Category Archives: community

Kendrick Lamar is a Pulitzer Prize winner

Kendrick Lamar now has a Pulitzer Prize to go with all his Grammy Awards.

Lamar’s “DAMN” was announced as the recipient of the prestigious award on Monday, a history-making first for a rap artist, as the music award is typically given to classical or jazz works.

The 2017 Pulitzer Prize for music went to “Angel’s Bone,” an opera by composer Du Yun.

“DAMN” is Lamar’s fourth studio album and was released in April 2017.


Lamar’s politically charged performance at the Grammy Awards in January won him wide praise.

“DAMN” picked up best rap album at the award show. His song “Humble” also picked up best rap performance, best rap song and best music video.

The New York Times and The New Yorker were also awarded prizes for their reporting on Harvey Weinstein that put the #MeToo movement in the national spotlight.

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Beyonce Brings Out JAY-Z and Destiny’s Child for Historic Coachella Headlining Set

After postponing 2017’s headlining Coachella slot due to her pregnancy with twins, Beyoncé made a historic return to the main stage to close out the second night (April 14) of the festival in Indio, Calif.

Prior to what would ultimately turn out to be a new career-defining peak, rumors swirled that the pop megastar would reunite Destiny’s Child and bring out 100 dancers to back her up. And just hours before performance began, she took to Facebook to shout out her fans, and let them know to get in formation during the hour intermission before the games began.

“I am so excited to see the BeyHive tonight at Coachella,” she wrote. “We have been working hard and have a special show planned for you so please be safe and stay hydrated. We need your energy! There will be an hour intermission before my performance, so mark your spot, charge your phones, grab your drinks. Can’t wait to see y’all at 11:05pm!”

The speculation and rumors were accurate: Not only did Beyoncé reach a new creative peak, but she did it all while making it look effortless. Throughout a ceaseless two-hour set, the pop icon took the swelling Coachella crowd back to the days of feverish high school pep rallies and college homecomings. On stage, a tiered set of bleachers scraped the sky as a brass band and dozens of dancers backed what was indisputably the weekend’s most stunning performance, with guest appearances from a reunited Destiny’s Child (for a series of their classics), as well as cameos from her husband JAY-Z and sister Solange.

Most importantly, though, Beyoncé made history, not just in her own career — turning her music and performance into high art — but at the festival, which is now in its 19th year. “Coachella, thanks for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline,” she said before bringing out Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. “Ain’t that ’bout a bitch?”

Even by Beyoncé’s standards, the show went above and beyond. It was impeccably choreographed, designed and directed, right down to the minute details — Bey tapping her fingers across her knees in time to the beat on “Partition,” the exact dance moves done for her rendition of “Baby Boy,” the little teases of hits from the past as songs segued from one to the next.

“This is a very important performance for me,” she told the crowd between “Sorry” and “Bow Down/I Been On.” “I’m happy to be back home on the stage tonight.”

But above all, Beyoncé did it without breaking a sweat, an almost superhuman feat. Whether she was soaring over the crowd during “Drunk in Love,” or hitting micro-choreographed dance moves with the best backup dancers available while growling, “Suck on my balls” during “Sorry,” she proved that she’s truly pushing her art form forward, in both creative scope and the breadth of music she’s recorded. It was invaluable context, even, to get glimpses of her roots throughout the performance, whether Bey was singing with JAY-Z for “Déjà Vu,” dancing with Solange for the extended version of “Get Me Bodied,” or traipsing through her Destiny’s Child days with Rowland and Williams as if the chemistry had never wavered.

Of course, when it comes to Beyoncé, nothing ever wavers. Not only did the Queen set a new standard for herself at Coachella, but she set a standard for the entire festival and its future marquee performers — not just as the first black woman to headline the fest, but as an artist whose creative prowess will continue to be nearly impossible to match.

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Mariah Carey opens up about her battle with bipolar disorder

Mariah Carey has spoken for the first time about her 17-year battle with bipolar disorder.

The singer told People she was first diagnosed with the condition in 2001 after a mental breakdown which resulted in her being admitted to hospital.

Carey, who has sold 200 million records worldwide, said she only recently has sought medical treatment.

She said it came after “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through”.

“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she explained.

“It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore.

“I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love – writing songs and making music.”

Carey said she is now having therapy and taking medication for bipolar disorder, which has caused her to have periods of depression and hypomania, which can cause irritability and insomnia.

