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Entertainment News

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms,' a film following a young Israeli man who uproots himself to France and tries to immerse himself in his new country, has won the Berlin International Film Festival's top Golden Bear award. The film was chosen Saturday from a field of 16 movies competing at the first of the year's major European film festivals. Wang Jingchun was named best actor for his role in Wang Xiaoshuai's 'So Long, My Son,' a Chinese family saga. Best actress went to Yong Mei for her part in the same film. The best director prize went to Germany's Angela Schanelec for 'I Was at Home, But.
  • London Fashion Week is picking up pace with Alexa Chung, Jasper Conran and other designers offering catwalk shows Saturday, to be followed by the House of Holland and Simone Rocha. The spectacle is bringing much needed color and verve as gray London shakes off its winter blues amid the first hints of warmer weather. MONASTIC CHIC AT JASPER CONRAN Who knew monks' garbs could be so fashionable? High necks, long sleeves, dropped waistlines, skirts that brush the calf or ankle: Veteran designer Jasper Conran took inspiration from 'monastic' shapes with a new collection of utilitarian, sleek tunics and dresses that quietly exuded sophistication rather than screamed glamour. Conran, a founding father of London Fashion Week, dialed down his signature flair for color for the upcoming autumn and winter season, opting instead for a mostly severe palette of earthy browns, rust, mustard and indigo. The designer focused on dresses that rival the comfort of sportswear. Some outfits — like several brown-all-over sweater dresses — bring to mind something a friar might wear. But Conran always kept things modern with a thigh-high side slit here, a slashed neckline there, a bright sporty piping or geometric color blocks. Conran ditched the covered-up look for the show's final section, a collection of architectural column gowns. The colors are still understated here, but bare shoulders and sheer organza panels brought out the drama. ___ ALEXA CHUNG SHOWS QUIRKY CLASSICS Model and TV presenter Alexa Chung has a loyal fan base and her many admirers flocked to Saturday's show in London's redeveloped King's Cross neighborhood. They weren't disappointed as Chung offered a new collection featuring her quirky, feminine take on classic designs. For her second London Fashion Week show, called 'Off the Grid,' the designer announced she had lost all interest in 'prettiness' and was imagining a 'gaggle of women' who have retreated to California's Big Sur coastal wilderness to regroup. There's an independence to the collection, even as some of the models wear long coats with matching head scarves that are evocative of the American prairie. Many of the deceptively simple dresses emphasize the shoulders, giving the women an outline of physical strength, and much of the outerwear is masculine in style, particularly a forest green suit. Chung showed an easy, eclectic touch in a collection that included long black coats, several sexy gold dresses, and a few beautiful green midi dresses, including one that she wore to the show.
  • Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, who played Adolf Hitler cooped up in his Berlin bunker in 'Downfall' and an angel in Wim Wenders' 'Wings of Desire,' has died. He was 77. German news agency dpa reported that Ganz's management said Saturday he died in Zurich. Ganz, a prominent figure in the German-language theater world, shifted into movies in the 1970s, appearing in Werner Herzog's 'Nosferatu' and Wenders' 'The American Friend' among others. In one of his more recent appearances, he starred as Sigmund Freund in 'The Tobacconist,' released last year. Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller said Ganz was 'one of the greats' of the screen and stage. He said that 'the death of Bruno Ganz is a great loss for the German-speaking theater and film world.
  • Kofi Burbridge, the longtime keyboardist and flautist for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, died Friday. He was 57. >> Read more trending news  The multi-instrumentalist, who moved to Atlanta in 1987 to join the band Knee-Deep, was hospitalized last month after a setback stemming from his 2017 emergency heart surgery in Atlanta. In January, the band alerted fans about Burbridge’s condition and his inability to join them on their current tour, which played Washington D.C., on Friday with fill-in keyboardist Gabe Dixon. The news of Burbidge’s passing was shared early Saturday by former bandmate Yonrico Scott; the cause and location of death has not been announced. In an April 2018 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Derek Trucks spoke excitedly about how well Burbridge had recovered from his 2017 surgery. >> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2019 “Kofi is full force. It reminds me of ‘Lord of the Rings’ when Gandalf goes down and comes back as the white wizard -- he’s got a few extra layers of magic! His musicianship has always been amazing, but listening back to the studio (recordings) the last few days, he crossed over there for a minute!,” Trucks said in a preview of the band’s performance – with Burbridge – at SweetWater 420 Festival.  Burbridge and his brother Oteil, a familiar presence on bass in the Allman Brothers Band and Dead & Company, met Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit in Atlanta in the late-1980s. Kofi joined Oteil in the band after Hampton departed in 1994; Kofi Burbridge joined the Derek Trucks Band in 1999 and remained with Trucks when he formed TTD in 2010 with wife Susan Tedeschi. On Friday, TTD’s new album, “Signs,” was released -- featuring keyboards and flute from Burbridge. 
