NBA bans Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens after shoving Raptors player on the court

Sports News NBA bans Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens after shoving Raptors player on the court

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — NBA officials banned a Golden State Warriors minority owner on Thursday after video showed him shoving a player on the sidelines during the game.

Mark Stevens, a venture capitalist, was sitting courtside during Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Oakland on Wednesday when Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry dove into the sidelines to keep the ball from going out of bounds.

He was struggling to regain his balance when video showed Stevens gave him a shove to the left shoulder. Stevens was fined $500,000 and banned from attending games as well as Warriors team activities activities for a year, the NBA and Warriors teams officials said in a joint statement Wednesday.

Stevens was also accused of “directing obscene language toward” Lowry, according to the statement.

Lowry, who has been in the league for nearly 15 years, said Stevens directed a vulgar comment toward him “multiple times.”

Speaking to reporters during a post-game briefing, Lowry said it was tough for him to keep calm during the fallout, but thinking about his two young children helped him to maintain his composure.

“He had no reason to touch me. He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me,” Lowry said after the game, which ended with the Raptors winning 123 to 109 over the Warriors to take a 2-1 series lead in the best of seven series.

“There’s no place for people like that in our league and, hopefully, he never comes back to an NBA game,” he added.

 Members of the Golden State Warriors, including coach Steve Kerr and star point guard Steph Curry, had also expressed outrage ahead of the NBA’s decision to ban Stevens for a year.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James shared video of the incident on Instagram, calling for “swift action” from the league.

“There’s absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL. There’s so many issues here,” he said. “When you sit courtside you absolutely know what comes with being on the floor and if you don’t know it’s on the back on the ticket itself that states the guidelines.”

He said NBA officials should be doing all they can to protect the players in stances like this one, noting that things could have escalated if Lowry had decided to retaliate.

“Just think to yourself, what if @kyle_lowry7 would have reacted and put his hands back on him. You guys would be going CRAZY,” James said. “He knew the rules more than just the average person sitting watching the game courtside so for that Something needs to be done ASAP.”

Curry said he didn’t witness the exchange in real time, but video of the incident clearly proved that Stevens was out of line.

“When you see the video it is pretty clear who was in the wrong,” Curry told reporters after the game. “I just credit Kyle, it could have been a lot worse in terms of an altercation that should not have happened in the beginning. Kinda who Kyle is in terms of protecting himself, but doing it in a graceful way for sure.”

“It’s not my jurisdiction but I will, also, personally apologize to Kyle and the Raptors. That’s unacceptable,” Kerr added.

Stevens issued a public apology shortly after the NBA announced its decision Thursday night and attributed the incident to a “lapse in judgement.”

“What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it,” he said in a statement after NBA’s announcement late Thursday. “I hope that Mr. Lowry and others impacted by this lapse in judgement understand that the behavior I demonstrated last night does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life.”

He said he reached out to Lowry and the Toronto Raptors to apologize directly. “I’m grateful to those who accepted my calls,” Stevens said. “I made a mistake and I’m truly sorry. I need to be better and look forward to making it right.”

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

Biden reverses stance on Hyde Amendment

Political News Biden reverses stance on Hyde Amendment

Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Former Vice President Joe Biden has reversed his stance on his support for a measure that prevents using federal funding for abortion after taking heat from some of his fellow 2020 Democrats.

“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right,” Biden said at the DNC “IWillVote” Gala in Atlanta on Thursday night.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

On voicemail,Trump’s lawyer asks Michael Flynn’s attorney for a ‘heads up’

Political News On voicemail,Trump's lawyer asks Michael Flynn's attorney for a 'heads up'

Mario Tama/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Government prosecutors on Thursday released the audio recording of a voicemail from President Donald Trump’s then-personal lawyer asking Michael Flynn’s attorney for “some kind of heads up” about the former national security adviser’s cooperation with investigators.

“Hey, Rob, uhm, this is John again,” the Nov. 22, 2017 voicemail recording starts out, as Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, requests Flynn’s attorney, Rob Kelner, for a “heads up” about the nature of Flynn’s cooperation, a move that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has described as a “potential” effort to hinder the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“If, on the other hand, we have, there’s information that. .. implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue, or maybe a national security issue, I don’t know … some issue, we got to-we got to deal with, not only for the President, but for the country,” Dowd tells Kelner in the voicemail. “So … uh … you know, then-then, you know, we need some kind of heads up. Um, just for the sake of … protecting all our interests, if we can, without you having to give up any … confidential information.”

