Madonna faces ban in Philippines after troubles on tour

The Asian leg of Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour has been steeped in controversy, the latest involving her treatment of the flag during concerts in Manila

Flag etiquette is held in high regard no matter where you are in the world. And while stateside Madonna wouldn’t have gotten into a lot of trouble for wrapping herself in the stars and stripes, that same action in the Philippines could result in a ban.

According to Reuters, Madonna’s latest performance in the capital city of Manila put her in hot water as she draped the flag of the country around herself as she performed. There was also a moment when she let the flag touch the ground, though the former is what has caused the most outrage.

She ridiculed our flag,” said Teodoro Atienza. An official from the National Historical Commission, Atienza explained that Filipino law prohibits any form of wearing the flag “in whole, or in part, as a costume or uniform.”

While it is unclear what this could do to her tour, which is to promote the singer’s Rebel Heart album, Atienza continued saying that this violation could result in Madonna’s ban from the country.

“They may face deportation and might not be able to return,” he added.

This isn’t Madonna’s first flag controversy in the East either. BBC reports that while in Taiwan the singer snapped a photo of herself in the center of a blue star design. While the emblem was from the country’s past, it is remembered for all of the wrong reasons.

Interestingly enough, wearing the flag of Taiwan sparked more positive reactions from natives. However, Chinese citizens who see Taiwan as a break-away province rather than an independent country were not impressed.

“What a cheap way to get attention from the mainland. Your music isn’t very welcome or known in our country anyway,” wrote one user on the popular social media platform Weibo, China’s alternative to Twitter and Facebook after the two websites were banned.

The offenses will not count against Madonna’s stay in Asia as Singapore is the last stop for her Rebel Heart tour  before the singer heads off to New Zealand and Australia.

 

Former LAPD detective knows who killed Biggie Smalls?

Former LAPD detective, Greg Kading, claims to know the individuals behind the deaths of Tupac and Biggie Smalls.

Former LAPD detective, Greg Kading, claims to know the individuals behind the deaths of Tupac and Biggie Smalls.

Tupac Amaru Shakur, born Lesane Parish Crooks, is one of three rappers to be inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress National Recording Registry. He was shot to death in Las Vegas on Sep. 7, 1996.

Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace was an east coast rap artist who was shot to death Mar. 9, 1997, six months after the death of Shakur.

Kading, author of the 2011 book, Murder Rap, was assigned to head an investigative team focusing on the deaths of the two rap superstars.

In a 2016 documentary, Murder Rap, Kading alleges that Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis was hired by Puff Daddy, long time friend of Biggie Smalls, to kill Tupac and his manager, Marion “Suge” Knight.

Kading insists that he pressured Keffe D into admitting the truth about the murder on threat of more severe, unrelated charges.

“If his intention was to just get away with it, so to speak, it would have been very easy for him to not include all the details that he did,” expressed Kading to the Huffington Post.

Kading also posits that Knight, in retaliation for the attempt on his life and the death of his friend, hired Wardell “Poochie” Fouse to kill Biggie Smalls.

“I have absolute closure in the case already. There is no doubt in my mind that we’ve discovered the truth and we’re presenting the truth. So as far as the murders go, they’re solved,” claims Kading.

Kading, who achieved the highest rank for LAPD investigators, received the LAPD’s Medal of Valor and Police Star for heroic action before retiring in 2010.

Supergirl and The Flash crossover episode on March 28

CBS announced Wednesday that the two DC superhero shows Supergirl and The Flash will have a special crossover episode on Monday, March 28th.

The rumors of a possible crossover between popular DC superhero series ‘The Flash’ and ‘Supergirl’ have finally been confirmed. CBS and The CW Network announced Tuesday that the two respective shows will collide in Spring. The Flash will be appearing in an upcoming episode of Supergirl into a special, action-packed hour.

Both series are the children of DC Comics television super producer Greg Berlanti, who is also responsible for the breakout success Arrow on The CW Network. Ever since Berlanti announced that CBS had picked up his third series, rumors have abounded of a possible crossover between the new series and his two popular CW works.

CBS confirmed on Wednesday that Barry Allen from The Flash would be appearing in Supergirl’s National City for a special episode.

“[T]hanks to the fans and journalists who have kept asking for this to happen. It is our pleasure and hope to create an episode worthy of everyone’s enthusiasm and support,” executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg announced in a press release.

No plot details have been released, but the press release also noted that the crossover episode would air on Monday, March 28. The March 28th show will also be the final episode of Supergirl’s limited-season run at CBS.

Supergirl debuted to impressive ratings but numbers have since fallen to mediocre levels. Considering the show’s performance, Berlanti and Kreisberg may be hoping that the crossover from The Flash, which has consistently good viewing numbers, may give their third series the boost that it needs to warrant a fourth season.

