Controversial bus ads declaring Michael Jackson’s innocence pulled down in London

WORLD NEWS Controversial bus ads declaring Michael Jackson's innocence pulled down in London

MarioGuti/iStock(LONDON) — The London transit authorities have agreed to pull down a series of controversial advertisements protesting Michael Jackson’s innocence against allegations made in the new HBO documentary Leaving Neverland from their buses, after a sexual abuse survivors’ charity complained that the ads contributed to a “toxic” environment for commuters.

In the controversial film, two former acquaintances of Jackson, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, graphically detailed alleged child sexual abuse at the hands of the singer, who died in 2009 at the age of 50. They claimed that Jackson introduced them, separately, to pornography and masturbation and violated them on multiple occasions.

Lawyers for the late singer’s estate have denied the claims made in the documentary and are in the process of suing HBO, who aired Leaving Neverland in the United States, $100 million for breach of contract.

The advertisements send out the wrong message to victims of rape or assault in England and Wales, where officials said that less than one in five victims report the crimes to the police, according to the Survivors Trust, the charity which brought the complaint to the London transit authorities.

“After being contacted by survivors about the advertising campaign, we contacted the London Victims Commissioner with our concerns,” a spokesperson for the Survivors Trust told ABC News.

“We believe that the decision to prioritize advertising revenue over the option of remaining neutral on such an emotive topic is disappointing,” the spokesperson continued. “An advertising campaign such as this, paid for by a supporter of an alleged perpetrator, only serves to support a toxic social narrative that prevents survivors from thinking they will be believed and speaking up.”

The advertisements were funded by the Michael Jackson Innocent Campaign, a group started by fans who believe claims of sexual abuse against Jackson in the documentary Leaving Neverland are falsified. They raised over $20,000 on the fundraising platform GoFundMe in order to pay for the ads on the sides of London’s iconic red buses.

According to the campaign founder’s Twitter page, the group paid for posters to appear on more than 40 London buses with the tagline: “Facts don’t lie. People do.”

The documentary has sparked a re-examination of Jackson’s legacy, more than a decade after the pop singer was acquitted of child sex abuse charges involving a 13-year-old in California — home to his ‘Neverland’ ranch.

“We have reviewed our position and will be removing these advertisements,” Transport for London officials said in a statement to ABC News. “They have been rejected due to the public sensitivity and concern around their content.”

The director of Leaving Neverland, Dan Reed, has said he is shocked by the reaction of people who do not believe Robson and Safechuck’s allegations against Jackson.

“Until you’ve watched all of it [the documentary], you’re in the dark about whether to believe James and Wade or not,” he wrote in the Guardian this month. “Few who have watched it without prejudice are left in any doubt by the end.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 14 Mar 2019

Duchess Meghan starts maternity leave before birth of first child

WORLD NEWS Duchess Meghan starts maternity leave before birth of first child

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — Duchess Meghan has started maternity leave ahead of the birth of her first child.

The Duchess of Sussex’s two events on Monday, to mark Commonwealth Day, could have been the last time the public will catch a glimpse of Meghan before her child is born.

Meghan, who is due to give birth in April, is expected to still hold private meetings before the baby’s birth but does not have any upcoming official engagements scheduled.

Kensington Palace has not commented on how long of a maternity leave Meghan, 37, is expected to take. She and Prince Harry are moving to Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor, where they are planning to raise their first child.

When Meghan married Harry last May, becoming a member of Britain’s royal family, she took on a role that does not come with established maternity and paternity guidelines.

Meghan’s sister-in-law, Duchess Kate, started her maternity leave with her third child, Prince Louis, approximately one month before his birth last April.

She stepped out for events like Harry and Meghan’s wedding and Trooping the Colour shortly after Louis’ birth but took time off from official royal engagements, just as she did after the births of her older two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Kate made her first public solo appearance nearly eight months after Louis’ birth, in October of last year.

Prince William took more defined paternity leave after the births of George and Charlotte because he was working as a helicopter pilot at the time.

After George’s birth, William was granted two weeks leave from his role as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter pilot through statutory paternity leave, which Britain implemented in 2003. When Charlotte was born in 2015, William took nearly six weeks of paternity leave after finishing his air ambulance training and exams early.

Because the royal family has no set guidelines, it is up to Meghan and Harry to decide the amount of leave they take.

