R. KELLY JUDGMENT WITHDRAWN AFTER LAYWERS SAY HE CAN’T READ
CHICAGO (AP) _ A judge who ordered a default judgment against R. Kelly after the singer failed to respond to a lawsuit filed by one of his alleged victims now says the suit can proceed. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that on Wednesday, Cook County Judge Moira Johnson reinstated the lawsuit after attorneys representing Kelly said the singer never responded to the lawsuit because he’s illiterate and could not read the documents when he was served with them. The lawsuit was filed by a woman identified as “H.W.,” who is one of the four women that Kelly is charged in a criminal case with sexually abusing. She contends she began a sexual relationship with Kelly in 1998, when she was 16. Kelly is scheduled to appear at another hearing Wednesday in his unrelated child support case.
LONDON (AP) _ Prince Harry and Meghan have named their son Archie. Buckingham Palace says the baby’s full name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The palace made the announcement hours after the couple posed with the two-day-old for the media. Archie also met his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for the first time. Archie is the queen’s eighth great-grandchild and is seventh in line to the British throne. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posed with their son for cameras at Windsor Castle — the first in a lifetime of photo calls for the newest royal. Harry cradled the apparently sleeping baby, wrapped in a white blanket and wearing a matching cap, in his arms. Meghan declared motherhood to be “magic.” She said the baby had “the sweetest temperament” and has “just been a dream.” Asked which parent the baby took after, Harry said it was too soon to tell: “His looks are changing every single day, so who knows?”
WOOL WRAP FOR ARCHIE SUGGEST TRADITION WILL WIN OUT
LONDON (AP) — Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor slept through his first press conference, but royal experts say the merino wool wrap in which he snuggled said a lot about how his parents, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will approach his future. Meghan, a former TV star, is known for promoting social causes and niche brands with her clothing choices. Yet she and Harry introduced their son to the world Wednesday in a hand-finished shawl and cashmere cap made by G.H. Hurt & Son of Nottingham, whose intricate knitwear has swaddled royal babies for decades. Wrapping Archie in a shawl knitted by the small, family-run English company suggests that Meghan and Harry aren’t as intent on shaking up the royal family as much as some people have forecast — or feared.
BETTING ON BABY NAMES, SURPRISE!
LONDON (AP) — It’s no secret: British people are renowned for being willing to bet on anything that can possibly be bet on. It’s also no secret that Britons fawn over the royal family. Those two facts have made this a bonanza for bookmakers _ who had been taking bets on what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would name their son. Alexander, James and Arthur were among the early favorites. But those looking to win big by beating the odds probably opted for something like Spencer. That’s the maiden name of Harry’s late mum, Princess Diana. But there’s no word yet on how many actually bet on the newborn’s new name, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, nor what the odds would have been.
GEORGE CLOONEY HOPES MEDIA WILL BE “KINDER” TO MEGHAN MARKLE
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ George Clooney says the media should “be a little kinder” to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, after she gave birth to a baby boy. Clooney told The Associated Press Tuesday at the Hollywood premiere of his series “Catch 22″ that the media scrutiny will intensify now that she and Prince Harry are parents. However, Clooney says the coverage steps “into a really dark place” when the media interviews people’s parents. He thinks people should be kinder because “she’s a young woman who just had a baby.” Clooney’s wife, Amal, attended the duchess’ baby shower and the Clooneys have vacationed with the royal couple.
BARACK OBAMA BOOK MAY DROP DURING 2020 CAMPAIGN
WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama isn’t running for the White House again in 2020. But he may end up having a lot to say about who wins or loses the next presidential election. The former president is writing a book. And word inside the publishing industry suggests Obama’s memoir won’t be out this year. And that means it’s likely it will be released smack-dab in the midst of the 2020 campaign. Obama has said he has no plans to play a role in the Democratic presidential primary, including endorsing his vice president, Joe Biden, who is in the race. But if the book comes out next year, it will no doubt spark a lot of discussion about Obama’s views about the Democratic field, as well as the current occupant, Donald Trump.
DAVE CHAPPELLE - MARK TWAIN AWARD
WASHINGTON (AP) — Both Dave Chappelle (shuh-PEHL’) and the Kennedy Center have deep roots in Washington D.C. And now the two are pairing up for this year’s Mark Twain Award. The Kennedy Center has named the comedian this year’s recipient of the Twain award for American humor. And in doing so, the arts organization noted Chappelle went to high school in Washington _ and honed his craft at venues in the D.C. area as he became an internationally known star. The Twain ceremony is set for October.
DISNEY RELEASE DATES
NEW YORK (AP) — The wait for the “Avatar” sequel _ will have to wait a bit longer. Disney now says that instead of coming out on Dec. 18, 2020 _ it will now open a year later, minus a day. No word has been given on what’s holding up the sequel to the James Cameron classic. It’s already been pushed back several times _ and the delay for the sequel means subsequent reboots will also be pushed back further.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it comes to TV ratings, “The Big Bang Theory” is getting the last laugh over its much ballyhooed rival, “Game of Thrones” _ at least this week. Nielsen reports Sunday’s “coffee cup” edition of the HBO drama came in second to the CBS sitcom. Big Bang drew 12.5 million viewers while Thrones pulled in 11.8 million. The rankings flipped-flopped from last week, when Thrones outdrew Big Bang, which is in its 12th and final season.
