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    One says Harvey Weinstein raped her after she let her guard down by telling herself he was only a “dirty old man.” The other claims he offered movie roles to her in exchange for joining in a threesome with him. The one-time aspiring actresses, Tarale Wulff and Dawn Dunning, are expected to describe those experiences from the 2000s with the disgraced movie mogul when they take the witness stand Wednesday at a New York City rape trial seen as a milestone for the #MeToo movement. Prosecutors are using the two so-called “Molineux” witnesses to bolster their case against Weinstein. The judge has allowed them to testify about “prior bad acts” that didn’t result in criminal charges because of the statute of limitations and other legal issues. Weinstein, 67, is charged with forcing oral sex on then-”Project Runway” production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping another aspiring actress in 2013, who could testify later this week. He’s insisted any sexual encounters were consensual and zeroed in on his accusers' continued contact with him after the alleged assaults. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, unless they agree to be named or gone public with their stories as Haleyi, Wulff, Dunning and “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra have done. Wulff met Weinstein in 2005 while working as a cocktail waitress at a members-only lounge at Cipriani’s, one of his favorite Manhattan haunts. Even after he cornered her in a hallway and started masterbating, she convinced herself Weinstein “was simply a dirty old man” and decided to take up his offer to read for potential acting roles, prosecutor Meghan Hast said in her opening statement. After Wulff read, Hast said, a driver took her to Weinstein’s apartment. There, the much bigger and heavier Weinstein pushed her onto a bed and raped her, the prosecutor said. Dunning alleges Weinstein fondled her genitals during a business meeting in his hotel suite in 2004 and on another occasion offered her three small movie roles, but only if she had three-way sex with he and his assistant. “Dawn tried to laugh it off, make a joke of it, but the defendant got angry,” Hast said. “‘This is how the industry works,’ he screamed at her. ‘How do you think other actresses got ahead?’” Hast said Dunning then fled. Jurors so far have heard a tearful Haleyi say how she tried to fight off Weinstein before he sexually assaulted her. Last week, Sciorra testified that Weinstein overpowered and raped her after barging into her apartment in the mid-1990s. On Tuesday, it was Elizabeth Entin, Haleyi's former roommate, who took stand to corroborate Haleyi's testimony. Before the alleged attack in Weinstein’s Soho apartment, Entin said, the friends viewed Weinstein as a “pathetic old man” for pursuing Haleyi, and were amused when her pet Chihuahua, Peanut, once chased him around their own apartment in the East Village. When a reporter asked Weinstein as he left the courtroom if he was afraid of Chihuahuas, he smiled and responded: “Do I look like I'm afraid of Chihuahuas?”
  • Bob Shane, the last surviving original member of the popular folk group the Kingston Trio and the lead singer on its million-selling ballad “Tom Dooley” and many other hits, has died. Shane died Sunday at a hospice in Phoenix, Arizona at age 85. Mike Marvin, a cousin and surrogate son of fellow Kingston Trio founder Nick Reynolds confirmed the death but did not immediately know the cause of death. Shane, Reynolds and Dave Guard were performers in the San Francisco club circuit in the 1950s and broke through nationally in 1958 with their eponymous debut album, which featured “Tom Dooley,” an old standard inspired by a Confederate veteran's conviction for murder. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts, won a Grammy for best country and western song (no folk category existed) and helped launch the so-called folk revival, with other artists including Joan Baez; Peter, Paul and Mary; and, eventually, Bob Dylan. Clean cut and amiable, they were criticized by some folk artists for being too slick and for avoiding political statements. But the Kingston Trio was one of the country's top acts over the next few years. Five Kingston Trio albums topped the Billboard charts, with favorite songs including “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” “500 Miles,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” later recorded by Frank Sinatra, and “Sloop John B,” later a Beach Boys hit. Their success continued even after Guard left in 1961, and was replaced by John Stewart. But by the mid-1960s, the Beatles had arrived, Dylan was playing rock music and the folk market was in decline. The Trio broke up in 1967, although Shane continued to tour and record with various incarnations of the group over the following decades. He retired from performing in 2004 after suffering a heart attack. Guard, whom Shane had known since both were attending high school in Shane's native Hawaii, died in 1991. Reynolds and Stewart, who went on to write the Monkees' “Daydream Believer” and other hits, died in 2008. The Kingston Trio received an honorary Grammy in 2011. “Their music was a balm to the growing angst of a generation that was soon to turn our country and our world upside down,” Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary wrote of them in 2014. “They tossed off renditions of song gems that felt effortless yet genuine, cool yet caring, sympathetic yet ‘no big ting.’” Shane was married twice, most recently to Bobbi Childress, and had five children.
