Rapper T.I. was the guest of honour in Jackson, Mississippi on Wednesday (24Sep14) as he was presented with the key to the city. The Live Your Life hitmaker was feted during a special ceremony at City Hall, which was hosted by Mayor Tony Yarber, who praised the hip-hop star for using his many brushes with the law to encourage youths to make the right choices.
Accepting the accolade, T.I. said, "I can't really change everyone's opinion of me but I can change me.
"Everybody don't catch on and everybody don't acknowledge change at the same time, but the good part is, I ain't doing it for them (sic). I don't need credit. Just knowing that I can use my experiences, my past, good and bad, to help assist the future: children, teenagers, young adults and the grown people who may have gone through the same things. They can have an example showing that, 'Hey, just because I fell down in something, doesn't mean I got to stay down in it'. When it's all said and done, I've seen people rise from the wreckage."
During his visit to Jackson, T.I. also stopped by local schools to speak to students about how he overcame his troubled past. The rapper spent time behind bars for possession of weapons and drugs.
His Mississippi honour was an early birthday present of sorts for T.I. - the rapper/actor turned 34 on Thursday (25Sep14).
Led Zeppelin's new entertainment lawyer has asked a Pennsylvania judge to dismiss a plagiarism lawsuit over the British band's Stairway To Heaven hit on the grounds of a lack of jurisdiction. The rockers are fighting a copyright infringement claim filed in Pennsylvania against the group in May (14) by Francis Malofiy, a lawyer representing late Spirit guitarist Randy California.
Malofiy alleges the opening notes of Stairway To Heaven are too similar to California's work on his 1968 song Taurus and is demanding credit for at least inspiring Led Zeppelin's 1971 release.
Guitarist Jimmy Page previously dismissed the lawsuit as "ridiculous" and now top attorney Helene Freeman is seeking to have the case thrown out of court.
In a motion to dismiss, Freeman writes, "The individual defendants are British citizens residing in England, own no property in Pennsylvania and have no contacts with Pennsylvania, let alone ties sufficient to render them essentially at home here.
"Under established case law, no good faith basis exists to argue the Court has general jurisdiction over them."
Led Zeppelin hired Freeman, who litigated a series of victories for Justin Timberlake's former boy band 'N SYNC, earlier this month (Sep14), to help them win the case.
Randy California, real name Randy Craig Wolfe, was born in Los Angeles.
Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via Bloomberg
British royal Prince Harry rang in his 30th birthday with a black tie dinner party and a performance from pop star Ellie Goulding.
The party took place at Clarence House, the London home of Harry's father Charles, Prince of Wales, on Wednesday (17Sep14) night, two days after he hit the milestone on Monday (15Sep14). The birthday boy drove himself to the venue, while guests were seen arriving in tuxedos and evening gowns. Goulding, who sang at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding, is good friends with Harry and is reported to have performed a number of her hits at the party.
Vanity Fair reports guests dined on Harry's favourite foods - beef wellington and fish pie, with Eton mess for dessert. Prince Charles, who missed the party as he is on vacation in Scotland, is said to have sent crates of Champagne for the soiree. The party was originally planned to take place at Kensington Palace, where Harry lives with his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, but was postponed due to the pregnant duchess' severe morning sickness.
The celebrations come amid reports the young prince has reunited with his ex-girlfriend, socialite Cressida Bonas, after they were spotted together on a cinema trip to see Cameron Diaz's new comedy Sex Tape on Tuesday (16Sep14).
Jackass star Steve-O faces criminal charges for defacing a freeway sign as part of a protest against SeaWorld, if California Highway Patrol officials get their way. CHP bosses insist the prankster, real name Stephen Gilchrist Glover, should be punished to the full extent of the law after he posted a video of himself attaching the word 'SUCKS' after the words 'SEA WORLD' on the state road sign near San Diego on YouTube.com last month (Aug14).
The incident occurred in May (14), but the identity of the person behind the prank was a mystery until the footage appeared online.
CHP officials have recommended the San Diego County district attorney's office charge Steve-O with vandalism and trespassing.
Leading activists at animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have already agreed to pay any fine assessed against the prankster and stuntman.