“I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good. It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important,” she told People.

She added that for a long time she thought she had “severe sleep disorder” but whilst working on her album in the studio released “it wasn’t normal insomnia”.

“I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down,” she added.

“I guess my depressive episodes were characterized by having very low energy. I would feel so lonely and sad – even guilty that I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing for my career.”

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SEARCHED AND SEIZED: F.B.I. AGENTS RAID MICHAEL COHEN’S NEW YORK HOTEL

The paparazzi lingering outside the Loews Regency on Park Avenue, hoping to get a photo of U.F.C. fighter Conor McGregor, appeared not to notice the stream of F.B.I. agents that entered the New York hotel early Monday morning, as they made their way up to the room where the president’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been staying.

A handful of them remained upstairs for several hours, according to a source familiar with the situation. “Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,” Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, said in a statement. “I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

Downstairs, hotel jazz blared on speakers, as women with Louis Vuitton totes and men in Gucci loafers and gold-button blazers checked in and out, while kids in Yeezys and fur-trimmed puffer coats chased each other around the lobby. A woman who looked awfully like Caroline Kennedy made a quick pass through the restaurant, and hotel security seemed to arrange a way for a guest, perhaps McGregor, to make an exit through a side door without being spotted.

The cheery hotel scene belied what has become a growing legal headache for Cohen, as Mueller’s Russia probe has expanded to include inquiries into the Trump Organization’s business records and foreign dealings, including in Russia. Last week, McClatchy reported that the special counsel’s investigators showed up with subpoenas to the home of an associate of the Trump Organization, compelling sworn testimony and electronic records. The report indicated that investigators were interesting in interactions involving Cohen.

Later Monday, The Washington Post reported that Cohen is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations. Cohen’s home and Manhattan office were also raided.

Cohen’s lawyer called the tactics “completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” and said the documents seized concerned protected attorney-client communications. “These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”

In brief comments to the White House press pool Monday afternoon, Donald Trump railed against the treatment of his personal attorney, calling the raid “a disgraceful situation” and repeating his assertion that the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt. “It’s an attack on our country . . . what we all stand for.”

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment on Monday, as did the F.B.I.’s New York office. Cohen’s cell phone, which is typically ringing off the hook, went straight to voice mail all day on Monday. The New York Times separately reported that the warrant was related to payments Cohen made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, among other issues.

Cohen, a loyal fixer for the Trump Organization and longtime personal friend of the Trump family, has been a person of interest in the Mueller probe since 2016, when his name surfaced in the Trump-Russia dossier compiled by Christopher Steele—a controversial opposition-research document that included claims that Cohen had traveled to Prague to meet with Russian operatives to “clean up the mess.” (Cohen has told me repeatedly that he has never been to Prague, and that the claims in the dossier are untrue; he filed a defamation suit earlier this year against Fusion GPS, which commissioned the dossier, and BuzzFeed, which published it, seeking $100 million in damages.) Last year, it was reported that Cohen had been working on a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, which did not materialize. In September, he was questioned by congressional committees over the course of two days as part of their investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

More recently, Cohen’s relationship with the president has become headline news because of the payment he made to Daniels 11 days before the 2016 election. In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that a shell company set up by Cohen had paid Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, $130,000 as part of a non-disclosure agreement barring her from discussing her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump. Her attorney has since filed a lawsuit claiming that the agreement is void because Trump did not sign it; attorneys for Cohen have filed their own suit attempting to bring the matter into arbitration. Trump, who has denied the affair through spokespeople, said aboard Air Force One on Thursday that he did not know about the agreement—a contention Cohen has repeatedly made as well. While ethics experts have suggested that the payment could represent an illegal campaign contribution if it were deemed to have been made for electoral purposes, Cohen has repeatedly told me that the payment came out of his own pocket and that it had nothing to do with the election. “What I did defensively for my personal client, and my friend, is what attorneys do for their high-profile clients,” Cohen told me last month. “I would have done it in 2006. I would have done it in 2011. I truly care about him and the family—more than just as an employee and an attorney.”

The arrival of F.B.I. agents at the Regency marks another dramatic escalation of the Mueller probe. While Trump’s allies have dismissed many of the people in the special counsel’s crosshairs as low-level campaign officials, or waved away the charges against Paul Manafort as unrelated to Trump, Cohen is inextricably and emotionally linked to the Trump family. He worked in Trump Tower every day, and still remains one of Trump’s personal attorneys, though he left the Trump Organization around the presidential inauguration. Last summer, he told me he would “take a bullet for the president.”

