Friday October 20, 2017

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The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.


Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.


The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.


Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court's previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.


"No union is more profound than marriage," Kennedy wrote, joined by the court's four more liberal justices.


The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But some state officials and county clerks might decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.


Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.


The decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.


The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly. As recently as October, just over one-third of the states permitted same-sex marriage.


There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA's Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.


The Obama administration backed the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Justice Department's decision to stop defending the federal anti-marriage law in 2011 was an important moment for gay rights and President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in 2012.

On the same day Bobbi Kristina Brown's family said she was moved to hospice care and that her life "is in God's hands now," Brown's conservator accused her boyfriend of assaulting and stealing from Brown.


The civil lawsuit, filed Wednesday against Nick Gordon in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia, alleges that Gordon's behavior "caused, among other things, substantial bodily harm to Brown."


It also claims that since Brown's hospitalization in January, Gordon accessed her accounts and stole more than $11,000.


Attempts to contact Gordon for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.


He posted a message to his Twitter account that did not mention the lawsuit, but said, in part: "We keep praying."


We keep praying, she has fought hard this long don't give up hope.


— Nick Gordon (@nickdgordon) June 24, 2015



'Condition has continued to deteriorate'

The 22-year-old daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston was found unresponsive at her home in January.


"Despite the great medical care at numerous facilities, Bobbi Kristina Brown's condition has continued to deteriorate. As of today, she has been moved into hospice care," read a statement from the family.


"We thank everyone for their support and prayers. She is in God's hands now."


Brown, Houston's daughter with singer Bobby Brown, was found unresponsive January 31 in a bathtub at her home in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell. The extent of her injuries was never made public.


Gordon was one of the two people who reportedly found Brown. Brown called the 25-year-old her husband, but her father's attorney said the two were never married.


A family friend has said Gordon is not welcome in Brown's hospital room, and he has not seen her since that night in January.


Bobby Brown arrived Wednesday at an Atlanta-area hospice facility, a source close to the Houston family told CNN.


Prosecutors get case



The lawsuit states that just prior to January 31, Brown told someone that Gordon was "not the man she thought he was" and set up a time to meet that person later in the day.


Brown never made it to the meeting, the suit claims.


"Instead, on the morning of January 31, 2015, Brown became embroiled in a loud argument with Defendant at her townhome. The loud argument ended and Brown was later found unresponsive and unconscious, face down in a bathtub, with her mouth swollen and another tooth knocked out," it reads.


Police have said they are treating Brown's case as a criminal investigation.


On Wednesday, Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant told CNN that the investigation is in the hands of the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.


"Our department has completed the initial investigation. The investigative file, which is quite large, has been turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office for their review, and to determine if any criminal charges are appropriate," he said.


In April, Brown's grandmother Cissy Houston said that Brown had "global and irreversible brain damage."


Houston said then that Brown was no longer in a medically induced coma, but that she remained unresponsive.


When Whitney Houston died in 2012, she was also found in a bathtub. A coroner ruled her death an accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors.


Brown is Houston's only child.


Bobbi Kristina Brown, in her own words

One of the many Grammy-related articles after last month’s awards is that singer Adele, who won six trophies — including the prestigious trifecta of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year — has been accompanied for the last few years by musical director and keyboardist Miles Robertson. Those fans watching Adele’s first post surgery performance at the Grammy’s, may also have caught sight of Robertson, who accompanied her during her performance of Rolling In The Deep. Robertson was born in Barbados into a family of musicians. His maternal grandparents as well as his mother, Janice Millington, were established Barbadian artists, and his father, Raf Robertson is a noted Caribbean jazz pianist.


Robertson bases his success on hard work, discipline and dedication, for which he gives credit to his mother, a graduate of The Royal Academy of Music, United Kingdom. His mother began to train him in classical piano and violin at age four. However, it wasn’t until Robertson was 14 that he decided he wanted to pursue a career in music. While attending the Lodge School, he began drumming for the school ensemble. His professional breakthrough came in 2005, when he toured as a backup musician for Atlantic recording soca artiste Rupee. As either a keyboardist or musical director, Robertson has worked with a diverse group of artists, including rocker Drew Seeley, the gospel group Take 6, rapper Fabolous, One Republic, Ashley Tisdale, Sean Kingston, jazz musician Najee and old school band Lisa Lisa & Cultjam.