For all of my fellow witches and wizards, today is September 1st and you know what that means! For all you Muggles (non-magic folk) who don’t know what I’m talking about, September 1st marks the first day at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unlike you Muggles, we love the first day of school, because Hogwarts is the greatest learning institution on the planet.
1. At Hogwarts, the school year always begins on September 1st.
2. Students can board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station, on Platform 9 ¾. The train to Hogwarts leaves promptly at 11 A.M. Don't be late!
3. After getting off at the Hogsemeade Station, first year students board boats on the Great Lake, while the older students ride in Thestral-drawn carriages to Hogwarts.
4. After all the older students have arrived, the first-years are brought into the Great Hall and the Sorting Ceremony is held. This is when the Sorting Hat decides which of the four houses the student belongs in.
5. Hogwarts was founded in 990 A.D by two witches and two wizards.
6. The four founders of Hogwarts were: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin.
7. It was decided that there would be four separate houses at the school to sort the students, based on the different personalities these founding members had.
8. After a dispute over who would be allowed into the school, Slytherin left because the others would not agree to only admit pure-blood students.
9. Before leaving, Slythin built the Chamber of Secrets, unbeknownst to the others, which was home to his murderous Basilisk until the year 1993!
10. 300 years after the school was founded, the first Triwizard Tournament was held. It is a competition between the three most prestigious schools in Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. It was meant to be a way for students of different nationalities to compete and socialize with one another.
11. In 1792, when a Cockatrice went loose during one of the Triwizard Tournament tasks, the heads of the three schools (Hogwarts included) were all injured by the deadly creature.
12. The ceiling in the Great Hall has been bewitched to reflect the sky outside it, which is why you can see the stars while inside the room.
13. It is not possible to apparate or disapparate into, or from within, Hogwarts. Unless you are Albus Dumbledore, that is.
14. Muggles cannot see Hogwarts (probably why you Muggles have never heard of it). If a Muggle were to stumble upon the area, they will see a ruin with a sign saying: “DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE.”
15. Muggle technologies, like cell phones and laptops, are rendered useless when on the grounds of Hogwarts. No cell phone reception for miles! And definitely no WiFi.
16. If a boy tries to enter the girls’ dormitories, the stairs will immediately turn into a slide. So, no sneaking around after hours!
17. During feasts, food appears by magic, but as we all know thanks to the Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration, food cannot appear out of thin air. It is the work of the Hogwarts’ house elves. They work tirelessly in the kitchens to prepare meals for the entire school.
18. The house elves were first brought to Hogwarts by Helga Hufflepuff (true to her Hufflepuff nature), she wanted to offer them refuge and a place where they would not be abused.
19. Students need to be careful on the stairs, they’re always changing. By the Gryffindor Tower, there is a false step that Neville Longbottom has gotten stuck in a few times.
20. Hogwarts is home to the Room of Requirement, a secret room on the 7th floor that only appears when a person is in great need of it.
21. You can access the “Shrieking Shack” through a hidden entrance at the Whomping Willow, a tree on the Hogwarts grounds. But it's not an easy way to get inside.
22. The Whomping Willow has not always been on school grounds. It was put in when Remus Lupin started at Hogwarts, at the insistence of Albus Dumbledore, as a place for him to go during every full moon.
23. Hogwarts’ motto is: “Draco dormiens nunquam titllandu.” The translation is: “Never tickle a sleeping dragon.”
24. At Hogwarts, there is a Frog Choir that will perform at special occasions.
25. Peeves, a character you’ve never seen in the films, is a poltergeist that has lived in the castle since 993 A.D. He is in indestructible spirit of chaos.
26. The Battle of Hogwarts took place during the early hours of May 2nd, 1998, on the grounds of Hogwarts and inside the Great Hall. The end of the battle signified the defeat of Voldemort and the end to the Second Wizarding War, but also resulted in a great deal of destruction to Hogwarts. The building was restored afterwards and reopened for the following school year.
What is your favorite part about Hogwarts? Tweet us your thoughts with the hashtag #WelcomeBackToHogwarts!
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Getty Images/Dave Hogan
Beyonce's father Mathew Knowles is convinced speculation that her marriage to Jay Z was on the rocks was created to boost ticket sales for their joint tour.
