Category Archives: drama

Sammy “The Bull” Gravano Released from Prison

Infamous mafia turncoat Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano was set free after serving 17 1/2 years behind bars, on Monday, September 18. The release comes nearly five years short of the full 20-year sentence he received for pleading guilty to running a $500,000-a-week drug ring in 2001. Gravano’s lengthy detention is not to be confused with the five-year sentence he was handed – of which he served less than a year – after helping to bring down Gotti and the New York mob in the early 1990’s.

Following Gravano’s historic plea deal, which virtually did away with the fate he would otherwise be facing for admitting to 19 murders, he lived under the witness protection program for a time, before relocating to Arizona. Gravano was a marked man as it was, considering his testimony as an informant on the witness stand in Gotti’s murder and racketeering trial led to the conviction of the Gambino Family boss and 39 other high-profile mobsters across the city’s five-family Cosa Nostra syndicate. But he’d draw an even larger target on his back by organizing a nearly 50-member team of ecstasy drug dealers to work for him, while under the watchful eye of the FBI.

Gravano will remain under federal parole for the rest of his life, per the orders of federal Judge Allyne Ross during his sentencing in 2002.

SOURCE: VLADTV

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Melania Trump threatens lawsuit over English class billboard

Billboards featuring Melania Trump and the slogan “just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English” were removed Tuesday from the Croatian capital after her lawyer threatened a lawsuit.

The billboards were part of a marketing campaign by a private English language school in Zagreb, which tried to persuade Croats to learn English by reminding them of the Slovenian-born U.S. first lady’s personal experience.

But Mrs. Trump did not accept what was apparently meant to be a joke about her English, spoken with a heavy accent. Her Slovenian lawyer demanded that the billboards, showing Melania Trump delivering a speech standing before a fluttering American flag, be immediately removed.

“I’m satisfied with the fact that the school admitted that they violated the law and that they are ready to remove the billboards and (Facebook) ads,” lawyer Natasa Pirc-Musar told The Associated Press. “We are still analyzing possible further legal steps.”

Melania Trump has hired the law firm to protect her image, which has appeared on various products in her native Slovenia, including cakes, underwear and tourism advertisements.

Pirc-Musar said that the Croatian school has apologized for the billboards, but that the statement also needs to be published by the Croatian and Slovenian state news agencies.

“We are very sorry that the billboards were misunderstood as something intended to mock the U.S. first lady,” Ivis Buric, a spokeswoman for the school, American Institute, said. “It was meant to be something positive, to show her as a role model.”

Buric admitted that the short advertising campaign turned out to be “very successful” because of the wide publicity it received both locally and internationally. She said that the school intends to put up new billboards, this time without Melania Trump’s image.

Melania Trump was born in neighboring Slovenia as Melanija Knavs. She left Slovenia in her 20s to pursue an international modeling career before meeting Donald Trump at a Fashion Week party in New York in 1998.

SOURCE: ABC

Federal Judge Blocks Trump Admin from Defunding “Sanctuary Cities”

Late Friday, September 15, a federal judge in Chicago issued a nationwide injunction that would bar the Trump administration’s attempt to defund “sanctuary cities.”

The term “sanctuary city” refers to the roughly 300 local governments nationwide that have chosen not to cooperate with federal law enforcement efforts against immigrant communities. Just last month a judge barred Texas from aiding the federal immigration efforts.

Friday’s ruling came from District Judge Harry Leinenweber who ruled on the principle that cutting funding for those cities protecting undocumented immigrants is unlawful and unconstitutional. Further adding that Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t possess the authority to impose such penalties.

In his 41-page decision, Leinenweber wanted to widen the scope of his ruling to a more national view, stating, “no reason to think that the legal issues present in this case are restricted to Chicago or that the statutory authority given to the attorney general would differ in another jurisdiction.”

SOURCE: VLADTV

ESPN Reportedly Tried to Replace Jemele Hill

The White House encouraged ESPN to fire Jemele Hill after the anchor tweeted disparaging remarks about President Donald Trump. The network allegedly did try to pull the SportsCenter host, according to a report from ThinkProgress.

Hill was caught in the middle of a firestorm when she tweeted that Trump was a white supremacist, ignorant and unfit for the job of commander in chief. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Hill’s tweets were a “fireable offense,” and several conservative publications started a social media movement for that to happen.

