Ryan Lochte Apologizes For Rio Incident

One day after the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee issued a formal apology to Rio and Brazil over his and others’ behavior, swimming star Ryan Lochte says he should have been more careful and candid.

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“I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend,” Lochte wrote on Instagram, “for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics.”

The apology comes one day after Rio police said Lochte, 32, fabricated a robbery story in which he claimed a group of armed men posing as police robbed him and three other swimmers as they were returning to the Athletes Village early Sunday morning.

“There was no robbery,” Rio de Janeiro Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso said Thursday, announcing the results of a high-profile investigation into Lochte’s report that he and three other U.S. swimmers — James Feigen, 26; Gunnar Bentz, 20; and Jack Conger, 21 — had been held up at gunpoint during their time at the Summer Olympics.

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Of the four, Lochte was the first to leave the country, thus eluding an attempt by police to seize his and Feigen’s passports earlier this week.

The story has been a complicated one, with many viewing the robbery claim as an inexplicable allegation that made what might have been a molehill — swimmers argue with gas station employees, and no punches are thrown — into a mountain that involved the U.S. diplomatic corps and the publication of security camera footage from both the gas station and the Athletes Village.

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In Brazil, the response to the robbery allegation has been sharp. As of Friday morning, a Google news search for Lochte’s name and the Portuguese word mentiroso (“liar”) returned nearly 5,800 results.

One hour after Lochte posted his statement on Instagram, it had already garnered 6,300 comments. While some of those responses were sympathetic to Lochte, others were not.

“Your excuses are more false than your blonde hair,” one reads, followed by this summary: “drunk American.”

Here’s another: “It’s too late, bro… Damage is done! This marketing speech won’t save it… Btw, you were held under gun point to control yourselves ’cause you were all crazy drunk breaking stuff at the gas station! You’re the ones who offered money so the gas station employees wouldn’t call the police. Don’t apologize for a lie lying again.”

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Lochte’s statement — which doesn’t acknowledge contradictions between the now-accepted version of events and what Lochte’s lawyer earlier this week called “a witness statement under oath” that the swimmer gave to police in claiming a robbery — stops well short of the tone struck by other U.S. officials.

“The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable,” U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said late Thursday night. He apologized to “the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence.”

Here’s how Blackmun summarized the events of that night:

“As we understand it, the four athletes (Bentz, Conger, [James] Feigen and Ryan Lochte) left France House early in the morning of August 14 in a taxi headed to the Olympic Village. They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, where one of the athletes committed an act of vandalism. An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment. Once the security officials received money from the athletes, the athletes were allowed to leave.”

While Lochte had already left Rio before police sought him, Bentz and Conger weren’t so fortunate. After they were pulled off a U.S.-bound airliner for questioning Wednesday, their passports were seized, and they spent hours at a police station before staying in Brazil for an extra night.

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After the pair gave testimony about the morning in question, their passports were returned; they left Rio on Thursday, U.S. officials say.

As for Feigen, it now seems that he has resolved his legal troubles. Multiple news outlets in Rio are citing Feigen’s Brazilian attorney who says the swimmer made an agreement with a Brazilian judge that will see him donate 35,000 reals ($10,800) to a youth sports group in order to settle the issue and allow him to leave the country.

After Lochte’s statement was published, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada said Friday, “We obviously accept his apology and appreciate it.”

“Understand that the Brazilian population was quite disappointed in the actions and the facts,” he added, saying that around 1.8 million people had complained about the case on the Rio 2016 Twitter account.

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Saying “it’s clear the Brazilian population felt humiliated by the early part of the issue,” Andrada concluded that he thinks people in Brazil “will accept his apologies.”

When the USOC’s Blackmun apologized to the people of Brazil last night, he said that he’ll review the matter and consider possible consequences for the athletes.

Those consequences might include action by the national governing body. As NPR’s Howard Berkes tells us, USA Swimming’s code of conduct includes a broad rule concerning athletes’ behavior that is “detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming … or the sport of swimming.”

Possible punishments for breaking that rule include being kicked out of the federation.

USA Swimming and the International Olympic Committee said separately they will investigate the matter, but gave no time frame on how long that might take.

SOURCE: NPR

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How Simone Biles Won Our Hearts

It’s a wrap for US gymnast Simone Biles at the Rio Olympics. The 4-foot-8 powerhouse made her final stand at the 2016 games with a floor exercise the won her a gold medal. She’ll leave Rio with one bronze medal and four golds. That’s the most golds any US gymnast—male or female—has collected in a single Olympics.