The couple was hit with split rumours during its On The Run trek, which began in June (14), and neither of the stars spoke publicly to defend their six-year marriage or deny the reports.
Beyonce's mother Tina blasted the speculation, insisting "everything's perfect", and now the former Destiny's Child star's dad and ex-manager Mathew has accused promoters of encouraging the rumours to drum up interest in the concerts. He tells Texas radio station 104.1 KRBE, "I know, because we've done this from experience. There's a tour going on, so you sometimes have to ignite that tour. It's called a Jedi mind trick. The Jedi mind trick fools you a lot at time."
Mathew Knowles also alludes to the infamous elevator bust-up between Jay Z and his sister-in-law Solange Knowles in May (14), adding, "All I know is the Jedi mind trick. Everyone's talking about it. Ticket sales went up. Solange's album sales went up 200 per cent!"
The On The Run Tour concludes in Paris, France in September (14).
Actress-turned-TV-host Whoopi Goldberg has penned an open letter advocating for the expansion of medical marijuana laws in New York.
In a missive written for The Cannabist, The Oscar winner applauds New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing a recent law pertaining to the use of medical marijuana, but she explains she is disappointed the legislation doesn't go far enough to help people suffering from a a wide variety of diseases.
Goldberg, who uses marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of glaucoma, writes, "While I'm thrilled for my fellow New Yorkers who will be able to seek treatment via marijuana when N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan goes into action sometime in 2016, I'm sorry to say the governor's plan doesn't include conditions like glaucoma, migraines or severe menstrual disorders - very real issues for people who suffer from them, myself included (glaucoma). "However, the great news is that under Cuomo's plan, approved by the New York Legislature in late July, doctors will be able to prescribe marijuana for at least 10 diseases and conditions - including cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, neuropathy, ALS and other degenerative diseases..."
The Ghost star closes the letter asking the governor to gather more information about medical marijuana and to lift more restrictions.
She continues, "I would have loved to have had a conversation with the governor and his staff. I probably would have asked, 'Did y'all talk to a whole lot of patients? How did you come up with the list of conditions? And did you talk to any of the other governors about what affect medical marijuana has had on patients?' "I'd also tell him, 'There are so many people this could help - and while a lot of people think others are champing at the bit to go out and party with medical marijuana, that's just not the case. People are desperate - really desperate - for the medication that helps them. And as we have seen, if we can't get it with your help here in New York, we end up having to go to other states...' "I look to New York's future and the rest of the nation's future - where marijuana is a legitimate medicine and a brand-new industry that takes root in our cities and rural communities... As a patient not yet covered, I will wait - with hopes that my condition, and the others not yet recognized by the state of New York can one day, very soon, legitimately and legally be serviced by cannabis, and included in New York's medical marijuana laws."
Actors Mia Farrow and Dylan Mcdermott have led the tributes to their former co-star Lord Richard Attenborough, following the British movie icon's death on Sunday (24Aug14). The exact cause of death has yet to be revealed, but Attenborough had been living in a nursing home with his wife, Sheila Sim, and was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a serious fall in 2008.
McDermott, who starred alongside Attenborough in the 1994 reboot of Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street, took to Twitter.com to pay tribute to the man who played Kris Kringle, and wrote, "Rest in peace Richard Attenborough. U (sic) were the best Santa ever."
Their co-star and former child actress Mara Wilson also added, "Sir Richard Attenborough was the only Santa Claus I ever believed in. A wonderful man. Still in shock right now. May he rest in peace."
News of Attenborough's death comes almost two weeks after Wilson's Mrs. Doubtfire co-star, Robin Williams passed away after committing suicide.
Mia Farrow, who worked with Attenborough in 1964's Guns at Batasi, also added her own tribute to her friend, and wrote, "Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince. RIP 'Pa' - and thank you," as well as comedian Ricky Gervais, who added, "RIP Richard Attenborough. One of the true greats of the silver screen."
Other Twitter tributes have come from Edgar Wright, former 007 star Samantha Bond, Rob Schneider, Stephen Amell, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who noted that Attenborough's "acting in 'Brighton Rock' was brilliant, his directing of 'Gandhi' was stunning," and adding, "Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema."
Born in Cambridge, England, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and served in the Royal Air Force during World War II before pursuing an acting career.
