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December 31, 2018

JUDGE DENIES KEVIN SPACEY’S REQUEST TO SKIP COURT APPEARANCE

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts judge has denied Kevin Spacey’s request to skip his appearance in court on accusations that he groped a young man. The decision by Nantucket District Court Judge Thomas Barrett on Monday means Spacey will have to attend his Jan. 7 arraignment. Spacey had argued he should be excused from appearing because his presence would “amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case.” He’s pleading not guilty. The 59-year-old Oscar-winning actor is accused of groping the 18-year-old man in a Nantucket restaurant in 2016. He is charged with felony indecent assault and battery. Spacey’s lawyer, Juliane Balliro, said in the documents that his presence in court would only “heighten prejudicial media interest in the case” and increase the risk of contaminating the jury pool.

THRONGS TO PACK TIMES SQUARE FOR MILD, RAINY NEW YEAR’S EVE

NEW YORK (AP) — Sting, Christina Aguilera and revelers from around the world are set to welcome 2019 in New York City’s Times Square. Spectators will start assembling soon for the made-for-TV extravaganza. The celebration takes place under tight security, with partygoers checked for weapons and herded into pens to await the stroke of midnight. Last year’s event was one of the coldest on record. Forecasters say this year’s party will take place amid mild temperatures, but possibly rain. Umbrellas are banned for security reasons. Rain or shine, performers will try to light up the crowd. Bastille and New Kids On The Block will perform medleys of their songs on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” Bebe Rexha will perform John Lennon’s “Imagine” just before the midnight ball drop.

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045533-a-90:48-(New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill, in interview)-“times a year”-Throngs to pack Times Square for mild, rainy New Year’s Eve (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045533 (12/31/18)££ 90:48 “times a year”

045535-a-72:96-(New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill, in interview)-“don’t bring drones”-Throngs to pack Times Square for mild, rainy New Year’s Eve (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045535 (12/31/18)££ 72:96 “don’t bring drones”

045534-a-179:28-(New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill, in interview)-“is important also”-Throngs to pack Times Square for mild, rainy New Year’s Eve (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045534 (12/31/18)££ 179:28 “is important also”

045536-a-171:36-(New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill, in interview)-“cop dial 911”-Throngs to pack Times Square for mild, rainy New Year’s Eve (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045536 (12/31/18)££ 171:36 “cop dial 911”

SUPERSTARS AND FIREWORKS WILL TAKE LAS VEGAS INTO 2019

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tens of thousands of people are expected to ring in the New Year across Las Vegas. They’ll watch fireworks launched from the top of some of the city’s casino-resorts, attend superstar performances and participate in a celebratory midnight toast. Officials expect more than 300,000 people to gather on the Las Vegas Strip for a celebration anchored by an 8-minute firework show. Thousands more will convene in the area’s downtown entertainment district for live music. Acts including Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Gwen Stefani will keep celebrants entertained at venues around Sin City. Federal agents and local police officers will be out in force, including inside most major hotels on the Strip.

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045584-w-316:80-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP entertainment correspondent, with music)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-Superstars and fireworks will take Las Vegas into 2019 (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045584 (12/31/18)££ 316:80 “I’m Margie Szaroleta”

CHAKA KHAN SAYS SHE WENT TO REHAB AFTER PRINCE’S DEATH

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Chaka Khan acknowledges that Prince’s death in 2016 made her take stock of her own life. Khan says she entered rehab to deal with an addiction to prescription drugs about six months after he died. Khan says sometimes “you’ve got to rethink yourself.” She says if she was a flower, she’d be a perennial, because she goes dormant and always comes back. Khan will be the grand marshal of tomorrow’s Rose Parade.

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045428-w-309:60-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP music correspondent, with Chaka Khan, singer)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-After a decade of dormancy, Chaka Khan blooms again (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045428 (12/31/18)££ 309:60 “I’m Margie Szaroleta”

045429-a-207:84-(Chaka Khan, singer)-“what I thought”-After a decade of dormancy, Chaka Khan blooms again (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045429 (12/31/18)££ 207:84 “what I thought”

045432-a-162:24-(Chaka Khan, singer)-“trying to improve”-After a decade of dormancy, Chaka Khan blooms again (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045432 (12/31/18)££ 162:24 “trying to improve”

045431-a-143:04-(Chaka Khan, singer)-“to rethink yourself”-After a decade of dormancy, Chaka Khan blooms again (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045431 (12/31/18)££ 143:04 “to rethink yourself”

045430-a-122:64-(Chaka Khan, singer)-“outdone every cat (laughs)”-After a decade of dormancy, Chaka Khan blooms again (31 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045430 (12/31/18)££ 122:64 “outdone every cat (laughs)”

MASTER P TO COVER FUNERAL COSTS FOR BOY, 13, KILLED IN CRASH

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Rapper and businessman Master P will pay for the funeral of a 13-year-old Kentucky boy killed in a car crash after a police chase. News outlets report Ki’Anthony Tyus was a passenger in a car reported stolen that crashed into a utility pole Dec. 22, after a Louisville Metro police pursuit. Ki’Anthony’s family says they don’t know why he was in the car. Spokesman Dwight Mitchell says police are probing whether the chase violated the department’s strict pursuit policy. Ki’Anthony was an anti-violence activist, becoming the face of Louisville’s “Hood 2 Hood” movement after being hit by a stray bullet while playing basketball in 2015. Percy Miller, known as Master P, met Ki’Anthony after that shooting and stepped in to cover the costs of Thursday’s funeral for his “lil soldier.”

MICHAEL PALIN, TWIGGY REACT TO QUEEN’S LIST HONORS

LONDON (AP) — Michael Palin of Monty Python says it won’t sink in that he is being knighted until he sees the envelopes addressed to Sir Michael Palin. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth named Palin to her list of those getting honors in the coming year. Model Twiggy will be named a dame, the female equivalent of a knight. Twiggy says it’s “wonderful” but it makes her giggle. She says the hardest part was keeping it a secret.

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%@AP Links

045329-v-369:12-(Zerya Shakely (ZEHR’-yuh SHAK’-eh-lee), AP correspondent)-“Zerya Shakely, London”-UK honors cave rescue divers, Twiggy, Monty Python’s Palin (29 Dec 2018)

<<CUT *045329 (12/29/18)££ 369:12 “Zerya Shakely, London”

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