  • A Washington Post reporter who had been placed on administrative leave after she tweeted a link to a story about a 2003 rape allegation against Kobe Bryant has been cleared to return to work, the paper said Tuesday. In a statement, the Post said that an internal review had determined that political reporter Felicia Sonmez was “not in clear and direct violation of our social media policy,” but that the tweets were “ill-timed.” Sonmez's tweet came in the hours after Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. “We consistently urge restraint, which is particularly important when there are tragic deaths. We regret having spoken publicly about a personnel matter,” the statement signed by managing editor Tracy Grant said. The paper had come under some intense internal criticism for having taken action against Sonmez. Hundreds of Post staffers had signed a letter from the Washington Post Newspaper Guild on Monday expressing “alarm and dismay” over the move and urging executive editor Marty Baron and managing editor Tracy Grant to ensure Sonmez's safety. The reporter's tweet had come amid widespread public mourning over the shocking deaths of Bryant and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and drew considerable backlash on social media. The Post reported that Sonmez received threats of death and rape and had to move to a hotel after her home address was published online. Sonmez, who deleted the original tweet at the request of editors, received an email from Baron on Sunday saying: “A real lack of judgment to tweet this. Please stop. You’re hurting this institution by doing this.” Sonmez shared the email with an Associated Press reporter. A spokeswoman for the newspaper, Kristine Coratti Kelly, emailed Tuesday's statement to The AP but said the paper would not be commenting further. Sonmez did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment. In their petition Monday, the Guild members noted that Sonmez had “received an onslaught of violent messages” and “has gotten insufficient guidance from the Post on how to protect herself.” “We understand the hours after Bryant’s death Sunday were a fraught time to share reporting about past accusations of sexual assault,” Guild members wrote. “The loss of such a beloved figure, and of so many other lives, is a tragedy. But we believe it is our responsibility as a news organization to tell the public the whole truth as we know it — about figures and institutions both popular and unpopular, at moments timely and untimely.” Sonmez's initial tweet had linked to a 2016 Daily Beast story titled “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession.” Bryant was accused in 2003 of raping a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He said the two had consensual sex, and prosecutors later dropped the sexual assault charge at the request of the accuser. The woman filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court.
  • In his former life as a Hollywood big shot, Harvey Weinstein knew the importance of a good supporting role. In his New York City trial, it’s the prosecution’s supporting witnesses who could be a big factor in whether he goes to prison. While Weinstein is charged in sexual attacks on two women, Manhattan prosecutors are having four more testify about alleged misconduct as part of an effort to portray him as a serial offender. The same strategy helped convict comedian Bill Cosby at his Pennsylvania molestation retrial in 2018. There, prosecutors brought in five additional accusers, even though Cosby was only charged with sexually assaulting one woman. “The problem becomes: How is it fair to Weinstein to have the prosecution bring in now six women that are going to testify about these incidents, many of which are beyond the statute of limitations?' said Frank Perrone, a lawyer and former prosecutor who is not involved in the case. Legal experts said that while New York law greatly limits how much a jury can hear about a defendant’s past, uncharged misbehavior, there are circumstances where it is allowed. The testimony can’t be used to suggest that Weinstein had a propensity to engage in sex crimes, but can be used to explore things like motive, opportunity, intent and a common scheme or plan. “It’s very powerful evidence, no doubt about it. That’s why prosecutors want it,” said Matthew Galluzzo, a defense lawyer and former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor who's not involved in Weinstein's case. Weinstein, 67, is charged with sexually assaulting Mimi Haleyi, a former “Project Runway' production assistant, at his Manhattan apartment in 2006. She testified Monday. He's also accused of raping another woman, an aspiring actress, at a hotel in the city in 2013. She'll testify later in the trial. Weinstein says any sexual encounters were consensual, and his lawyers have sought to sow doubts about his accusers' credibility. Jurors last week also heard emotional testimony from actress Annabella Sciorra, who said Weinstein raped her more than 25 years ago. The state's statue of limitations bars a rape prosecution, but Sciorra’s allegations have been incorporated into formal charges that the two later alleged attacks were part of a pattern of predatory behavior. Additionally, prosecutors are set to call three more women to the stand in coming days to testify about alleged encounters with Weinstein. All three were aspiring actresses. All were in their early 20s when they say they were assaulted. All say they had looked to Weinstein for career development, not romance. Tarale Wulff alleges Weinstein raped her at his SoHo apartment in 2005 after luring her there with a ruse of reading a movie script. Dawn Dunning alleges Weinstein groped her at a business meeting in 2004 and said he'd give her movie roles if she agreed to three-way sex. A third woman, an aspiring actress from Pennsylvania, alleges Weinstein masturbated in front of her and groped her breast in a Beverly Hills hotel room in February 2013. Her allegation is part of a criminal case filed against Weinstein in California on Jan. 6, just as jury selection was starting in his New York trial. The others haven't been the subject of charges because they are outside the statute of limitations in effect at the time. Weinstein lawyer Damon Cheronis said the extra witnesses are a distraction. He told jurors in an opening statement that prosecutors' strategy “is not going to work.” The Associated Press does not name victims of sexual assault in stories unless they consent to their stories being told publicly, as Dunning, Wulff, Haleyi and Sciorra have done. Rules vary by state