In the U.K., employees can take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, including 39 weeks of paid leave, according to government guidelines.

Fathers in the U.K. are entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave.

Meghan maintained a busy pace of engagements throughout her pregnancy.

She joined Harry on a 16-day tour of Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji just as they announced her pregnancy last October. Last month, the couple traveled to Morocco for a three-day official visit.

Meghan also announced her first royal patronages during her pregnancy and made visits to each of the four charities.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 14 Mar 2019

Chrissy Teigen shares video of son Miles graduating flat head syndrome helmet

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) — Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter Wednesday night to wish her son Miles a “Happy Graduation” after he spent three months wearing a helmet for medical reasons.

In December, the mom of two revealed on social media that Miles, who was 6 months old at the time, needed to wear a helmet to correct his “adorable slightly misshapen head” and was seeing a physiotherapist to help the process along.

Now 9 months old, Miles, whose father is singer John Legend, has ditched the head gear that seemingly corrected the common condition known as plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome.

“Happy helmet-free day, no more helmet!” Teigen can be heard saying in a video shared Wednesday.

Flat head syndrome is caused by a baby remaining in the same position for too long. It can often be corrected by having the baby wear a specialty fitted helmet for up to 23 hours a day for four to six months. The condition affects one in four babies, according to Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a board-certified pediatrician and Global Health Fellow at Stanford.

“Incidents [of flat head syndrome] have gone up since we said ‘back to sleep,’ which we absolutely have to do,” Bracho-Sanchez told ABC News’ Good Morning America, referring to the recommendation that babies sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Bracho-Sanchez said that changing your baby’s position in the crib, but still keeping them on their back, is very effective in preventing and treating the plagiocephaly.

The same goes for infants that spend time in a swing or rocker.

“Anything you can do to have them look both ways because their little bones are still so malleable,” she explained.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said parents should first try physical therapy to see if a head shape problem will correct without needing a helmet.

After Teigen shared the initial photo of Miles in his helmet, moms and dads began sharing pics of their own little ones wearing their helmets. Teigen’s latest post sparked a new thread of babies in helmets with parents captioning that they “can’t wait for graduation.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Raiders sign free agent wide receiver Tyrell Williams

Sports News Raiders sign free agent wide receiver Tyrell Williams

33ft/iStock(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — The Oakland Raiders have added another wide receiver to their roster.

The team announced Wednesday it has signed free agent Tyrell Williams. The deal is for four years and is worth $44 million, a source tells ESPN. It has a max value of $47 million and includes a $22 million guaranteed.

The addition of Williams comes after the Raiders acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade late last week.

Williams, 27, has spent his entire NFL career with the Los Angeles Chargers. In his four seasons with the team, he has made 37 starts, totaling 155 receptions for 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Last year, he wrapped up the season with 41 receptions for 653 yards and five touchdowns.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 14 Mar 2019

“Whatever it takes” – The surviving Avengers gear up for a final battle in second trailer to ‘Endgame’

Entertainment News  "Whatever it takes" - The surviving Avengers gear up for a final battle in second trailer to 'Endgame'


Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — On Thursday, Marvel Studios released the second trailer to Avengers: Endgame, the conclusion of the heroes’ last stand against Thanos, who — spoiler alert — wiped out half of all living things in the closing moments of Avengers: Infinity War.

The coming attraction intersperses flashbacks from the 10 years’ worth of Marvel movies leading up to this final chapter — even Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark admits in the trailer, “It seems like a thousand years” since he became Iron Man — with the heroes’ current predicament.

In the present, Stark and Nebula are stranded in space with dwindling life support following their defeat at the hands of Thanos, and the deaths of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy members Star-Lord, Mantis, and Drax on the planet Titan. 

On earth, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, War Machine, and Rocket Racoon are mourning witnessing the deaths of Black Panther, Falcon, and others, who were also turned to ash — along with half of all living things in the universe — thanks to Thanos’ finger snap with the Infinity Gauntlet. Determined, they rally for one last stand. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow tells Chris Evans’ Cap: “Even if there’s a small chance, we owe this to everyone who’s not in this room to try.”

“We will,” Cap says. “Whatever it takes.”

“Whatever it takes,” is echoed by Widow, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and finally, Stark.