Dowd also tells Kelner that he “understand[s]” that Flynn can’t join the joint defense agreement with the president, and added that the president’s “feelings toward Flynn” “still remains.” Flynn and his legal team had an informal joint defense agreement with the president and had engaged in privileged discussions before Flynn withdrew as he started cooperating with prosecutors.

 Excerpts from the voicemail were included in Mueller’s report and the government made public a complete transcript of the recording last week.

In court documents filed last month, government prosecutors described the contact from Trump’s attorney, as one of many “potential” efforts by those close to the president to thwart the investigation — an effort exposed because of Flynn’s 18 month-long cooperation with the special counsel’s team.

“The defendant informed the government of multiple instances, both before and after his guilty plea, where either he or his attorneys received communications from persons connected to the Administration or Congress that could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation,” the government noted in a court filing from last month.

In a statement to ABC News last week when the full transcript was released, Dowd said Mueller’s report “suggests that the joint defense conversations attributed to me by voicemail and statements and conclusions by Flynn counsel were an attempt by me to make them reconsider their position to cooperate.”

“This is clearly a baseless, political document designed to smear and damage the reputation of counsel and innocent people,” Dowd said.

Flynn on Thursday filed motion to drop Kelner as his attorney. Kelner did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

Idaho sues OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, accuses family of profiting from opioid crisis

Moussa81/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Idaho is suing OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the family that owns the privately held company for their alleged role in the opioid crisis, accusing them of mounting one of the “deadliest marketing campaigns in history,” the state attorney general’s office confirmed on Thursday.

Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden filed the suit in Idaho’s Fourth Judicial District Court on Monday, echoing the language of dozens of other states’ attorneys general who have already sued the opioid manufacturer.

Wasden’s suit also names eight members of the Sackler family: Richard Sackler, Theresa Sackler, Kathe Sackler, Jonathan Sackler, Mortimer D.A. Sackler, Beverly Sackler, David Sackler, and Ilene Sackler Lefcourt. Of the thousands of lawsuits filed against Purdue, only a few dozen name Sackler family members as well.

“Between 1999 and 2017, Idaho’s opioid-related death rate nearly tripled. In 2015 alone, approximately 1.3 million opioid prescriptions were written in Idaho—nearly one prescription for every man, woman, and child in the State,” the lawsuit said. “This crisis and its consequences could and should have been avoided.”

In a statement, a representative for the drug maker wrote: “Purdue Pharma vigorously denies the allegations contained in litigation against the company and will continue to defend itself against these misleading attacks.”

“These sensationalized claims are part of a continuing effort to try these cases in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system, as plaintiffs are unable to connect the conduct alleged to the harm described. Instead, they have invented stunningly overbroad legal theories, which if adopted by courts, will undermine the bedrock legal principle of causation,” the Purdue statement continued.

Representatives for the Sackler family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wasden’s suit claims that Purdue “campaigned for sweeping changes in the public’s and medical community’s perception of opioids, by both downplaying the risks associated with opioid use and aggressively encouraging much broader use of the drugs than medically necessary or appropriate.”

The lawsuit alleges that the company “misled and deceived doctors into prescribing more of Purdue’s opioids, in increasingly dangerous doses, and for longer periods of time, while persuading doctors and patients alike to forego safer alternatives” which eventually led to the current opioid crisis.

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Idaho sues OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, accuses family of profiting from opioid crisis

Couple says they fell ill at Dominican Republic resort where 3 Americans died

WORLD NEWS Couple says they fell ill at Dominican Republic resort where 3 Americans died

Bahia Principe La Romana(NEW YORK) — A Colorado couple claims they fell ill at the same Dominican Republic resort where three Americans died just five days apart last month.

Kaylynn Knull said she and her boyfriend, Tom Schwander, became sick while on vacation at the Grand Bahia Principe hotel in the coastal city of La Romana in June 2018.

“As soon as we came back to the room, we noticed it smelled like somebody had dumped paint everywhere,” Knull told ABC Denver affiliate KMGH-TV in a recent interview. “We were drooling excessively. My eyes would not stop watering.”

The mysterious symptoms persisted even after the couple changed hotel rooms, according to Knull.

“That night, we both woke up soaked in sweat at like 4 in the morning and kind of terrified,” she told KMGH-TV. “And we booked a flight home before the sun came up.”