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With 19 Olympic and world competition medals, Biles also becomes the most decorated gymnast in US history, breaking the previous record held by Shannon Miller.

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But America’s love for Biles isn’t all about the bling. The 19-year-old Texan also won our hearts with her virtuoso routines and awe-inspiring power tumbles. She showed us that teenage girls can be both serious athletes and giggly, fun-loving adolescents. And her triumphs have been felt by black women around the country during a period of tense race relations in the US.

Here are all the ways Biles won our hearts during the Rio games:

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She dazzled audiences with her nearly flawless routines and was even called “the greatest gymnast of all time.”

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She was more excited for team captain Aly Raisman than herself when the pair shared the podium in the individual all-around finals.

Biles clinched the gold, becoming the second consecutive African-American woman to take the accolade. Raisman won the silver.

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After the women’s all-around last week, Biles shut down any comparisons to renowned male Olympians and made it clear that her accomplishments were her own. “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps,” she told Sporting News. “I’m the first Simone Biles.”

Biles stumbled and nearly fell off the beam during the competition, but held on. The slip up cost her the gold, but she took it like a champ.

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Biles is a big supporter of her male counterparts. She reportedly went out of her way to watch American gymnast Alex Naddour compete.
Biles got a lot of love during the games from celebrities including Taylor Swift, Floyd Mayweather, rapper G-Eazy, and Kim Kardashian-West, whose two-year-old daughter North is apparently quite taken with Biles. But it was her celebrity crush Zac Efron who truly made the Olympian star-struck.
The actor, who is a big fan of the Final Five, surprised the young women during an NBC broadcast on Tuesday night (Aug. 17). And they all lost their cool.

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He gave Biles, who reportedly has a life-size cardboard cutout of the actor in her home, a cute kiss on the cheek.

Last, but not least, Biles has an amazing support team in her family, 17 of whom flew to Rio. In Biles’ own words: “Family is everything.”SOURCE: QZ

 

Akai Gurley $4 million Settlement

In a case that frustrated two major American minority groups, the family of Akai Gurley, a black man fatally shot by a New York City police officer, will receive more than $4 million in compensation.

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In 2014 Akai Gurley was struck and killed by a bullet that had ricocheted off of a wall in the stairwell of his public housing building. On Tuesday, Mr. Gurely’s family reportedly agreed to more than $4 million in the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit with New York City.

But is this settlement – and others like it by American police departments – likely to change police behavior?

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In January 2015, New York City paid $3.9 million to the family of Bronx teen Ramarley Graham, who was shot inside his home on in 2012 after being chased by an officer who thought he had a gun, reports the New York York Daily News.

Six months later, the city paid $5.9 million to the estate of Eric Garner — who died after an undercover cop put him in an illegal chokehold in July 2014.

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 In September 2015, the city of Baltimore paid the family of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody, $6.4 million in the settlement of wrongful death suit.

 

Some police departments have implemented reforms in the wake of such large settlements, but the recent trend suggests that message often might not be getting through.

“The idea is that these large settlements could deter widespread police misconduct,” Kami Chavis-Simmons, a former assistant United States attorney who now directs the criminal justice program at the Wake Forest University School of Law, told The Christian Science Monitor after the Freddie Gray settlement.  But the proverbial jury is still out as to whether such settlements are effectively curbing police-related deaths.

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The bullet that killed Gurley had been fired from the New York Police Department standard-issue 9mm Glock pistol in the hands of Chinese-American police officer Peter Liang. For many Gurley’s death was another unjustified example of the killing of an African-American man by a police officer. Mr. Liang claimed he had been startled and flinched, causing a reaction that would ultimately end the life of another man and alter the path of his own life.

“My life is forever changed,” Liang said in his trial. “I hope you give me a chance to rebuild it.”

The subsequent trial was marked by frustration from both African-American and Asian-American protestors, many of whom stood outside the courtroom with Black Lives Matter signs written in English and Chinese.

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Mr. Liang’s initial conviction of manslaughter angered some Asian-Americans, who saw him as a scapegoat in an attempt to pacify the ever-increasing tension over the killing of black men by police officers across the country. For many of the Black Lives Matter protestors, his conviction was finally a victory after a stream of acquittals over police-caused deaths.