In 2008, Robertson began touring with Adele. As her keyboardist, he has appeared on numerous television shows, including Saturday Night Live, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live! He has also toured with Irish singer Laura Izibor in the United Kingdom and continues to play at clubs in New York City such as The Village Underground and Club Groove. He ensures that his mother’s legacy lives on by naming his production company Anita J Productions Inc.

If you’ve ever done any serious moving in skinny jeans, you’re probably aware that they can get pretty uncomfortable. (They’re definitely not yoga pants.) You probably didn’t know, however, that tight skinny jeans can also get dangerous.


In a new case study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, doctors highlight a 35-year-old woman who arrived at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. She presented with weakness in both ankles and feet, so much so that she was unable to walk. She also suffered severe swelling below the knees in both legs, so much so that doctors had to cut her jeans off the previous day.


She recalled to doctors that the issues had begun the day before, when she was helping a relative move and spent hours squatting to empty cupboards. She’d been wearing skinny jeans at the time, and remembered they grew increasingly snug and uncomfortable the longer she had them on.


The doctors determined her symptoms were the result of nerve damage in both legs, due to two factors, according to study author Thomas Kimber, MD, a neurologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Adelaide.


“It was the combination of squatting and tight jeans that caused the problem,” he tells Yahoo Health. “Squatting would have compressed the peroneal nerves in the lower leg and reduced the blood supply to the calf muscles; the tight jeans meant that, as the calf muscles started to swell in response to the reduced blood supply, they compressed the adjacent tibial nerves and further cut off the blood supply to the muscles.”


This resulted in compartment syndrome, which occurs when there’s increased pressure within one of the body’s “compartments”containing muscles and nerves. The pressure decreases the blood flow that provides key nourishment and oxygen to cells, causing them to swell and further damaging the already-swollen muscles.

A man’s claim that he was served a fried rat at a KFC restaurant in California has been refuted by the company following a DNA test of the meat, the company said on Monday.


“Recently, a customer questioned the quality of a KFC product, and this received considerable publicity given the sensational nature of his claim,” the company said in a statement to ABC News.


The customer’s attorney gave the product to KFC on Friday for testing at an independent lab. DNA tests confirmed the product was chicken and not a rat as the customer claimed, according to KFC.


KFC spokesman Rodrigo Coronel said the man who made the false claim “wasn’t cooperating with an investigation,” so his attorney obtained the ‘rat’ and gave it to an independent lab for testing.


Coronel also alleged the customer lied about being told the piece of chicken was a rat.


“We did an internal investigation and talked to all employees. That statement is false,” Coronel wrote. “The right thing for this customer to do is to apologize and cease making false claims about the KFC brand.”


Last week, the customer, identified as Devorise Dixon, refuted claims made by KFC. He has reportedly refused to communicate directly with the company.


“Honestly, it doesn’t matter what others think I know what I bit into and what it looks like never in life have .. seen a chicken strip with a long tail,” he wrote last week.


The photos were posted on Facebook on June 12 and have been shared over 138,000 times.

James Horner, the award-winning composer behind some of Hollywood's biggest films, died in a plane crash outside Santa Barbara, California on Monday, according to multiple reports. He was 61.


Horner was an avid pilot and was flying alone in his two-seater single-engine S312 Tucano when he was killed, according to Variety. The crash sparked a brushfire that was put out by local fire crews, but the plane was completely destroyed.


His death was confirmed by Sylvia Patrycja, who The Hollywood Reporter noted is listed on his film music page as his assistant. Patrycja wrote on Facebook on Monday night, "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road."


Horner composed the music for more than 100 films, including "Titanic," "Avatar," "Field of Dreams," "Apollo 13," "Braveheart," "A Beautiful Mind" and two "Star Trek" movies. His work on "Titanic" earned him two Academy Awards, one for the film's score and one for its iconic theme song, "My Heart Will Go On," which was performed by Celine Dion. Horner, who wrote the music, shared that award with lyricist Will Jennings.