 

Me Before You trailer released with Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin

Thea Sharrock-directed film Me Before You trailer debuts Tuesday, featuring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.

Today saw the debut trailer of much-anticipated film Me Before You, starring Game of Throne’s Emilia Clarke and The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin. The film is based off the best-selling novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie. Director Thea Sharrock says the film captures the tone of Jojo Moyes’ novel and that the writer was a fixture on set.

The film is a significant change for director Thea Sharrock, who is a major figure in British figure and made her mark when she became artistic director of London’s Southwark Playhouse at the age of 24 in 2001, becoming the youngest artistic director in British theatre. This will be her first time directing a major film.

Clarke portrays Louisa Clark, a small-town British girl who loses her job and takes the first available employment to support her family. Despite being incredibly unqualified, she begins to care for upper-class William Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a recent accident.

Of course, romance blossoms between the two unlikely lovers. Clarke says she is much more similar to the clumsy, regular-girl Louisa than her well-known characters such as Sarah Connor in Terminator Genesis or Daenerys in Game of Thrones.

“I’m really quite clumsy, say the wrong thing all the time and am awkward at the best of times. My friends and family have seen this other person every single day,” confesses the actress.

Me Before You features other well-known British actors, including Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis, Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman and fellow Game of Thrones star Charles Dance.

Martin Shkreli now has a beef with TMZ

Already in trouble with the feds and feuding with Ghostface Killah and Wu-Tang clan, Shkreli recently took out his frustrations on TMZ.

The most hated man in America, disgraced pharmaceutical exec Martin Shkreli, now has a beef with TMZ.

He’s already made an enemy in the famed hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan after his purchase of the Wu album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” as well as Ghostface Killah, and most recently the feds, who arrested him recent on fraud charges, according to a TMZ report.

Shkreli came on TMZ Live to explain his decision to apparently threaten Ghostface on camera when the feds were already trying to put him away for securities fraud. Shkreli countered that he didn’t threaten Ghostface Killah, and got angry when it was suggested he was just pretend to play the villain.

TMZ also attempted to ask about the $2 million Wu Tang album, but didn’t receive a nice reply from Shkreli. The album is unreleased and was sold at an auction.

Shkreli went from being a no-name pharmaceutical exec to the most hated man in America almost overnight last year when it was revealed that his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, purchased the manufacturing license for antiparasitic drug Daraprim and then increased the price of the life-saving drug by 5,556 percent, or from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. Despite massive public backlash, Shkreli stood his ground.

Shkreli was arrested by the FBI in December 2015 on charges of securities fraud unrelated to the controversy over Daraprim. He remains out on bail, and resigned from Turing to be replaced by board chairman Ron Tilles.

More recently, Shkreli was slammed for his disrespectful performance during an appearance before Congress to answer questions over Daraprim.

TMZ paid over $100,000 for Ray Rice elevator videos

The video that brought national attention to the problem of domestic abuse in professional sports came with a hefty price tag.

The infamous video of Ray Rice, a former running back for the Baltimore Ravens, depicting him attacking his fiancé in an elevator in Atlantic City was not cheap, according to a report from USA Today. Website TMZ apparently paid a six figures price for the videos, reported The New Yorker.

Ray Rice was widely condemned when a video surfaced of him knocking out his then-fiancé, now wife, Janay Palmer at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, NJ in February of 2014. TMZ revealed the grainy video taken of the assault a few days later, showing rice dragging his unconscious fiancé out of the elevator.

TMZ paid $15,000 for the first video showing Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator, but the second video of the incident to circulate all but terminated the running back’s career. While the first video showed the aftermath, the second clip actually shows Rice carrying out the brutal assault.

The video caused massive uproar around the country, and prompted a series of probes into the NFL’s procedures for dealing with domestic violence. The second video cost TMZ roughly $90,000. Rice was dropped from the Ravens and suspended from the NFL indefinitely.

Despite allegations otherwise, an FBI probe found that the NFL had no knowledge of the video’s existence or the extent of the assault before it aired on TMZ. Rice entered a diversion program that kept him out of prison, and his arrest was ultimately wiped from his record.

It still remains unclear who shot the video and sold it to TMZ.

Blac Chyna gets arrested at Austin airport

Chyna reportedly was not allowed to board because she was too intoxicated.

The Kardashian-involved model Blac Chyna is in some hot water after allegedly getting drunk at the Austin airport on Friday and being banned from a flight and then arrested.

Chyna was charged with possesion of MDMA — Ecstasy — and taken into custody by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, according to a USA Today report.

Chyna reportedly was not allowed to board because she was too intoxicated, and later caused a big disturbance in the terminal and then a pub inside the airport. Police found her smelling of alcohol and with bloodshot eyes, and her emotions were all over the place, according to the report.