on calling witnesses to testify about “prior bad acts” outside the actual charges. New York's rules, shaped by a landmark decision in a 1901 poisoning case, are among the more restrictive. In the case, People v. Molineux, the state's highest court reversed the conviction of a chemist accused of poisoning a rival with cyanide-laced seltzer because prosecutors had relied too heavily on evidence suggesting he previously poisoned someone else. Today, people testifying in New York about prior bad acts are known as Molineux witnesses. In the past, in many states, judges ruled to limit that kind of testimony over concerns it would prejudice the jury against the defendant, but now that's changed, said Brian McMonagle, who represented Cosby in his first trial in 2017, which ended with a jury deadlock after just one other accuser was allowed to testify. The judge overseeing Weinstein’s case, James Burke, ruled before trial that Wulff, Dunning and the third actress could all testify without unfairly damaging the defense. Even that could be noteworthy, said Paul DerOhannesian, an Albany defense lawyer and former sex crimes prosecutor. “This decision is testing the limits of New York principles, in terms of admitting prior acts of sexual contact between the defendant and another person,” said DerOhannesian, who is the author of a legal guide to sexual assault trials. Last summer, the state's appeals court reversed a man's child sex abuse conviction because it found that the other uncharged allegations prosecutors included in their case “did not bear a sufficient similarity.” In Weinstein's case, “the defense has a lot of arguments to make here should there be a conviction, and the question will be whether the courts are willing to change the law -- whether they will redefine where the border is,” DerOhannesian said. To Galluzzo, Weinstein's case raises questions about not only when it's fair to allow “prior bad act” witnesses, but to what extent. “How do you decide how many are permitted?” he asked. “Are we really applying legal analysis, or are we saying, ‘Well, we need to tip the scales a little bit?’” “I’m not sure how we’re drawing the line,” he said. ___ Tom Hays in New York and Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia contributed to this report. ___ On Twitter, follow Michael Sisak at twitter.com/mikesisak and Jennifer Peltz at twitter.com/jennpeltz ___ For more coverage visit: apnews.com/HarveyWeinstein
  • Now that football season is almost finished, the dominant nights in broadcast television are coming into focus. As illustrated in the Nielsen company's ratings for last week, that would be CBS' night of drama on Tuesday and Dick Wolf's trilogy of “Chicago” series Wednesday on NBC. Even though it has been on the air since 2003, CBS' “NCIS” continues a remarkable streak of popularity. With nearly 11.4 million viewers on the night it aired last Tuesday, it was the only television show aside from the Grammys to pass the 10 million mark last week, at least before delayed viewing is counted in. Paired with “FBI,” it makes for a strong one-two punch of action for CBS on Tuesdays. The newer “FBI: Most Wanted” has some distance to go before reaching that level. Wolf is a proven television hitmaker, and NBC does very well on Wednesdays with his three dramas that focus on a Chicago hospital, police department and fire department. All three finished among Nielsen's top 10 shows last week. The third season premiere of “Station 19”on ABC did slightly better than the series it spun off from, “Grey's Anatomy.” The Grammys reached nearly 18.7 million viewers on CBS Sunday, down about a million from each of the last two years. CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 7.2 million viewers. ABC eked out a second place showing, averaging 4 million viewers, while NBC had 3.9 million. Fox had 2.4 million, Univision had 1.5 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 690,000. News dominated the cable ratings last week with President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings. Fox News Channel averaged 3.32 million ratings in prime time, MSNBC had 1.96 million, ESPN had 1.22 million, TLC had 1.2 million and CNN had 1.18 million. ABC's “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 9.1 million viewers. NBC's “Nightly News” had 7.9 million viewers and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.9 million. For the week of Jan. 20-26, the top 20 shows, their networks and viewerships: 1. “Grammy Awards,” CBS, 18.69 million. 2. “NCIS,” CBS, 11.37 million. 3. “FBI,” CBS, 9.25 million. 4. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 8.44 million. 5. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 8.19 million. 6. “Grammy Awards Red Carpet,” CBS, 7.19 million. 7. “America's Got Talent Champions,” NBC, 7.05 million. 8. “Station 19,” ABC, 7.02 million. 9. 'Chicago PD, NBC, 6.92 million. 10. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 6.81 million. 11. “Grey's Anatomy,” ABC, 6.67 million. 12. “This Is Us,” NBC, 61 million. 13. “FBI: Most Wanted,” CBS, 6.6 million. 14. “Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 6.51 million. 15. “The Bachelor,” ABC, 6.29 million. 16. “Bull,” CBS, 6.05 million. 17. “911: Lone Star,” Fox, 5.95 million. 18. “America's Funniest Home Videos,” ABC, 5.86 million. 19. “All Rise,” CBS, 5.81 million. 20. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 5.6 million.
  • Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are officially single. Court records show that a Los Angeles judge on Tuesday finalized the divorce that ended the brief marriage of the 27-year-old American pop star and the 30-year-old Australian actor. The couple separated and Hemsworth filed for divorce in August, about eight months after he and Cyrus married. Hemsworth and Cyrus have no children, and neither sought spousal support. Documents cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. In a statement announcing their separation, they said they were choosing to focus on themselves and their careers and would remain 'dedicated parents to all of their animals they share.' The “Wrecking Ball” singer and the “Hunger Games” actor spent sporadic stints as a couple for nearly a decade before they married in December 2018. The day after Hemsworth filed for divorce, Cyrus denied on Twitter that her infidelity was the reason. “I can admit to a lot of things but I refuse to admit that my marriage ended because of cheating,” Cyrus said in one of a series of tweets. 'Liam and I have been together for a decade. I’ve said it before & it remains true, I love Liam and always will.