  • PGA Tour pro Matt Kuchar, criticized by golf fans for not paying his fill-in caddie an industry-standard 10 percent after winning a tournament in November, apologized Friday and said he wanted to make amends, Golf.com reported. >> Read more trending news  After play was suspended in the second round at the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club, Kuchar said in an official statement Friday that his earlier comments in a Golf.com interview were “out of touch” and “insensitive.” Kuchar apologized and said he plans to immediately resolve his issue with the caddie, ESPN reported. Earlier this week, Kuchar defended the $5,000 he paid David Giral Ortiz after winning $1,296,000 at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico. After Kuchar won the event, Ortiz had requested $50,000, ESPN reported. By industry standards, Ortiz could have expected to be paid approximately $130,000. In an interview with Golf.com on Wednesday, Kuchar, 40, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, said he thought “Someone got in (Ortiz’s) ear.” “I was very clear and very upfront on Tuesday (of the tournament week in Mexico),” Kuchar told the website. “And he said, ‘OK.’ He had the ability, with bonuses, to make up to $4,000.” Kuchar confirmed reports he told Ortiz he would pay him $1,000 if he missed the cut, $2,000 if he made the cut, $3,000 if he had a top-20 finish and $4,000 if he finished in the top 10, ESPN reported.  “The extra $1,000 was, ‘Thank you — it was a great week.’ Those were the terms. He was in agreement with those terms,” Kuchar told Golf.com. “That’s where I struggle. I don’t know what happened. Someone must have said, ‘You need much more.’” Kuchar struck a much more conciliatory tone in his Friday statement. “I plan to call David tonight, something that is long overdue, to apologize for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested,” Kuchar said. “My entire Tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity,” he continued. “In this situation, I have not lived up to those values or the expectations I’ve set for myself.” Ortiz, 40, is a regular caddie at the Mayakoba Resort near Cancun, ESPN reported. 'Matt is a good person and a great player,'' Ortiz told Golf.com through a translator. 'He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished.''
  • Chicago police released without charges two Nigerian brothers arrested on suspicion of assaulting 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett and said they have new evidence to investigate as a result of questioning them. 'The individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,' Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a brief statement late Friday. He gave no details of the new evidence. Smollett, who is black and gay, has said two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and 'This is MAGA country!' beat him and looped a rope around his neck early on Jan. 29 before running away. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him. Smollett, 36, said he was out getting food at a Subway sandwich shop in downtown Chicago when the attack happened. A spokeswoman for Smollett said she had no comment on the release of the two men Friday. The two men, identified only as Nigerian brothers, were picked up at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Wednesday on their return from Nigeria after police learned at least one worked on 'Empire,' Guglielmi said. He said he did not know what the man's job was. Guglielmi also said police searched the Chicago apartment where the men lived. But he said he had no information on what was found. Police have said they found no surveillance video of an attack but continue to look. Investigators also said they were contacting stores in the hope of finding out who bought the rope that was around Smollett's neck. But police earlier this week said there was 'no evidence to say that this is a hoax' and that Smollett 'continues to be treated by police as a victim, not a suspect.' In an interview with ABC News, the singer and actor said he didn't remove the rope from around his neck before police arrived 'because I wanted them to see.' Smollett also said he initially refused to give police his cellphone because the device contained private content and phone numbers. He later gave detectives heavily redacted phone records that police have said are insufficient for an investigation. ___ See AP's complete coverage of the Jussie Smollett case: https://www.apnews.com/JussieSmollett
  • Chicago police are now considering two men being questioned in the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett suspects in his attack.  The men are in custody and have been arrested but they have not yet been charged with a crime, police spokesman Anthony Guglielimi said Friday, The Associated Press reported.  They have been identified as two Nigerian brothers. Guglielimi said one of them had appeared as an extra on the show.  UPDATE: Chicago police said they have released two Nigerian brothers who had been arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of assaulting “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, saying that detectives have additional investigative work to complete. The men were picked up by police Wednesday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and their apartment was searched Thursday. They were questioned Friday but police were obliged to release them if they had not been charged within 48 hours. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted: “Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charges.” Original report:  Chicago police denied reports that Jussie Smollett staged his own attack because he is being written off the show “Empire.”  >> Read more trending news  Two Chicago TV stations, citing anonymous sources, are reporting that Smollett lied to police about the Jan. 29 attack and that he helped plan it with two others who were extras on the show. “We have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. Investigators have confirmed they are interviewing two “persons of interest” in the attack. The two men “are not considered suspects at this time,” but may have been in the area where the attack occurred, according to Guglielmi. Guglielmi also said police won’t release any details about the case, including a timeline of events during the attack or the identities of those being questioned. Police reportedly raided the home of the two “persons of interest” Wednesday night, according to WBBM-TV, removing bleach, shoes, electronics, and other items.  The station is also reporting the two men have appeared as extras on “Empire,” meaning Smollett may have known them. Smollett told police he was attacked around 2 a.m. Jan. 29 in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs. He said they attacked him and wrapped a noose around his neck. He was hospitalized briefly for treatment of his injures. >> Related: 'I will only stand for love': 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett performs in California after attack It’s taken police weeks to find the people they believe were in a surveillance video taken the morning of the attack. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Bowing to a backlash that had threatened to engulf an already blunder-plagued Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday reversed its decision to present four awards during the commercial breaks of this year's Oscar broadcast. All 24 categories will be shown live, after all, at the 91st Academy Awards on February 24, the academy announced in a statement. On Monday, the academy had said that the winning speeches for cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling and live-action short would be aired in a shortened, taped segment during the broadcast. 'Nine days until the showtime, still tweaking the script' the Academy tweeted Friday. The academy did not address whether the change meant extending the show's length, which organizers have said would be reduced to three hours. The academy's move to strike awards from the live broadcast was fiercely contested by many of this year's Oscar nominees, including 'Roma' director Alfonso Cuaron and 'BlacKkKlansman' filmmaker Spike Lee. The American Society of Cinematographers on Wednesday issued an open-letter to the academy, signed by Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt and others, calling the plans an insult to the cinematic arts. 'When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the academy's promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form,' the letter read. The academy on Wednesday defended the decision and blamed 'a chain of misinformation' on the backlash. Following record-low ratings to last year's broadcast, the academy has made a swifter, three-hour telecast a priority. ABC, which airs the Oscars, is planning to premiere a sneak-peak of a new drama series after the Oscar telecast, which regularly ranks as the most-watched non-NFL broadcast of the year. This is just the latest flip-flop by the academy in its attempts to tweak the Oscars. The academy's headaches began after it last summer trotted out the induction of a 'popular film Oscar.' The plan sparked such outrage (Rob Lowe pronounced the film industry dead, 'survived by sequels, tent-poles and vertical integration') that the new award was scuttled within a month. Kevin Hart was announced as this year's Oscar host only to withdraw days later when many took issue with his old homophobic tweets and the comedian initially 'chose to pass on the apology.' Hart finally apologized as he resigned, leaving the Oscars host-less for only the fifth time in its 91-year history. And after first planning to limit the best song nominee performances, the academy confirmed that all songs will indeed be performed. ___ AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
  • It was a busy day for Atlanta rapper 21 Savage Friday, starting with a pre-taped appearance on Good Morning America, followed by being booked into a South Georgia jail on a felony theft by deception warrant. He was later released, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. The Friday legal matter is connected to a concert booking from 2016 for which a promoter paid the musician, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, $17,000, TMZ reported. 21 Savage kept the money but did not perform, so the promoter filed paperwork to get a warrant issued for his arrest, according to TMZ’s report. “The warrant is from some years ago, and he went through the process and addressed the issue,” Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes told the Coastal Courier newspaper in Hinesville. A call to Sikes from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has not been returned. 21 Savage’s attorneys are calling the matter a “civil contract dispute.” “This is really a civil contract dispute. We are optimistic that it will be resolved to the satisfaction of all of the parties and dismissed,” said Abbi Taylor, one of the musician’s attorneys. More: Atlanta rapper 21 Savage: Immigration enforcement system ‘broken’ In an interview taped earlier this week and aired Friday morning on Good Morning America, the rapper spoke out against the nation’s immigration enforcement, calling it “broken” and adding he fears he could be deported. The Grammy-nominated musician was freed from the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla Wednesday after a federal immigration judge in Atlanta approved his release on a $100,000 bond. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested him Feb. 3, saying he’s a citizen of the United Kingdom who overstayed his visa. “I don’t think the policy is broken. I feel like the way they enforce the policy is broken,” he said in his first interview since winning his freedom, adding: “I have been here 20 years — 19 years. This is all I know, you know what I am saying? I don’t feel like you should be arrested and put in a place where a murderer would be for just being in the country for too long.”
  • Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview posted Friday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein broached the idea of using the Constitution to oust President Donald Trump, saying the Justice Department official 'discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort.' McCabe, in his interview with '60 Minutes,' said Rosenstein was discussing 'counting votes or possible votes' to invoke the Constitution's 25th Amendment, which allows Cabinet members to seek the removal of a president if they conclude that he or she is mentally unfit. Though McCabe wouldn't confirm that Rosenstein was plotting to get rid of Trump, he said: 'What I can say is the deputy attorney general was definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time.' The Justice Department issued a statement Thursday that did not deny the conversation but that said Rosenstein believes 'there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was (he) in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment.' CBS News posted the excerpt of its interview after ex-FBI official McCabe issued a statement saying comments of his on the subject had 'been taken out of context and misrepresented.' The interview will air Sunday on '60 Minutes.' CBS released a story Thursday about its interview in which correspondent Scott Pelley said McCabe had confirmed a discussion about the Constitution's 25th Amendment. But the transcript of that section of the interview was not released until Friday, after McCabe spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz sought to downplay McCabe's involvement in any discussions about a potential removal of the president. 'Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented,' the statement said. 'To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions.' The interview was done ahead of the release next week of McCabe's book about his time in the FBI, 'The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.

News

  • A passenger attempted to breach security at a TSA checkpoint at Orlando International Airport, an airport spokesperson said. >> Read more trending news  UPDATE 1:50 p.m. EST: Orlando police said a subject has been arrested after an attempted security breach at Orlando International Airport on Saturday.  The airport said security screening and shuttle services have resumed. UPDATE 1:40 p.m. EST: WFTV reporter Michael Lopardi sees long line for gates 1-59 stretches all the way down the corridor past the food court. Original report: A passenger attempted to breach security at a TSA checkpoint at Orlando International Airport, an airport spokesperson said. The incident caused a security scare at around noon Saturday, WFTV-TV reported. This attempted breach comes two weeks after a TSA worker died after jumping from a balcony inside the airport. Airport officials said the incident occurred at the checkpoint for gates 1-59. Law enforcement sources said the suspect was taken down with a stun gun. Officials said the screening process was paused and will resume. This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information comes in.
  • A well-known Memphis rapper is facing drug, gun and theft charges in Shelby County, Tennessee. >> Read more trending news  Shelby County Sheriff's Office Deputies say James Baker, 22, better known as BlocBoy JB, is facing multiple charges. The rapper is wanted for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, a convicted felon in possession of a handgun\ and theft of property, according to SCSO. BlocBoy JB is widely known for his hit song with Drake 'Look Alive.' He's expected to perform in Memphis in May.
  • A Springfield man is behind bars after he allegedly tried to rob a Hardee’s on Valentine’s Day. >> Read more trending news  Court records say 35-year-old Eric Dean walked into the restaurant just after 8 p.m. with a green and black bandanna covering on his face and threatened an employee with a butcher knife. When the employee declined to give him any money, Dean said he had a gun and would shoot employees if they didn’t do what he wanted, court records state. A different employee chased Dean out of the restaurant, and he fled the scene on his bike. Jamie Skaggs, an employee at Hardee’s said she wasn’t working at the the time of the incident, but was concerned about her co-workers who were. She said the employee who was threatened with the knife was a little shaken up, but seemed to be doing alright. “I wanted to make sure they were OK,” she said. “I’m glad he didn’t get anything.” She said she was surprised when her manager confirmed the news she had seen on Facebook, but she wasn’t surprised when she learned who the suspect was. She said she’s familiar with the man. “I was friends with him for years a while back,” Skaggs said. Records say Springfield police officers caught up with Dean in the 2200 block of Clifton Avenue shortly after the incident. Court records say Dean eventually confessed to the crime. “He advised he has been going through some tough times right now financially and was only trying to get enough money to pay his electric bill. He also said that his current girlfriend was pressuring him to come up with money soon or she was going to leave him,” an affidavit says. Officers found the knife that Dean allegedly used in the robbery in a nearby driveway, with a black backpack that was used to conceal the knife. Dean was jailed and appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on charges of aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence. Dean told visiting judge Thomas Hanna that he lost his job within the last week. Not guilty pleas were entered for him and his bond was set at $75,000.