Austin police found two white pills in her bag that the police field tested and found to be MDMA, according to the report, which said that Chyna claimed not to know what the pills were.

Chyna posted a $8,000 personal recognizance bond and was released the next day.

The model is currently in a relationship with Rob Kardashian. He drove from Los Angeles to Texas to get her.

Chyna, who is 27, is a former exotic performer who is now a model and the owner of “Lashed,” a beauty salon located in Encino.

Chyna began urban modeling in 2010 along with stripping, but began to focus more on her modeling and entrepreneurial exploits. She has appeared in music videos for Nicki Minaj and has a number of relationships with prominent celebrities. She purchased the salon in February 2014.

NFL expands Thursday Night Football

Now the NFL is bringing in NBC as a partner as well.

Do you like Thursday night football? The NFL hopes so, because they’re bringing more games to Thursday night next year.

Previously only CBS broadcasted the Thursday night games, but now the NFL is bringing in NBC as a partner as well, upping the number of Thursday Night Football games to 10, split evenly between the networks, according to an NFL.com report. Previously, CBS had broadcast eight games in 2014 and 2015.

In addition, the NFL Network will get eight games that it will broadcast exclusively.

The games will still be simulcast on the NFL Network as they were in the past, whiel CBS and NBC will produce the games with their ownproduction teams.

Thursday Night Football began back in 2006 with the eight-game schedule. Previously, the NFL Network had broadcasted the game exclusively, prompting complaints from those that didn’t have cable packages that included the NFL Network as it meant there was no way for them to view the games. In 2012, the schedule expanded to 13 games, and it stayed that way through 2013.

In 2014, CBS signed on to produce a slate of eight games that season as well as in 2015. That meant an expanded 16-game schedule including the eight games broadcast by the NFL Network.

In the 16 games broadcast last year, Thursday Night Football posted an average 7.9 HH rating and 13.0 million viewers, a 59 and 61 percent increase, respectively, over 2013. The 2015 season was the highest rated season thus far for Thursday Night Football.

Four new wizarding schools unveiled in world of Harry Potter

The schools are located in New England, Brazil, Japan, and Africa.

The magical world of J.K. Rowling is growing, as the famous Harry Potter author just unveiled four new wizarding schools in the world.

Obviously, Hogwarts in Britain is the famous one from the books that Potter attends, but in the universe J.K. Rowling has created, there are other schools out there, and actress Evanna Lynch — Luna Lovegood in the films — revealed the names and locations of four of them at the Celebration of Harry Potter event at University Orlando Resort, according to a USA Today report.

The schools are located in New England, Brazil, Japan, and Africa.

The one in New England is called Ilvermorny, and it will be featured in the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” It is believed to have roots in Native American magic.

Mahoutokoro is the school in Japan. It’s located on a volcanic island. This school has the smallet student body of all the schools, but they are very skilled at Quidditch.

Uagadou is the African school, and it is built into an edifice in a mountain that seemingly floats in midair. Where in Africa is a mystery — it is simply described as being the “Mountains of the Moon,” and it draws students from all over the continent who don’t need wands to cast spells.

Castelobruxo in Brazil rounds out the four schools. It is hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest and resembles a temple. Students there specialize in herbology, and brings in some students from Europe to study that lush plant life there.

Judge to rule on Bill Cosby case

After a long day of deliberations, a Pennsylvania judge will issue a ruling on a 2004 felony sexual assault case against comedian Bill Cosby.

A Pennsylvania judge has announced that he will decide whether to dismiss a felony sexual assault case against Bill Cosby on Wednesday. According to a report from STL Today, the decision hinges on an unwritten promise of immunity given to Cosby’s deceased lawyer by a former prosecutor.

Judge Steven T. O’Neil announced Wednesday that he would have a conclusion to the case by the end of the night. The hearing ended early in the evening on Wednesday.

According to a testimony from former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor, Cosby was under the impression that a deal had been made that he would never be charged.

The accuser’s lawyer challenged this agreement in the courtroom on Wednesday, claiming that there was no indication that such a deal had been made. The judge’s decision will depend upon his interpretation about Castor’s statements on whether or not the comedian would face charges for felony sexual assault. The case revolves around the alleged drugging and sexual assault of a Temple University employee in 2004.

The woman’s attorney claimed that Cosby failed to give a testimony in the case, and that he needed to be compelled by a judge to answer her questions about the incident in question.

A Pennsylvania district attorney stated that his predecessor did not have the authority to cut a deal with Bill Cosby’s lawyers in which the comedian would not face any charges related to the incident. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele alleged that such an agreement would allow a wealthy defendant to pay his way out of the lawsuit, and that it wasn’t right.