  • President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pompeo's battle with National Public Radio and tweeted out more media criticism, one target familiar and the other less so. Trump introduced Pompeo at an East Room announcement of the administration's Mideast peace plan, saying it was “very impressive” that he got a standing ovation from the White House workers and guests. “That reporter couldn't have done too good a job on you,” the president said. “I think you did a good job on her, actually.” NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly angered Pompeo with a short interview Friday, then he reportedly berated her afterward in his office. The State Department then notified NPR reporter Michele Kelemen on Monday that she would not be allowed on Pompeo's upcoming trip to Europe and Central Asia. John Lansing, NPR's president and chief executive officer, wrote to Pompeo on Tuesday, seeking an explanation for why Kelemen had been left off the trip. Without an answer by Wednesday, when the trip is scheduled to depart, NPR “will have no choice but to conclude that Ms. Kelemen was removed from the trip in retaliation for the content of NPR's reporting,' Lansing wrote. There was no immediate response from the State Department to requests for comment. Earlier Tuesday, the president tweeted an insult at CNN's Don Lemon, who received some criticism in conservative media for hosting a segment over the weekend where two of his guests made fun of the “rube demo” that backed Trump. Trump also tweeted criticism of his favorite network, Fox News Channel, for “trying to be ‘politically correct’” by having a Democratic senator discuss impeachment on the network. He also said Fox's Chris Wallace, who on Monday challenged a Fox contributor for not having her facts straight in a discussion about impeachment witnesses, shouldn't be on the network. “What the hell has happened to Fox News?” Trump tweeted. “Only I know!” ___ Associated Press correspondent Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.
  • Carnegie Hall's 2020-21 season will feature a festival titled, 'Voices of Hope: Artists in Times of Oppression,' which includes Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Andris Nelsons conducting a concert performance of Shostakovich's 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk' on April 14 starring his ex-wife, soprano Kristine Opolais. There will be 16 concerts at the hall as part of festival events throughout New York, Carnegie Hall said Tuesday. The festival starts March 12 with a concert headlined by singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens and focusing on 'Songs of Our Native Daughters.' Other artists during the festival include Mahos Herrera, Brooklyn Rider and Ute Lemper. 'Perspectives' series next season will feature Giddens, Jordi Savall and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The season opens Oct. 7 with music director Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in its first performance at Carnegie Hall since September 1990. The program includes Lang Lang playing Grieg's piano concerto. Other highlights are Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conducting the first Carnegie concerts of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 1992 (Oct. 23-24), Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna in their Carnegie debuts (Nov. 4), Kirill Petrenko leading the Berlin Philharmonic at Carnegie for the first time as chief conductor (Nov. 18-20), and Dudamel conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (Feb. 26-28).
  • Private jet service, a personal butler, or how about a meal with former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski to top off Super Bowl weekend? From legendary nightclubs to exclusive parties, no place caters to the rich and famous quite like glitzy Miami. The city’s most luxurious hotels, clubs and restaurants are offering over-the-top packages to entice big spenders looking for action outside the end zone. One package includes a 4-day cruise around the Caribbean on a private yacht after the game for $720,000. On Location Experiences' Sam Soni says their top Super Bowl package last year in Atlanta went for $17,500. This year's top-tier packages in Miami are $20,000 to $35,000 and include game tickets, a pre-game party and show by Darius Rucker and a chance to mingle with football legends like Dan Marino and Marcus Allen. “We’ve seen just unprecedented sales for that product,' Soni said. “It's really a three- or four-day event for most of our clients. In Miami having so many options for entertainment and the weather all certainly come into play.' Not all of those enjoying the perks will be paying out of pocket, because many of the high-end packages are purchased by corporations. But On Location says many customers also are wealthy fans who just want to be a part of the experience. But it's not all gitz and glamour in Miami. Promotions will likely focus on luxurious waterfront skylines and not the poorer neighborhoods of Allapattah, Liberty City and Overtown, where more than three-quarters of residents are low-income or low-to-middle income. Many fans there won't be able to afford even the lower-end tickets priced at $4,400. Thousands of fans will descend on Miami just for the nightlife and never set foot inside the stadium. “There’s just going to be so many parties. And it’s going to take over the city,' said David Grutman, the man behind some of South Beach's most exclusive clubs and restaurants including LIV, Story and Swan. “Miami on its own is always over the top, then you put the Super Bowl on top of it and it’s the perfect recipe for decadence and extravagance.' Tables at LIV nightclub are booking for $20,000 during Super Bowl weekend — up from their usual cost of $5,000. Grutman said his steakhouse has more than tripled its order for steaks to 1,000 for Super Bowl week, along with crates of caviar. Here are some of the blingiest packages for high-rollers: 1. Tables on the patio at Swan restaurant, which Grutman co-owns with singer Pharrell Williams, are going for a minimum of $10,000. 