News, July 2: Drug Charges Against Ja Rule Dropped, Apprentice Star in Parking Lot Scuffle, DMX Gets Hit With More Charges, More…

Drug charges against Ja Rule Dropped

Rapper Ja Rule, who was arrested early Thursday morning in New York on charges of fifth-degree marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license, has had the drug charge dropped, The Associated Press reports. According to police, Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, was pulled over at 2:19 a.m. in his 2001 Mercedes-Benz on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village for changing lanes without signaling. The officers found a small amount of marijuana in his possession and discovered that his license had been suspended. He pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license in Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday and paid $550 in fines and court fees. The misdemeanor possession charge apparently was dropped. Ja Rule, 28, of Saddle River, N.J., has starred in several movies, including The Fast and the Furious and Half Past Dead.

DMX hit with additional charges

Rapper-actor DMX, who was arrested June 24 on charges he and another man tried to steal a car in a parking lot of New York’s Kennedy Airport, will also charged with criminal mischief, impersonation, menacing, DUI, and endangering the welfare of a child, the AP reports. According to police reports, DMX crashed his SUV, which was equipped with lights and a siren, through an airport parking lot exit gate and told the attendant to let him leave because he was a federal agent. The rapper then allegedly identified himself as a federal agent and ordered a driver in a nearby parking lot to get out of his vehicle. When the driver refused, DMX attempted to pull him out of the car, while the driver’s 13-year-old daughter sat in the backseat. According to court documents, the rapper said the unidentified driver had cut him off. If convicted, both men, who were released on $15,000 bail, could face up to seven years in prison.

Apprentice star in parking lot scuffle

A former star of Donald Trump’s hit reality show The Apprentice is accusing workers at a tow truck company in North Miami Beach, Fla., of attacking her and her fiancé, the AP reports. Katrina Campins and her fiancé, Ben Moss, say they had parked their Acura at a shopping mall in Sunny Isles Beach Sunday afternoon and went across the street to the Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort, where they plan to marry next month. But when they returned, saw the car was missing. The couple says they approached Donnie Seay, whose family owns Seay Towing, in the parking lot and got into an argument that turned physical. The two took a cab to Parkway Regional Medical Center, where Campins was treated for a broken nose, swollen eye and leg scrapes, while Moss needed stitches for a split lip. Seay Towing says they are lying.

Bill Cosby talks to black community again

Bill Cosby, who made headlines in May when he blasted poor blacks for their grammar and accused them of squandering opportunities the civil rights movement gave them, is at it again. The AP reports the veteran comedian told an audience at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund’s annual conference that black children are running around not knowing how to read or write. “I can’t even talk the way these people talk, ‘Why you ain’t,’ ‘Where you is’ … and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk,” Cosby said. “And then I heard the father talk … Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.” Cosby added he wasn’t concerned that some whites took his comments and turned them against blacks. “Let them talk,” he said.

NBC regrets not using Saddam footage

NBC’s Today show admits they made a “mistake” when it aired host Katie Couric batting a badminton shuttlecock Thursday rather than showing the first footage of Saddam Hussein’s court appearance, AP reports. The footage of the fallen Iraqi leader since his capture by the U.S. seven months ago came into newsrooms shortly after 8:30 a.m. EDT. ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’ The Early Show and the cable news networks all showed the images immediately, while NBC stuck with feature stories on a Robert Redford movie and badminton, showing Saddam at the 9 a.m. newscast that opens the third hour of Today. “We made a mistake,” executive producer Tom Touchet told AP. “In retrospect, I’d do it completely differently.”

The Donald’s new venture–a magazine

Is there nothing this man won’t try? Along with being a real estate tycoon, best selling author and, of course, reality TV star, Donald Trump is now adding a magazine editor to his list of accomplishments, Reuters reports. The Donald is planning to launch an upscale magazine, Trump World, which will “bring to life Donald’s passions, business accomplishments, pursuits and the lifestyle surrounding luxury goods,” editor Michael Jacobson told Reuters. The magazine is due to hit stands in September.

Judge seals more info in Jackson case

The judge in Michael Jackson‘s molestation case sealed more information from the public and the press Thursday, saying the media’s dissection of the evidence would make it difficult to find an unbiased jury pool, the AP reports. While Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville released dozens of search warrant request forms involving banks, department stores, cellular telephone services and an Internet service, they did not identify whose accounts were being searched, what was being sought or what was found. Melville also indicated that all evidence would be kept secret until he rules on what is admissible at trial. Jackson, 45, pleaded not guilty in February to committing a lewd act upon a child, administering alcohol, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

Estefan readies for farewell tour

Gloria Estefan will begin her last concert tour Live and Re-Wrapped July 30 in Texas, AP reports. “Although I will continue writing and recording and doing everything else that comes with this incredible way of life, this next tour will be my last,” the 46-year-old singer says in a posting on her Web site. The tour will conclude Sept. 25 in Miami, where Estefan lives with her husband-producer, Emilio and two children.

Kit Bowen contributed to this report.