For months after Mueller’s appointment, Trump and Cohen did not speak regularly, at the advice of counsel, but earlier this year, they started to communicate more. He has had dinner twice at Mar-a-Lago in recent months, including a meeting with Trump on the eve of Stormy Daniels’s sit-down on 60 Minutes.

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Will a Bulletproof Backpack Save Your Life During a School Shooting?

The school shooting in Florida has renewed the question of what to do during an attack. Experts advise making a barricade between yourself and the shooter, leading Inside Edition to seek out what’s really going to stop a bullet. Jimmy Grammenos of Gun for Hire Academy in New Jersey used a .22 pistol and the larger 9 mm handgun to show what gives you a better chance of protection. A sign of the new times is that there are bulletproof backpacks for sale.

Parkland Students Are Not Happy About Their Clear Backpacks

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are not impressed by their school’s new safety measure. Six weeks after a gunman killed 17 people at the Parkland, Florida, school, students were given clear backpacks they are required to wear in order to prevent anyone from bringing weapons onto campus.

Robert Runcie, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, announced the new policy last month, after the shooter’s brother was caught trespassing on campus, and two students were charged with carrying knives onto school grounds. Runcie also said students would be issued ID badges they must wear at all time while at school, and that the district is considering installing metal detectors.

Students were immediately critical of the decision, with one senior, Kyra Parrow, tweeting, “s/o to America for making my school seem like jail now because legislators don’t have common sense gun reform on their agendas.” Reactions weren’t any warmer when the backpacks were handed out on Monday after students returned from spring break.

Some students used the clear plastic backpacks to broadcast their opinions on the new requirement.

Since the shooting, Stoneman Douglas students have been at the forefront of a renewed push for stricter gun-control legislation. The new bags were issued just over a week after millions of people around the world joined Parkland students for the March for Our Lives protest for gun control.

“We’re going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run not as politicians, but as Americans. Because this,” Parkland survivor David Hogg said at the march in Washington D.C., pointing at the U.S. Capitol, “This is not cutting it.”

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Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. 50 years after assassination

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The King family will join thousands in Memphis this week to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King’s daughter Bernice King arrived in Memphis Monday afternoon. She was aboard a Delta charter flight. So was FOX 5’s Deidra Dukes, who was the only reporter on board and got to interviewed Rev. Bernice King during the flight.

King talked a lot about what this week will mean not only for her but other members of her family as she returns Memphis. The first time she journeyed to Memphis was in her 30s because the idea of making this trip in the past has been so painful for her. So, this week will likely stir many emotions.

“It’s emotional for me but I’m trying not to let it overwhelm me so I can function,” Dr. Bernice King said.

A wave of emotion came over Dr. Bernice King as she made her way through TSA at Hartsfield Jackson for the trip to Memphis.

“I think I said, you know, I didn’t get an opportunity to go fifty years ago, then I broke down crying. I didn’t know it was coming,” Dr. Bernice King said.

Fifty years ago, a then five-year-old Bernice was left behind as her mother and three older siblings who traveled to Memphis just days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.

“On April 8, 1968, my mom came to Memphis to lead the march my father would have led which was the day before the funeral and she brought the three older children and I got left in Atlanta,” Dr. Bernice King said.

Monday afternoon, she boarded a Delta charter flight joined by dozens of religious and civil rights leaders, for the pilgrimage to Memphis. King said the number of pastors joining her on this journey really hold special significance.

“Tell them that 50 years ago because my father spoke out against the war in Vietnam he became even more controversial and a lot of churches began to close their doors even black churches. It was hard for him to have mass meetings in churches and very few were welcoming. So, for me to come back here with a group of pastors is unbelievable for me,” Bernice King told FOX 5’s Deidra Dukes.

King toured the Lorraine Motel where her father was shot and killed that fateful day in April of 1968 as he stood on the hotel balcony.

“It’s interesting to be able to have these experiences, connections not knowing my father, but kind of sensing the presence of his spirit,” Bernice King said. “I do feel a connection to his spirit and what he was trying to do.”

Bernice King will be joined by her brother Martin for this week’s commemorative events in Memphis. On Tuesday, they will speak at the Mason Temple, where their father delivered his last speech.

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