ESPN issued a statement on Tuesday, reprimanding Hill for her comments but didn’t issue a suspension. According to Think Progress, they did, however, try to remove the host. The network reportedly tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening, but her co-host Michael Smith refused to do the show without her, sources said. They also said that the producers reached out to two other black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them to serve as fill-ins for the show, but Eaves and Duncan refused to take the place of Hill and Smith. Faced with the possibility of having to replace Hill and Smith with white co-hosts (which would’ve caused a firestorm), sources said ESPN then called Hill and asked her to come back on her show.

ESPN refutes these claims.

“Yesterday was a hard and unusual day, with a number of people interpreting the day without a full picture that happened,” Rob King, the senior vice president for news and information at SportsCenter, told ThinkProgress. “In the end, ultimately, Michael and Jemele appearing on the show last night and doing the show the way they did is the outcome we always desired.”

“We never asked any other anchors to do last night’s show. Period,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz emailed ThinkProgress after they published their report.

Hill did not address the controversy during the show Wednesday night, but she did release a statement on Twitter. She did not apologize for her statements, nor delete the tweets, but apologized for painting ESPN in an unfair light.

SOURCE: VLADTV

Chance The Rapper Sued For Copyright Infringement

The rise of Chance The Rapper has been a rapid one. The rapper has managed to garner critical praise for his Coloring Book album along with him setting up initiatives to raise money for the Chicago Public School system.

Chance The Rapper Sued For Copyright Infringement

However, it looks as if his past may be giving him some trouble, as he is being sued for copyright infringement. The lawsuit stems from a jazz musician named Abdul Wali Muhammad who says the rapper used a “significant portion” of one of his songs on his track “Windows.” According to the document filed by the musician and his lawyer, “blatant and willful infringement” of Muhammad’s song “Bridge Through Time” took place.

For those unaware, “Windows” was a song featured on Chance The Rapper’s 2012 mixtape 10 Days. Because of that, Muhammad has issued a request to a federal judge asking the rapper to refrain from “copying, distributing, performing, selling or offering to sell” the track “Windows.”

Chance The Rapper Sued For Copyright Infringement

Muhammad’s lawyer went on to say “Chance failed and refused to take any action to halt access to the infringing song,” even though Muhammad directly reached out to the artist about the pending issue. No one from Chance’s team has commented on the situation.

SOURCE: VLADTV

St. Martin Residents Riot Due to Food & Water Shortages After Hurricanes

Islands in the Caribbean were hit back to back by Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Irma. Places like St. Martin were devastated by the storm, and now reports have surfaced noting that violence has broken out on the island as residents search for food and water. So far, it has been reported that 27 people died as a result of both hurricanes. However, Hurricane Irma may have taken more lives, according to the NY Times.

The news pointed out that there was a major shortage in the amount of food and water available, and there were many power outages. Along with that, there was a major lack in phone service as well, which is keeping many from confirming their safety to their family members outside of the region. A 63-year-old resident pointed out what was happening in St. Martin, saying, “All the food is gone now. People are fighting in the streets for what is left.” On the Dutch side of the island, police noted that increased police presence will be implemented on the street to keep looting from getting out of control. The United States government also noted that they would be sending a flight to St. Martin to get most of the citizens evacuated from the devastated island.

SOURCE: VLADTV

Lil Wayne Hospitalized After Suffering Multiple Seizures

Lil Wayne performs during the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 21, 2017 in Las Vegas.

Lil Wayne is recovering in hospital after he suffered multiple seizures in a Chicago hotel room, according to reports.

The 34-year-old rapper, who has epilepsy, missed a performance in Las Vegas on Sunday night after enduring a number of fits, TMZ reports.

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial advised against immediately releasing Wayne due to his latest run of poor health. As a result, his scheduled show Sunday night at Drais Beachclub in Las Vegas was canceled.

“Lil Wayne and the entire Young Money / Maverick team are valued partners and members of the Drai’s LIVE family,” the show’s promoters explained in a social media post. “Our priority is the health and well-being of our artists. Everyone at Drai’s wishes Lil Wayne a speedy recovery during this time.”

The rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, has had a string of well-publicised health setbacks in recent years.

He was hospitalized in June 2016 after suffering what was described at the time as two minor seizures just days prior to his planned appearance at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles. And in 2013, Wayne spent time in an intensive care unit. “The reason being for the seizures is just plain stress, no rest, overworking myself. That’s just typical me though,” he said at the time.

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