He made his debut as a sailor in the 1942 film In Which We Serve and gained popular acclaim playing ruthless young thug Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock in 1947, eventually becoming a staple of countless British films over the next 30 years.
An accomplished stage actor, Attenborough was one of the original cast members of The Mousetrap, which went on to become the longest-running play in London's West End.
In the 1960s, he expanded his range of acting, taking on a variety of roles that exposed him to a wider audience - most notably as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett in 1963's The Great Escape.
Hitting his stride, Attenborough won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor in 1967 and 1968 - for The Sand Pebbles and Doctor Dolittle.
But he'll be most fondly remembered for his behind-the-camera skills. In the late 1950s, he formed a production company, Beaver Films, and directed his first picture, Oh! What A Lovely War, in 1969.
He later scooped the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars in 1982 for his epic Gandhi, which also won him another Golden Globe Award the following year.
Other directorial credits followed - notably the 1992 biopic Chaplin, and classic 1993 movie Shadowlands - before Attenborough made a welcome return to the screen in 1993 as eccentric John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
Attenborough won a total of eight Oscars during his career. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1967, and a knighthood came in 1976. In 1993, he was bestowed the honour of life peer, becoming Baron Attenborough, of Richmond upon Thames, London.
And in 2006, Attenborough and his brother David, a popular broadcaster and beloved nature expert, were awarded the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester in recognition of their services to the university.
Attenborough was also later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Drama from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and was an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.
On Boxing Day 2004, tragedy struck Attenborough's family when his eldest daughter Jane, her daughter Lucy, and her mother-in-law, also named Jane, died in the devastating Asian tsunami.
His family is expected to make a full statement about his death on Monday (25Aug14).
Jackass star Steve-O is facing a police investigation after confessing he was responsible for a SeaWorld freeway sign prank that upset theme park bosses.
The TV personality, who is a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), posted a video on YouTube.com on Wednesday (20Aug14) showing him defacing a billboard in San Diego, California Steve-O changed the sign to read 'Sea World Sucks' as a protest against the way killer whales are treated at the popular aquatic tourist attraction.
In the footage, which he titled Breaking the Law, the prankster says, "I'm putting my foot down for (whale) Shamu. If doing that was wrong, I don't want to be right! Screw you, SeaWorld!"
However, Steve-O may be facing legal troubles following his public confession. A representative for the California Highway Patrol has confirmed an investigation has been launched, telling Los Angeles news station KTLA the highway patrol was given "a case of alleged vandalism for investigation and possible prosecution in connection with the incident".
A statement from the California Department of Transportation adds, "We consider defacing public property at a cost to state taxpayers an unlawful act and a dangerous distraction for motorists. Not figured into the equation is the danger to highway workers and the inconvenience to motorists."
A spokesperson for the department adds the sign cost more than $7,000 (£4,118) to be replaced.
The deputy chief coroner who presided over Robin Williams' autopsy has defended his decision to go public with details about the star's death following a backlash from critics.
The 63-year-old Oscar winner was found dead after he hanged himself in his home in Marin County, California on Monday (11Aug14).
Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Coroner Keith Boyd gave a press conference on Tuesday (12Aug14) to give details about the circumstances surrounding the actor's death, revealing Williams' personal assistant discovered the body. Boyd also confirmed the Mrs. Doubtfire star had hanged himself with a belt, and that a number of cuts had been found on his left wrist.
Following the press conference, which was shown on TV and streamed online, many fans criticised Boyd for releasing such specific details about the tragedy. However, Boyd has now defended his decision in a statement which reads: "The Sheriff's Office understands how the release of the kind of information you heard... may be viewed as disturbing by some, and as unnecessary by others, but under California law, all that information is considered 'public information' and we are precluded from denying access to it.
These kinds of cases, whether they garner national attention or not, are very difficult for everyone involved. "Frankly, it would have been our personal preference to withhold a lot of what we disclosed to the press... but the California Public Records Act does not give us that kind of latitude. For the same reasons, we will likely be required to release to the media the 911 phone call we received from Mr. Williams' residence and the fire dispatch tapes that resulted as well..."
A private memorial is currently being planned for Williams by his wife Susan Schneider, according to E! News.