ketch Secor, singer for Old Crow Medicine Show)-"hardest working people"-Ken Burns hits the road to promote new 'Country Music' doc (29 Mar 2019)

<<CUT *059119 (03/29/19)££ 180:48 "hardest working people"

ROBERT TOWNSEND DOC ON 'THE 5 HEARTBEATS' EARNS NAACP NOD

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people understand the heartbreak of finding out our favourite band has broken up, but few can actually turn that dismay into a cult classic. That's what Robert Townsend did with 1991's "The Five Heartbeats." The 62-year-old filmmaker says it was hearing that David Ruffin was leaving The Temptations that inspired him to create a film about a fictional group that mirrored their rise and fall. Unfortunately, the film tanked in theatres. It turns out all it needed was some time and the internet to help with its resurgence. Fans of the film begged for a sequel, but instead, Townsend opted to produce "Making the Five Heartbeats," a documentary outlining the journey. Now he's nominated for an NAACP Image Award on Saturday.

JAY-Z AND BEYONCE DEDICATE GLAAD AWARD

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Jay-Z and Beyonce have dedicated their GLAAD award to her uncle, who died of HIV-related complications. She said witnessing the battle of her uncle Johnny was a painful experience.

The musical power couple received the LGBTQ advocacy group's Vanguard Award on Thursday during its 30th annual media awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. The group says the award honours "allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people." Jay-Z honoured his mother, Gloria Carter, a lesbian whose story was featured last year in his song and video "Smile." Beyonce told the audience one of her most beautiful memories about respect was on her tour "looking out from the stage every night and seeing the hardest gangsta trappin' right next to the most fabulous queen."

LATINO-THEMED TV SHOWS CANCELLATION SPARKS OUTCRY

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The cancellation of two Latino-themed TV shows is prompting a social-media outcry from fans and criticism from those who want to see more diversity on television. Netflix's "One Day at a Time" is being cancelled after one season, and CW's "Jane the Virgin" is wrapping up after five seasons. Although the Latino population continues to grow, Latino-centred shows still have a tough time succeeding at networks and streaming services. Starz is scheduled in May to unveil the second season of "Vida," a series following two Mexican-American sisters in East Los Angeles. This month, Netflix is releasing the second season of the teen dramedy "On My Block," which is set in a working-class Latino and black neighbourhood in Southern California. "Vida" actress Melissa Barrera says it's up to Latino audiences to watch the shows and send a message that Latinos matter.

GEORGE CLOONEY CALLS FOR HOTEL BOYCOTT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney is calling for the boycott of nine hotels in the U.S. and Europe with ties to the sultan of Brunei (broo-NEYE'), which next month will implement Islamic criminal laws to punish gay sex by stoning offenders to death. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (HAH'-jee HAH'-sahn-ahl bohl-KAY'-ah) rules the oil-rich monarchy with full executive authority, and the hotels are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. The Hollywood actor wrote Thursday in Deadline Hollywood: "Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?" He writes that you can't shame "murderous regimes," but you can shame "the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them." The Sultan rules the oil-rich monarchy with full executive authority, and the hotels are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. The hotels include the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles; and other hotels in the U.K., Paris, Rome, and Milan. The new laws take effect April 3.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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