2. VIP tables to the MAXIM magazine party where The Chainsmokers will perform on a private island run around $20,000 unless you want to grab 11 of your closest friends and hitch a ride on a private helicopter for $65,000. 3. Packages at Shaquille O'Neal's Fun House are going for $30,000 to $100,000 with the top package including 20 tickets to the game, a chance to hang with Shaq, your own private security and 30 bottles of champagne and liquor to wash away any buyer's remorse. 4. Hanging with former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski at Gronk Beach will also set you back six figures. His $100,000 package includes 20 game seats and all the amenities including table and bottle service afterward, plus he'll stop by your table for a chat. 5. The swanky 1 Hotel South Beach is offering a $1.5 million package for 20 that includes airfare, game tickets, a private butler, lodging at 10 oceanfront homes, a private dinner and a personal guru. Their cheapest package will set you back $200,000 and includes two tickets on the 50 yard line, a stay at a one-bedroom oceanfront home and field access after the game. 6. Private aviation company NetJets and luxury yacht charter company Northrop & Johnson teamed up to deliver what may be the most indulgent package of all, coming in at a whopping $720,000. Two guests will be flown to Miami in a private jet and put up in a suite at the Ritz Carlton to rest up before game day. After the game, a private jet will whisk you away to the Caribbean where you'll spend four days sailing the tropical islands on a 236-foot, six-stateroom private yacht.___An earlier version of this report had an incorrect spelling of David Grutman's last name.
  • During a trip to Mexico to visit family, writer Myriam Gurba took “American Dirt,” a novel about immigration and cartel violence that was being touted as one of the biggest U.S. releases of 2020. The writer was of mostly white descent, and Gurba felt the book didn't ring true. “I was reading the book in Parque Revolución in Guadalajara. I'd look up and see real Mexico,” said Gurba, of Long Beach, California. “I'd look down back at the book and see fake Mexico.” Since before its publication, “American Dirt,” by Jeanine Cummins, garnered suspicion and criticism from many Latino writers and activists at the same time — and partly because — it was being heralded by many in the book community as a vital new work on the Southern border crisis. It was praised by novelist Don Winslow as a modern “Grapes of Wrath.' The novel has become a flashpoint in debates over who gets published, how reputations are formed, and who can tell which stories in an industry — from publishers and editors to booksellers and agents — that is predominantly white. Nicolas Kanellos, founder and publisher of Houston-based Arte Publico Press, the largest publisher of Hispanic literature in the U.S., said a lot of the anger stems from the exclusion of Latino writers by major publishers. “This has been going on for decades and these New York publishers don't get it,” said Kanellos. Cummins, author of three previous books, has faced criticism for previously identifying as white but mentioning her Puerto Rican grandparent as the novel got closer to publication. “You don't get to bring out your Puerto Rican abuela when it's convenient,” said Daisy Hernández, a Colombia American writer who teaches writing at Miami University of Ohio and wrote a 2014 memoir, “A Cup of Water Under My Bed.” In the past, some white writers have received acclaim for their portrayal of Latinos in the U.S. Edna Ferber, a Michigan-born Jewish novelist, was widely admired by some Latinos for her portrayal of Mexican Americans in her 1952 novel “Giant.' She interviewed civil rights leaders Dr. Hector P. Garcia and John J. Herrera in her research into discrimination in Texas. John Steinbeck enjoyed a following among Mexican Americans for his stories set in Northern California. And in 1974, California-born John Nichols was praised for his novel “The Milagro Beanfield War,” which explored the complicated relationship between Hispanics and whites in northern New Mexico and the battle over water rights. Others, like T. C. Boyle and D.H. Lawrence, faced criticism for stereotypical portrayal of Latinos. Bernadine Hernández, an English professor at the University of New Mexico, said that since those earlier books, colleges have introduced Chicano Studies and created a more critical Latino reading audience. “It's also coming at a time when Latinos are more sensitive and critical readers,” she said. “We can go to social media and express it.” Gurba accused the big publishers of “librotrafficking,” comparing them to a cartel that controls who gets to tell Latino stories. Her scathing review of “American Dirt,” in which she accuses Cummins of appropriating works by Latinos, went viral. “American Dirt,” published last week, tells the story of a Mexican woman and her 8-year-old son fleeing to the U.S. border after a drug cartel kills the rest of their family. It has been in the top 10 on Amazon.com for the past week, and has been praised by authors ranging from John Grisham and Stephen King to noted Latina authors Erika Sanchez and Sandra Cisneros. Then Oprah Winfrey offered one of publishing's most cherished honors: endorsement for her book club. Some Latino celebrities posted selfies with the book; Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek later apologized for promoting “American Dirt” without having read it after she was attacked on social media. In a video posted last weekend on Instagram, Winfrey