MEL GIBSON TO PLAY SANTA CLAUS IN ‘FATMAN’ COMEDY
NEW YORK (AP) _ Mel Gibson is to play Santa Claus in “Fatman,” a comedy that will be shopped at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Gibson is attached as Kris Kringle in the film to be directed by Ian and Eshom Nelms and is executive produced by David Gordon Green and Danny McBride. The filmmakers call it a “rowdy Santa tale” about an unorthodox Santa Claus who is targeted by a hitman hired by a 12-year-old after he receives coal in his stocking. Production is scheduled to begin early next year.
“WOW” KID, WHERE ARE YOU?
BOSTON (AP) _ America’s oldest performing arts group is looking for a child who was literally wowed by a recent classical music concert. The Handel & Haydn Society, founded in 1815, was finishing a rendition of Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral” at Boston’s Symphony Hall when a youngster blurted out loudly: “WOW!” Boston classical music station WCRB-FM captured the exuberance on audio. The crowd can be heard bursting into applause. Now the organization has mounted a search for the kid it’s calling the “Wow Child” — not to reprimand him or her, but to offer a chance to meet the conductor. Handel & Haydn president David Snead is asking concertgoers to share the child’s name. He calls Sunday’s experience one of the most wonderful moments he’s ever had in a concert hall.
064894-r-315:60-(Sound of Handel and Haydn Society, performing Mozart’s “Masonic Funeral Music, and a child exclaiming “wow.”.)-“Wow. (laughter then applause fades)”-Orchestra searching for child who charmed crowd with ‘wow!’ (8 May 2019)
¤¤CUT ´064894 (05/08/19)££ 315:60 “Wow. (laughter then applause fades)”
064893-w-341:04-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP music correspondent, with music)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-Orchestra searching for child who charmed crowd with ‘wow!’ (8 May 2019)
¤¤CUT ´064893 (05/08/19)££ 341:04 “I’m Margie Szaroleta”
TIMBERLAKE TO RECEIVE SPECIAL HONOR FROM SONGWRITERS HALL
NEW YORK (AP) _ Justin Timberlake will receive the Contemporary Icon Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 13 at the organization’s 50th annual induction ceremony in New York. The pop star is the second person to receive the honor; Lady Gaga earned it in 2015. The Songwriters Hall said the award is given to a “songwriter-artist who has attained an iconic status in pop culture. Timberlake has co-written all of his solo hit songs, from “Cry Me a River” to “SexyBack” to “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — which earned him an Oscar nomination. He also co-wrote songs for N’Sync, including “Gone,” ″Girlfriend” and “Pop.” The 2019 Songwriters Hall class includes Missy Elliott, Cat Stevens, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, Jack Tempchin and Dallas Austin.
BRITISH CORONER SAYS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE ON WHETHER KEITH FLINT TOOK HIS OWN LIFE
LONDON (AP) — A British coroner says there is not enough evidence to determine whether The Prodigy star Keith Flint took his own life. Flint was found dead at his home in the village of North End, in eastern England, on March 4. He was 49. An inquest held Wednesday revealed that he died by hanging, and that cocaine, alcohol and codeine were in his system. The Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said there was not enough evidence to conclude that his death was caused either by accident or due to suicide. Saying, “We will never quite know what was going on in his mind on that date.” Flint was the charismatic frontman of The Prodigy, whose 1990s hits “Firestarter” and “Breathe” were an incendiary fusion of techno, breakbeat and acid house music.
COUNTRY GROUP ALABAMA EXTENDS 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Country band Alabama is extending its 50th anniversary tour this year with 29 more shows, including a show with The Beach Boys and additional dates in Canada. The Grammy-winning band embarked on a major arena and amphitheater tour this year to mark their anniversary. The second leg continues through November. Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook formed the band in 1969 and have recorded dozens of No. 1 hits, including “Mountain Music” and “Dixieland Delight.”
KIM KARDASHIAN DOCUMENTARY APPROVED
NEW YORK (AP) — Kim Kardashian has gotten a green light to do a documentary about her crusade to free from prison those she feels got a raw deal from the justice system. Oxygen Media has approved the project. No word on when “Kim Kardashian: The Justice Project” will air.
FILM CHRONICLES HOW THE “BIGGEST LITTLE FARM” CAME TO BE
MOORPARK, Calif. (AP) — In the new documentary “The Biggest Little Farm,” an urban couple abandons city life with a dream of farming in harmony with nature. And at first it doesn’t exactly go well. It took eight years of hard labor and a good share of failure for John and Molly Chester to create what is now Apricot Lane Farms, an oasis 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles in Moorpark, California. When they got to the 200 acre plot, the soil was dead, but, now through soil development and restoration, the Chesters grow over 100 types of vegetables, 75 types of fruit, from avocado to citrus, and raise animals including cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, guinea hens and a pig named Emma. The documentary opens in select theaters Friday.
CNN TO MAKE DOCUMENTARY ON CIVIL RIGHTS ICON JOHN LEWIS
NEW YORK (AP) — CNN Films is developing a documentary on civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Robert Lewis. The network announced Wednesday that “Gideon’s Army” director Dawn Porter is helming the project. She began shooting the 79-year-old Lewis last year ahead of the midterm elections. The film will be primarily a cinema verite documentary following Lewis from the election through the congressional battles of 2019. In a statement, Porter said the need has never been greater for “the type of moral and compassionate leadership that he embodies.” Recent CNN Films releases include “RBG,” ″Three Identical Strangers” and “Apollo 11,” all of which received a theatrical release before appearing on the network.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2