The trailer ends with a stinger featuring the heroes’ newest ally. A grim-looking Thor stares down Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, raising his hand. His fearsome axe Stormbreaker flies past her close enough to ruffle her hair, and into his hand. She smirks. “I like this one,” Thor says.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26 from Marvel Studios, which like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 14 Mar 2019

Scoreboard roundup — 3/13/19

Sports News Scoreboard roundup -- 3/13/19

iStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:



NY Mets 2, Houston 1
Oakland 12, Chi Cubs 11
Cleveland 9, Milwaukee 3
Philadelphia 5, NY Yankees 5
San Diego 9, LA Angels 3
Seattle 8, San Francisco 4
Chi White Sox 10, LA Dodgers 7


Minnesota 9, Boston 5
Baltimore 6, Toronto 4
Kansas City 17, Cleveland 7


Miami 4, St. Louis 1
Washington 8, Atlanta 4
Colorado 5, Arizona 3


Washington 100, Orlando 90
Oklahoma City 108, Brooklyn 96
Atlanta 132, Memphis 111
Miami 108, Detroit 74
Golden State 106, Houston 104
Utah 114, Phoenix 97


Chicago 5, Toronto 4
New Jersey 6, Edmonton 3
Vancouver 4, NY Rangers 1


(16) Virginia Tech 71, Miami 56

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 14 Mar 2019

‘The Bachelor’s’ Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph happy to be “a normal dating couple”

Entertainment News  'The Bachelor's' Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph happy to be "a normal dating couple"


ABC/John Fleenor(NEW YORK) — Colton Underwood’s wild journey on The Bachelor ended with him landing the girl of his dreams, Cassie Randolph.  While the new couple tells ABC Radio that an engagement is definitely in the cards, after the craziness that was The Bachelor they’re happy to finally be a normal couple for now.

“We are very excited about our future and of course like any couple we talk about it and, I mean, we’re just a normal dating couple right now excited for things to come,” explains Cassie.

Adds Colton, “We’re excited to go out on a few dates out in public, I’m excited to hang out with her friends, I’m excited for our families to get to hang out again…the little steps that people normally take in relationships, because we’ve already taken so many big ones and we’ve been through so much together.”

The Bachelor typically finishes taping in November, meaning Cassie and Colton had to keep the relationship hush-hush for nearly four months. That proved to be difficult, especially for Colton.

“That was, like, our biggest fights is like, I would just be like, ‘Hey, I’m coming over!’ She’s like, ‘You can’t just do that!’ I’m like, ‘I wanted to see you,'” Colton confesses.

“I know, I was so scared of getting caught. I didn’t want anyone to be mad at us for spoiling anything,” adds Cassie.

While fans were happy to see the couple reunite after Cassie left the competition, many felt disappointed they never got to find out if Colton is still a virgin.  Don’t expect an answer anytime soon.

Says Colton, “We want to step a back and keep some things private, and there’s two people in this relationship and we just wanna go about our business sort of behind closed doors now.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 14 Mar 2019

Lori Loughlin released on $1 million bond in college admissions bribery scandal

Entertainment News  Lori Loughlin released on $1 million bond in college admissions bribery scandal


ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Actress Lori Loughlin was released on one million dollars bond Wednesday after appearing in a Los Angeles court on charges she and her husband are part of a $25 million college admissions scam, described as the largest ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

According to the indictment, revealed Tuesday, Loughlin, 54, and her 55-year-old husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the [University of Southern California] crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”

Loughlin, who flew to Los Angeles Tuesday night from Canada, where she had been working on a film, was taken into custody by the FBI just before noon.  Following a subsequent court appearance with her attorneys, the former Full House star was released on $1 million bond. 

Loughlin’s husband and co-defendant, Giannulli, appeared Tuesday and was also ordered to pay a separate $1 million bond and surrender his passport.  Unlike her husband, the judge allowed Loughlin to retain her passport until the end of the year so she could travel to Vancouver, BC for scheduled work.

Loughlin and Giannulli are due back in court March 29. 

Loughlin and former Desperate Housewives star fellow actress Felicity Huffman are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the nationwide scam to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. Huffman is alleged to have  “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 … to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter,” according to the indictment. 

Huffman appeared court Tuesday and was released on $250,000 bond after surrendering her passport.  Her next court date is March 29.

Announcing the indictments Tuesday — the result of an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues — Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said the parents charged represent “a catalog of wealth and privilege.”

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 14 Mar 2019