said she now realizes the book struck “an emotional chord” with Latinos and created a need for deeper conversation. Winfrey wants to hold a discussion on the politics of publishing for an Apple TV special in March. In a statement, Sanchez, author of “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” said Monday that she blurbed the book only after she saw that Cummins identified as Puerto Rican. “What's resulted is not at all what I expected, obviously,” Sanchez said, adding that she was taking a break from social media. Latino critics say ``American Dirt'' contains stereotypes, incorrect regional slang, and cultural inaccuracies. Cummins confided in the book's afterword that she didn't know if she was the right person to write the book. She has told The Associated Press she spent extensive time in Mexico and met with many people on both sides of the border. “So many of the stories center on violent men and macho violent stories about people who commit atrocities,” she said. “My hope was to reframe the narrative and show it from the point of view of the people on the flip side of violence.” Still, Latino anger hit a crescendo on social media after Gurba posted an image of a release party from last year that featured barbed wire centerpieces. Cummins, referencing the blue and white barbed wire art on the book's cover, posted an image of it painted on fingernails. Some Latinos are organizing gatherings to challenge Cummins at planned readings. So far, at least four events have been canceled, in part over security concerns. The Houston-based Blue Willow Bookshop, which was scheduled to host Cummins next week, announced Tuesday it was canceling the planned event. Tony Diaz, a Mexican American novelist in Houston, had promised to organize a protest outside. “There has been a growing controversy around this book, with concerns focusing on cultural appropriation and stereotypes, among other things,” the bookstore tweeted. “We are listening.” Matt Sedillo, a Los Angeles-based poet and author of “Mowing Leaves of Grass,” said publishers need to make room for Latinos today or risk going out of business tomorrow. “Until then, we are going to have to build our own networks outside of the big publishers,” Sedillo said. “And then they will come begging for us.” ___ This story corrects the name of Parque Revolución in Guadalajara. ___ Russell Contreras is a member of The Associated Press' race and ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

News

  • Florida's St. Augustine Police Department said they are searching for the suspect who robbed a group of children at gunpoint at a popular park. The robbery happened at Project Swing park on Saturday around 9:30 p.m. Several signs at the park read, “For your safety, park is closed from dusk to dawn.” According to the report, the victims, whose ages are redacted, were sitting at the tables in the middle of the park when a man approached them and demanded money. In the report, one of the victims said the suspect pointed the gun into his chest when he told him he didn’t have any money. Police said the man took $16 from one of the victims before he tried to grab a backpack from the other. The victims told investigators when the suspect tried to take the backpack, they ran towards the parking garage for help. Detectives said the suspect took off running in the opposite direction toward Ketterlinus gym. By the time police responded, the suspect was gone. Investigators said they found a bag believed to belong to the suspect near the tennis courts next to the park. It was sent to the lab for DNA testing. Anyone with information on the suspect is encouraged to call the police department.
  • A 77-year-old man was punched in the face as he walked into a grocery store in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and now police are looking for the person responsible. It happened at the Kroger on Braselton Highway, and it all started in the fire lane in front of the store. It happened at the Kroger on Braselton Highway, and it all started in the fire lane in front of the store. The victim, who did not want to be identified by name, said on Jan. 23 around 4:30 p.m. he pulled up, saw someone parked there, and on his way inside the store, he said, “You're not supposed to park here.” Police said surveillance video shows a woman, who was in the parked car in the fire lane outside, go in the store, walk up to the victim and say something. Officials said a man who was with her then assaulted the 77-year-old man. “And the next thing I know, this jerk comes around and just cold-cocks me right flat on the floor,” the victim said. Witnesses told police they couldn’t believe it happened. The suspect took off and police are still looking for him now. There’s video of the assault that Kroger cameras recorded, but investigators said they’re not releasing it yet because the case is still open. “I had no idea he was even in the place until he came round in front and punched me,” the victim said. The incident is a reminder to shoppers that you may want to tell police when someone is doing something illegal instead of saying something to that person. You never know what they are going to do.
  • A bill sponsored by Utah Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, would restrict people from purchasing a hunting license if they aren’t up to date on child support payments. The “Fishing and Hunting Restrictions for Nonpayment of Child Support” House bill would prohibit “the issuance of a license, permit, or tag related to fishing or hunting if an individual is delinquent in child support.” According to KUTV, the bill would affect anyone who owes more than $2,500 in child support. Once a person is no longer behind on their child support payments, they can obtain a hunting license. If the bill passes, it will go into effect in the summer of 2021.