  • On the same day Colin Kaepernick and the NFL agreed to end Kaepernick's collusion grievance against the league, a Hall of Famer suggested the former 49ers quarterback could be Tom Brady's replacement when Brady's time comes to an end. >> Read more trending news  Former wide receiver Cris Carter brought up the topic on “First Things First” on Friday morning, saying the Patriots may not need to look at the quarterback class in the 2019 NFL Draft as they begin to think about a future without Brady under center. 'I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots looked at (Kaepernick),' Carter said. 'The Krafts are very, very fond of Colin Kaepernick. If someone will do it, it will be the people in New England.' In the past, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has shown his support for Kaepernick, telling the New York Times that he would 'very much like to see him in the league.' Kaepernick threw 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in five seasons as a starter, and also ran for 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns to go with one Super Bowl appearance to his name.
  • A massive drug operation with ties to a Mexican drug cartel resulted in the arrest of six immigrants in the country illegally. >> Read more trending news  Six men are behind bars, accused of running an elaborate drug trafficking operation in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties. The man the suspects are tied to is the main rival of El Chapo's drug cartel. The operation was working under the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. The human rights group Justice in Mexico reported last year that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel started gaining power after El Chapo's arrest. Federal officials said more than 1,800 grams of meth were delivered from a luxury home in Statesville in August and October of 2018. The person who lived there, Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, is an alleged high-level cartel member. Rangel-Gutierrez’s parents lived in a large home in Troutman, according to the indictment. Agents said a credible informant told the Troutman Police Department in 2014 that large amounts of cocaine were being stored at the address. Court documents indicated that Rangel-Gutierrez and the five other suspects were in the country illegally. Agents said Rangel-Gutierrez transported 30 kilograms of cocaine and an unspecified large quantity of methamphetamine in a one-month period from Texas to Georgia and North Carolina. An apartment in Hidden Valley, a home in Derita and another home in east Charlotte are tied to the investigation, according to court documents. Misty Joyner lives near the home in east Charlotte where agents said Rangel-Gutierrez stored drug proceeds while he and another suspect went to a nightclub. She can't believe her neighbors are potentially involved “Just devastating,” Joyner said. “They were good people.” Four of the suspects were in federal court uptown Thursday. They waived their preliminary hearings. Two other suspects were arrested in Florence, South Carolina and Cleveland. El Chapo was convicted of drug crimes earlier this week and will spend the rest of his life in maximum security prison. His cartel was once the biggest supplier of drugs to the U.S. Arrested: Rodolfo Martinez Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez Raul Rangel- Gutierrez Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez Francisco Garcia-Martinez Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez
  • The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two women, both U.S. citizens, who say a border patrol agent unlawfully detained them outside a Montana convenience store because he heard them speaking Spanish. >> Read more trending news  Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez were at the convenience store when the border agent, identified as Paul O’Neal, approached them, according to the federal lawsuit filed Thursday. O’Neal allegedly commented on Hernandez’s accent and then asked the women where they were born. Hernandez was born in California and Suda was born in Texas, the ACLU said. The women showed O’Neal their valid Montana driver’s licenses. At that point, the lawsuit said O’Neal detained the women in the convenience store’s parking lot. The women then began taking video of O’Neal on their cellphones. 'Ma'am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here,' O'Neill said in the video. The two were detained for about 40 minutes, according to the lawsuit. The women’s ACLU lawyers said O’Neal should have let them go as soon as they identified themselves as U.S. citizens. In detaining them, the lawsuit argues that O’Neal violated the women’s Fourth Amendment rights barring unreasonable search and seizures. The lawsuit also argues the women were racially profiled, a violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jason Givens declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said in an email to The New York Times, “lack of comment should not be construed as agreement or stipulation with any of the allegations.” In May, CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan told ABC News that speaking Spanish alone 'is not enough' to pull someone over or ask for ID. However, he said it's possible O'Neal 'very well could have been following procedure.' According to a statement from the ACLU, the experience was “humiliating and traumatizing” for the women. It said the women have been “shunned and harassed” by other town residents. “This unjustified and discriminatory seizure is part of a longstanding pattern of abuse by local CBP agents. It is illegal and must stop,” said Caitlin Borgmann, executive director of the ACLU of Montana. Suda and Hernandez are asking for an unspecified amount of money in compensation, punitive damages and a judge's order barring border officials from stopping or detaining anyone based on race, accent or language, according to the lawsuit.