Upon returning home to Colorado, the couple saw a doctor who said they were likely experiencing poisoning from organophosphate, a form of insecticide, which Knull said she believes were being used on the plants around the resort.

Knull said they sued the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana after the hotel refused to reveal the chemical used on its grounds or refund their money, but the case has apparently stalled in local courts, according to KMGH-TV.

A hotel spokesperson did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment on the suit.

Miranda Schaupp-Werner, 41, was found dead in her room at the resort on May 25 — five days before Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, were found dead in their room.

Schaup-Werner died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, according to a spokesperson for the hotel who declined to comment further on the woman’s death.

An autopsy performed on the couple, Holmes and Day, determined that they died of the same causes, according to the Dominican Republic National Police.

Investigators are awaiting the results of pathology and toxicology exams for all three victims.

“This is the first time I’ve seen something like this,” Col. Frank Duran, director of communications for the Dominican Republic National Police, told ABC News on Wednesday. “The manner of deaths weren’t violent.”

An official at the U.S. Department of State said they are “actively monitoring” the investigations into the deaths of the three Americans.

“At this point, we are not aware of any connection between these incidents,” the official told ABC News in a statement.

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

House Democrats prepare to hold Barr in contempt, fast track lawsuits against Trump officials

Political News House Democrats prepare to hold Barr in contempt, fast track lawsuits against Trump officials

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — House Democrats said Thursday they are preparing to make it easier for their committee chairmen to go to court to challenge the Trump White House in their ongoing battles over documents, testimony and even President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

The House will vote Tuesday to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for not complying with congressional subpoenas for the full Mueller report and underlying evidence, and documents and testimony from McGahn.

In that vote, lawmakers will also approve language reaffirming committee leaders’ ability to go to federal court to enforce their subpoenas with approval from a key bipartisan panel of congressional leaders, known as the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.

A vote from the five-person group – including the House speaker, and majority and minority leaders and whips – empowers the House to go to court to uphold its subpoenas. While committee chairs already have that power, Tuesday’s vote will add the weight of the full House behind that course of action, one House Democrats are expected to increasingly lean on in their current and future disputes with the administration, to avoid recurring votes on the floor on contempt resolutions.

House Democratic officials familiar with the resolution and Tuesday’s vote said it will apply to future subpoenas that have yet to be issued.

One official said the vote would send a message to the courts, “infusing the existing rules with the outrage of the full House of Representatives” against the Trump administration’s efforts to resist Democrats’ oversight probes.

According to one Democratic leadership aide, the move would pave the way for the House Ways and Means Committee to go to court in the next few weeks to seek enforcement of its subpoena for six years of the president’s tax returns. The Treasury Department has refused to comply with the request, arguing that it doesn’t serve a legislative purpose.

Next week, the House Oversight Committee could also vote to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for not complying with subpoenas related to the panel’s investigation of the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

Tyler Perry tells actors to stop buying billboards to get his attention: “Save your money!”

Entertainment News  Tyler Perry tells actors to stop buying billboards to get his attention: "Save your money!"


ABC/Ida Mae Astute

(ATLANTA)Tyler Perry has a message for actors buying billboards to get his attention: “Please stop.”

In an Instagram post, Perry shared a photo of a billboard featuring actress Racquel Bailey that read, “ATTENTION MR. PERRY Racquel Bailey Is Your Next Leading Lady.”

He then offered a critique on the actress’ creative pitch.

“Auhhh…. soooooo…… here’s the deal. This is not the way to get my attention if you’re looking for a role in one of my shows,” Perry wrote. “Please DON’T DO THIS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!! This is the third time that someone has done this. PLEASE STOP! To audition is FREE!! I’m sure you can use that money for a better purpose.”

He continued, “I love that you want to work with me, and I love that you invest in yourself. But when you do things like this it puts my team on high alert and makes me look at you sideways. I know the message that you want to send is a positive one, but this comes across as the opposite.”

“Again, the best way to work for me is to AUDITION and it’s FREE! We post breakdowns all the time for actors. JUST COME AND AUDITION,” he added.

Perry then offered Bailey some praise and even advice to on how to better get his attention.

“And by the way, you were great in THE NIGHT OF! It was my favorite show a couple years ago. I ALREADY SAW YOU!! So just audition and keep your money!!” he said.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bailey, who paid $2,000 for two billboards near Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, later landed an audition for an upcoming pilot that Perry is working on.