Born in Los Angeles in 1953, Horner grew up in London and attended the Royal College of Music, according to his biography on the Pacific Symphony website. He earned degrees in composition from USC and UCLA, and began his scoring career with 1979 film "The Lady In Red," according to IMDB. He also did the 1978 picture "The Watcher," but wrote the music for "The Lady in Red" first.


His big break was the 1982 blockbuster "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." When the producers couldn't afford to hire Jerry Goldsmith, who did the music for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," they hired Horner, who would also score the third film in the franchise, 1984's "The Search for Spock."


By "Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country" in 1991, the producers could no longer afford Horner, who had risen to prominence in the industry.


In 1986, he earned his first Academy Award nomination for "Aliens," which was also his first collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron -- but it wasn't necessarily an auspicious beginning. The film was plagued by delays and six weeks before it opened, Horner still hadn't even seen the film yet, much less written the music. He also clashed with both Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd.


"It was a nightmare," Horner later recalled, saying he didn't think he'd ever work with Cameron again, and that the feelings were mutual.


"I think we both felt life was too short to have these conflicts," Horner said. "We sort of parted after that."


But after the filmmaker heard Horner's "Braveheart" score, the two teamed up again for "Titanic" in 1997 and "Avatar" in 2009.


“In Titanic, I challenged you to do an emotionally powerful score without violinists, and with the use of haunting vocals and bittersweet Celtic pipes, you reinvented the romantic score," Cameron said in a 2011 tribute to the composer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


Cameron continued:


"Avatar was a very different challenge — to capture the heart and spirit of an alien culture without alienated the audience. By combining the sweep of a classic orchestral score with indigenous instrumentation and vocals, you came up with a unique sound that created both the epic sweep of the film and also childlike sense of wonder of experiencing that fantastic world for the first time… I look forward to our next collaboration and I can’t wait to hear what you come up with next.”

Cameron has been working on multiple "Avatar" sequels, and Horner had said he would continue to work on the films "if I last that long."


IMDB lists Horner as winning 48 major awards and being nominated for 64 others. Along with his two Oscars for "Titanic" he received eight other Academy Award nominations.


Horner was also nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, winning five, including two for "My Heart Will Go On" and two for "Somewhere Out There" from the 1986 film "An American Tail."


Many of those who worked with Horner, as well as the many more who have been touched by his music, paid tribute to the composer on Twitter.

Janet Jackson sent fans into a frenzy when she shared online a preview of her first new song in years. The singer took to Twitter on Wednesday, June 17 to post a 43-second snippet of the slow-tempo ballad called "Love". 


"I wanna tell you how important you are to me! Love J. #ConversationsInACafe," she wrote alongside the sneak-peek of the ode to her fans. "I lived through my mistakes/ It's just a part of growing/ And never for a single moment did I ever go without your love/ You made me feel wanted/ I wanna tell you how important you are to me," she sings. 


There's still no word on when fans can finally listen to the full version of "Love". Jackson is currently working on a comeback album and preparing herself for her just-announced "Unbreakable World Tour". 


Marking her first full-length of new material in seven years, the yet-to-be-titled album is due out this fall via Rhythm Nation Records/BMG. Meanwhile, the North American leg of her tour is scheduled to open on August 31 in Vancouver, BC and run through November 12 in Honolulu, HI. 




CONCACAF has cancelled its Under-15 Boys’ Championship scheduled for Cayman Islands and Jamaica in August.

The regional body made the announcement in a release that did not include a reason for the cancellation.

The statement said the Under-15 development tournament has been postponed until further notice but made no mention of the bribery scandal which has engulfed the game worldwide.

“By decision of the CONCACAF Executive Committee, CONCACAF regrets to advise of the postponement until further notice of the CONCACAF Under-15 Boys’ Championship 2015,” the statement read.

The news is seen as not just a blow to youth football in the region but also to the Cayman economy, as the tournament was expected to provide a late summer boost to hotel and service sector.

Over thirty regional squads as well as squads from Brazil, England and the Oceania Football Confederation’s Vanuatu were among teams down to compete in the regional competition.