  •  For the first time, NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal opened up about the death of his former teammate and friend, Kobe Bryant. Bryant, his daughter 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed Sunday when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Calabasas, California. O’Neal’s comments came at the start of TNT’s pregame show, as he sat on the court at Staples Center along with the rest of the network’s studio team. TNT was supposed to televise a doubleheader, but the NBA canceled the Lakers-Clippers game that was scheduled to be the nightcap because the Lakers organization is still too devastated after the death of Bryant and his daughter. I haven’t felt a pain that sharp in a while,” O’Neal said. Shaq said he was working out with his son and nephew, when another nephew walked into the room crying and showed him the phone. “I snapped at him,” O’Neal said. “I said, ‘Get that out of my face.'” O’Neal said he thought it was a hoax at first, and then he started getting phone calls from friends and other fellow basketball players. “Forty-seven years old, I’ve lost two grandmothers … lost my sister. And now I’ve lost my little brother,' O’Neal said. O'Neal and Bryant teamed to help the Lakers win three straight championships from 2000-02, but they occasionally feuded and O'Neal was traded to Miami in 2004. He would win another title there, while Bryant would win two more with the Lakers. O’Neal said his heart broke even more when he learned who else was on the chopper. “It’s sort of like a triple stabbing to the heart because after you cry and wonder about that, then I get back on the internet – Rick Fox is on the (helicopter). So now, I’m sick even more,” O’Neal said. “And then the final blow, his lovely daughter was with him on the helicopter.” They eventually patched up their relationship and O'Neal said they texted frequently, though he said he hadn't actually seen Bryant since the final day of his career in 2016. O'Neal said he told Bryant to score 50 points and Bryant instead scored 60. O’Neal said Bryant even checked in with his son Shareef, who underwent heart surgery in December 2018. “Shareef called me, devastated, and said Kobe just texted me to check and see how he was doing. And he used to do that from time to time,” O’Neal said. O’Neal said this year’s NBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be a solemn event. “The fact that we’re not going to be able to joke at his Hall of Fame ceremony. The fact that we’re not going to be able to say, ‘Ha, Ha. I got five. You got four.’ The fact that we’re not going to be able to say, ‘If we had stayed together to get 10,’ those are the things we can’t get back,” O’Neal said. O'Neal's comments were his first that were televised since Bryant's death. He had previously only posted on social media and spoken on a podcast. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Last week, the head of a Chinese government expert team said that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people avoid travel to China. Here are some tips for travelers who may be making their way to or from China or other destinations:  Check the CDC website for updates on the outbreak The CDC has a dedicated page that is kept up to date with travel information to China, impacted transportation in China and status of medical care in the country. Maintain good personal hygiene According to The New York Times, passengers should avoid touching their faces and practice proper coughing etiquette, such as coughing or sneezing into an arm instead of your hands or the environment. The CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used when soap is not available. The Times also reminded travelers that seatbacks and tray tables are wiped down by ground crews, but cleaning them again with a disinfecting wipe is recommended. Lastly, try to keep a safe distance from anyone who appears to be ill. If you are seated next to someone who may be ill, you can ask a flight attendant to reseat you. Please note that they may not be able to accommodate the request. Do I need a mask while traveling? Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of medicine in Vanderbilt University’s division of infectious diseases, told CNN that the benefit of masks may be impractical. “The scientific basis showing that people in the community wearing masks actually has any benefit is very thin and questionable,” Shaffner told CNN. Schaffner also told CNN that U.S. travelers who are traveling only within the United States should not be as concerned about the virus. Other noteworthy tips Henry Harteveldt, of Atmosphere Research, told USA Today that travelers should consider keeping air vents open above the seat to improve ventilation but also noted that he aims them away from his body. USA Today also suggested bringing tissues with you to use to avoid touching door handles when you use the bathrooms on flights. Book a window seat. A study published in 2018 concluded that the window seat is more likely to keep a passenger away from people who might be sick because it is furthest from the aisle where more people move through the cabin. What are other countries doing in response to the outbreak? Many countries are checking the temperatures of arriving airline passengers and adopting precautionary quarantine procedures in response to a new virus. India, Nigeria, Japan and the United States are some of the countries where airport screening procedures were in place. Below are some of the public health measures in multiple countries intended to prevent a repeat of the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, which started in China and killed nearly 800 people (Source:The Associated Press, Jan. 21, 2020) MAINLAND CHINA China’s often-secretive Communist government was blamed for making SARS far worse by initially hiding information and blocking the work of the World Health Organization. This time, leader Xi Jinping has called for tough measures and said “party committees, governments and relevant departments at all levels should put people’s lives and health first.” At the airport in Wuhan, the temperatures of departing passengers were checked and outbound tour groups were banned from leaving the city. Virtually everyone in a public role, from traffic police officers to bank tellers, is wearing a protective face mask. JAPAN Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged officials to step up quarantine checks at airports and other entry points, and Japan will require visitors arriving from Wuhan to fill in health forms. HONG KONG The semiautonomous city is one of the most popular destinations for mainland Chinese. It has stepped up surveillance and ordered more cleaning and disinfecting for planes and trains from Wuhan, as well as for train stations and the airport. Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung said authorities are ready for a worst-case scenario and are on extremely high alert. A lack of information and low levels of vigilance were blamed for Hong Kong becoming the second-hardest hit area by SARS after mainland China in the early 2000s. As in much of mainland China, Hong Kong residents favor traditional markets where live poultry and other animals are sold. The government advises people against visiting such markets or touching animals or their droppings. SOUTH KOREA South Korea reported its first case of the virus in mid-January, in a Chinese woman who works at a South Korean company. At Incheon International Airport near Seoul, the only airport in South Korea with direct flights from Wuhan, two special gates are designated for passengers from the city and ear thermometers are used to check their temperatures. Arrival halls are being sprayed with disinfectant twice a week, up from once a week previously, and escalator handrails, elevator buttons and other sensitive surfaces are wiped with disinfectant twice a day. NIGERIA Nigeria’s government says health authorities at points of entry are on alert for cases of coronavirus arriving in Africa’s most populous country. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control asked that travelers from Wuhan report to a medical facility and the center if they feel ill. China is Africa’s top trading partner. South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said anyone with a severe respiratory illness should be tested if they have traveled to Wuhan within two weeks or had close physical contact with a coronavirus patient or treatment at a facility where a confirmed case has been reported. There were more than 200,000 Chinese workers in Africa as of the end of 2017, not including numerous informal migrants such as traders and shopkeepers, according to the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. INDIA India will expand thermal screening of passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong, to seven airports from the current three. In-flight announcements before arrival will direct passengers with a fever or cough who have traveled to Wuhan in the previous 14 days to declare themselves to health authorities. Thermal screening will begin in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin, and continue in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said. SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA Singapore will expand temperature screening at Changi Airport, one of Asia’s busiest travel hubs, for all travelers on flights arriving from China beginning on Wednesday. The health ministry said individuals with pneumonia and a history of travel to Wuhan within 14 days of the onset of symptoms will be isolated in a hospital as a precautionary measure and investigated. Neighboring Malaysia has also beefed up screening at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Deputy health Minister Lee Boon Chye said staff are being trained to handle possible cases. “If a case emerges, then we may have to take more drastic measures, but for now, we hope we can nip it at the entry point,” Lee told reporters. BANGLADESH Bangladesh civil aviation authorities have ordered airport managers to start screening incoming passengers from China. A.H.M. Touhid-ul Ahsan, director of the main Shahjalal International Airport, said doctors at the airport would look for fevers, coughs, breathing difficulties and sore throats. The country’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research will be notified of any passengers with symptoms for further examination, he said. AUSTRALIA Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, said biosecurity staff and state health officials in New South Wales are meeting flights from Wuhan and are distributing pamphlets printed in English and Chinese to all passengers. The pamphlets describe symptoms of infection and ask people to identify themselves if they are experiencing any. RUSSIA Russia’s Healthcare Ministry described the virus as a biological hazard, with Deputy Minister Sergei Krayevoy saying the virus was a “striking example” of the biological threats Russia faces. The Russian public health service, Rospotrebnadzor, said it had developed a testing kit that would allow labs to detect the new coronavirus quickly. Russia is one of the three most popular tourist destinations for people from China, according to Russian officials. They estimate that about 2 million tourists from China visited Russia in 2018. ITALY The Italian Health Ministry says passengers making direct and indirect flights from Wuhan, China, to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport will be checked for potential signs of the virus. People with suspected infections will be quarantined at an infectious disease hospital in Rome, the ministry says. No cases have been reported so far. Posters at the airport advise travelers to consider delaying trips to the Wuhan area and if they do go there, to avoid touching animals or uncooked animal products. The Associated Press contributed to this story. Associated Press journalists Moussa Moussa in Canberra, Australia, Kim Hyung-jin in Seoul, South Korea, Cara Anna in Johannesburg, South Africa, Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Daria Litvinova in Moscow, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report. xxx
  • It is a sad time. I need to have a pity party and go get some of my friends...let's go cry a minute.' That's Carol, one of the many dedicated and loyal customers of Life Grocery, the natural and organic foods and products store in Marietta. Carol's been a customer for 20-plus years. There's also Richard, who's been a customer even longer - since the 1980's. 'This was the original and only health food store where you could get organic groceries. It's very sad.'  On a Monday in the last week of January, the store along Roswell Rd. between the Big Chicken and the 120 Loop was busy. Busier than normal. A good bet that had lots to do with deep discounts at Life Grocery, as the store was closing its doors by the end of January.   'People are coming in, wanting to say goodbye. It's the end of an era,' store general manager Ronnie Hudson tells WSB Radio. It's been emotional for her too. She's been with the co-op business since the mid 90's and admits there will be a void as the doors close for good.  Life Grocery was founded by Life University students when Gerald Ford was president - back in 1976. Hudson says the business was one of the pioneers in the natural, organic food market, 'there weren't options back then...we were the template.' Stores like Life and some other early ones set the stage for what came years later - an explosion in the organic/natural food space, now dominated by major players like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and others. Life Grocery's reasons for closing are many says Hudson. 'The main distributor that we use, Whole Foods is their priority. So sometimes we can't even get our whole orders full.' Not only competition though. Aging equipment has also been an issue, rising costs, and location has played a part Hudson says. Life Grocery sits in an aging strip mall. Whole Foods used to be across the street. But when it left for a better location, Hudson says some of her customers told her, they'd forgotten about Life.  Still, in the store's final hours of existence Monday, longtime customers were stopping in for their last purchases. Hudson was exchanging hugs with many of them. 'The emotions at this point, even from our customers, has been so touching, heartbreaking, heartwarming. It feels good to know that people have appreciated what we have.'