While Bailey hasn’t heard back yet, she told AJC she was “patiently waiting” for an opportunity.

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

DHS watchdog finds ‘egregious violations’ at ICE immigrant detention facilities

Political News DHS watchdog finds 'egregious violations' at ICE immigrant detention facilities

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A Homeland Security inspector general report released on Thursday shows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement failed to meet government standards for housing migrant detainees at multiple facilities last year.

“We observed spoiled and moldy food in kitchen refrigerators, as well as food past its expiration date,” the report stated.

At one facility in New Jersey, investigators said the food was “so substandard” that facility managers replaced the kitchen manager in the middle of the inspection.

At two facilities in California and New Jersey, the investigators said they found “immediate risks or egregious violations of detention standards,” including “nooses in detainee cells” and “inadequate medical care.”

Expired food and health issues were found at all four facilities mentioned in the report released this week. CNN first obtained details of the report.

Investigators conducted unannounced inspections at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California, the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Louisiana, the Essex County Correctional Facility in New Jersey, and the Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado.

ICE agreed with the inspector general’s recommendations and ensured facilities would take “corrective action” in response to the report’s findings.

The newly released report comes on the heels of another Homeland Security oversight investigation that found overcrowded and unsanitary conditions at migrant holding facilities along the border.

In the review of facilities run by Customs and Border Protection, the government watchdog found migrants were kept in “standing-room-only conditions” for days or weeks at a time.

U.S. Border Patrol has been forced to release tens of thousands of migrant families in response to the record levels of migrant crossings seen in recent months. U.S. authorities say most of the arriving migrants have traveled through Mexico from Central American countries including Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

“I hate that word!” Don’t call Margot Robbie a “bombshell”

Entertainment News  "I hate that word!" Don't call Margot Robbie a "bombshell"


Inez & Vinoodh/Vogue(LOS ANGELES) — In the cover story in July’s Vogue, Margot Robbie details her acting, her activism, and the term she can’t stand: “bombshell.”

“I hate that word. I hate it — so much,” the Oscar-nominated actress tells the fashion magazine. “I feel like a brat saying that because there are worse things, but I’m not a bombshell. I’m not someone who walks in a room and the record stops and people turn like, ‘Look at that woman.’ That doesn’t happen.”

Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman calls Robbie a “powerhouse,” and that might be more apt, since the actress, who will be seen in July in Quentin Tarantino’s anticipated Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has jumped into the producing game with both feet.

Via her company, Luckychap, Robbie is starring in and producing Birds of Prey, which puts her Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn into a female-focused superhero flick. There are females behind the camera, too: The movie is written by Christina Hodson, and directed by relative newcomer Cathy Yan.

“I’m so grateful to be in a position of power and to have more creative control when that is embraced and encouraged now,” says Robbie.  However, she admits having that control as a producer and an actress means she’s got her hands full

“It would be easier — and so much more unfulfilling — not to have a production company,” she tells Vogue. To not hire first- and second-time female directors, and stake millions of other people’s money, and put my name to it and everything I’ve worked for.”

But, she notes, “I’ve made the choice to do it, and I don’t regret it.”

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019

Mahershala Ali to star and produce prison film ‘Solitary’

Entertainment News  Mahershala Ali to star and produce prison film 'Solitary'


ABC/Heidi Gutman(LOS ANGELES) — Mahershala Ali has signed on for another role that is sure to test his limits as an actor.

According to Variety, the two-time Oscar winner is on board to executive produce, and likely take on the lead role, in the upcoming prison drama Solitary. The film, which is in the earliest stages of development, is based on Albert Woodfox’s 2019 memoir Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades In Solitary Confinement, My Story of Transformation and Hope, which follows the 43 years he spent in solitary confinement in Louisiana’s Angola Prison.

In 1972, Woodfox and Herman Wallace were indicted for the killing of a corrections officer and convicted in 1974. In the 1990s, activists began working to appeal Woodfox’s conviction, which was overturned in 2014.

Woodfox was released in 2016 after the prosecution agreed to drop its request for a retrial and accept his plea of no contest to lesser charges.

During their time behind bars, Woodfox and Wallace campaigned for prison reform as part of the Black Panther Party. Wallace was released from prison in 2013, but died of cancer three days later.

This is the latest project for Ali, who earlier this year won the Best Supporting Oscar for his role in Green Book. Up next, the actor will star in the independent sci-fi drama Sovereign.

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Posted On 06 Jun 2019