“CONCACAF is committed to restoring a full slate of complementary youth development tournaments in the shortest possible time,” the release said.

“This includes our objective to re-schedule the Under-15 Boys’ Championship, at the soonest opportunity”.

The Under-15 Boys’ Championship is part of CONCACAF’s grassroots programme, which has been championed by Jeffrey Webb, the former FIFA Vice President and until recently president of both Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) and CONCACAF.

Webb is among several FIFA officials imprisoned in Switzerland fighting their extradition to the United States, accused of being involved in a $150 million bribery and racketeering scheme.

Whitney Houston was blackmailed by a Chicago lawyer over rumors of a lesbian affair, according to a heavily redacted file released by FBI under the Freedom of Information Act. The lawyer threatened Whitney back in 1992, the same year she got married to Bobby Brown, to reveal the "intimate details" of her affair unless she paid $250,000. 


A passage from an enclosed memo reads, "[Redacted] said [Redacted] told him that [Redacted] has knowledge of intimate details regarding Whitney Houston's romantic relationships, and will go public with the information unless [Redacted] is paid $250,000. [Redacted] told [Redacted] client will sign a confidentiality agreement if [Redacted] is paid the $250,000." The file also includes an executed confidentiality agreement which suggests that the extortion plot was successful. 


According to a new book titled "Whitney & Bobbi Kristina: The Deadly Price of Fame" by Ian Halperin, via New York Post, the extortion plot was based on the rumored affair between Whitney and her assistant Robyn Crawford. The lawyer told an FBI agent that the info included "knowledge of intimate details regarding Whitney Houston's romantic relationships and will go public with the information." 


Whitney's father John Houston allegedly "settled the matter by sending a confidentiality agreement almost immediately" although it was "unclear how much money was paid to silence the person and whether he met the initial demand for $250,000." 


According to Ian, Whitney gave Robyn a black Porsche as "a token of their friendship" on the day of her wedding to Bobby. The author quotes the singer's former bodyguard Kevin Ammons who said John was unhappy with Robyn and worried she would come forward with the relationship. John allegedly told Kevin, "We've got to do something about that motherf***ing b***h. She's ruining my family and driving everybody nuts. She's lost her grip on reality. I'll pay you $6,000 if you put the fear of God in her." 


Kevin said he refused John's request and was warned to "keep an eye" on Robyn. 


In the book, Ian also offers a theory on what happened to Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, who remains unresponsive after she was found unconscious in her bathtub back in January. According to the author, a suicide attempt was unlikely because of the water temperature. One local drug addict told him that Bobbi "probably took the plunge." 


Ian writes, "He told me that when somebody 'drops' - which seems to be a term for an OD - there are all kinds of ways to revive them. 'I've never seen it done in a bath,' he said to me, 'but I sort of helped bring somebody around with a cold shower. You stick them under the cold water and you slap them to bring them around.' " 


"Only the toxicology report - or in the worst-case scenario, an autopsy - can definitively answer the question about which, if any, drugs Bobbi Kristina had in her body at the time she was found," he adds, "It's possible that authorities will unveil new evidence that discredits the cold-water bath theory completely. It's also possible that we may never know what happened." 


Fans are getting Janet Jackson's comeback album this fall. The singer and BMG announced in a press release posted on her website on Wednesday, June 3 that her first studio effort in seven years, still untitled, would finally come out this fall as her first venture with her newly-launched label, Rhythm Nation Records. 


"Janet is not just a supreme artist, she is a unique cultural force whose work resonates around the world," BMG's CEO Hartwig Masuch said of the partnership with Jackson. "It is an honor that she has chosen BMG to release her long-awaited new album. We look forward to collaborating with her across every platform." 


Jackson also shared her excitement to team up with BMG, saying, "Thank you to the talented team at BMG, my new artistic home. The opportunity to be creative in music and every form of entertainment has great potential here." 


The diva put out her latest album, "Discipline", in 2008. She began teasing its follow-up and an accompanying world tour in a video posted on her 49th birthday last month. A few days ago, rumors started swirling claiming that her new single would hit radio later this month. 


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