That conviction led to the largest scale activism by Asian-Americans since the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Protesters wondered why Mr. Liang was put on trial when a number of white officers had not been charged in other police-related killings. They asked whether the New York Police Department was supporting Liang – an officer only one year out of the academy – sufficiently, as compared to other non-Asian officers in similar situations. His trial came in the wake of grand juries deciding not to convict the officers involved in the killing of fellow-New York City-resident Eric Garner, or of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

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“For 150 years, there’s been a common phrase in America: ‘Not a Chinaman’s chance,’ which means if you’re Chinese in America, there’s no hope for you,” said former NYC comptroller John Liu in an address to a crowd of protestors outside the trial, as reported by Gothamist.

When Liang’s conviction was downgraded from manslaughter and he was sentenced to five years of probation and 800 hours of community service, Mr. Gurley’s family was furious.

“When you stole Akai’s life, you stole mine as well,” Melissa Butler, Gurley’s girlfriend told Liang at the trial.

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Now in a recently announced settlement, New York City will pay $4.1 million, with the New York City Housing Authority providing an additional $400,000 and Mr. Liang himself paying $25,000 to Gurley’s daughter, who will receive the money in structured payments once she reaches 18 years of age.

Scott Rynecki, who represents Mr. Gurley’s domestic partner, Kimberly Ballinger, and their 4-year-old daughter, Akaila Gurley, said of the settlement that Ms. Ballinger “looks forward to raising Akaila to be a productive member of society and someone Akai will be proud of,” according to The New York Times.

SOURCE: CSM

Kevin Hart Marries Eniko Parrish

Kevin Hart finally tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Eniko Parrish. The couple met in 2009; and they got engaged almost two years ago after Hart proposed to Parrish, whom he called his “rib” on her 30th birthday.

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The couple got married at a grand estate in Montecito, California, surrounded by 200 guests including friends and family. The bride wore a lace mermaid gown while Hart wore a traditional black tuxedo. Parrish changed into a lace Vera Wang gown for their reception.

Kevin Hart Marries Eniko Parrish

They shared pictures of their nuptials on Instagram, which also included Hart’s two children, 11-year old Heaven, and 8-year old Hendrix from his previous marriage to Torrei Hart. His son Hendrix served as his best man.

Kevin Hart Marries Eniko Parrish

Earlier this week, Hart gushed about his upcoming nuptials during an exclusive interview with Us. “I honestly can say that I’m lucky enough to have an amazing woman,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting married. We got seven years under our belt, been engaged for two. It’s time.”

SOURCE: VLADTV

NEW MIXTAPE GETS 20K DOWNLOADS IN HOURS!

DJ SuperStar Jay the reigning King of Mixtapes Is back!!!

DJ SuperStar Jay dropped his brand new mixtape “I Am Mixtapes 193”. This mixtape king dropped the tape and received almost 20,000 downloads in just 4 hours!! And now only 3 days post-release and he has a littleover 55,000.

Please believe, if you liked Superstar Jay’s previous mixtape, “I Am Mixtapes 192” with artists like Future,Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Troy Ave, than you’ll definitely love this new mixtape. That has popular artist like Lil Durk, French Montana, Nas, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Remy Ma, Fabolous, Kevin Gates and of course Vain with hit single ‘Hello’!!

Don’t miss out and Download the mixtape, Here!!

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SOURCE: GLOBALSPIN365

Ray J & Princess Love Tie the Knot

What a special day! Ray J and Princess Love are finally getting married after at least three years together! On Aug. 11 Princess shared a video on Snapchat of the gorgeous rehearsal in a space with marble floors that would be perfect for her dramatic style, and on Aug. 12 they shared a pic of Princess rocking a white dress and beautiful crystal headband while Ray was stunning in a black tux. Yay!

Ray J & Princess Love Tie the Knot

Just days before the celebration, TMZ revealed that the nuptials would be out of this world! Ray J’s sister Brandy will be performing at the event, singing “At Last” for the couple’s first dance. On top of that the legendary Anthony Hamilton will sing “The Point of It All” while the beauty walks down the aisle toward her longtime love.

Ray J & Princess Love Tie the Knot

This wedding has certainly been a long time coming. The couple has been starring alongside one another on Love and Hip Hop since 2014, and we’ve gotten to witness first hand some of the terrible struggles they’ve been though. Ray J has had a hard time staying faithful, but he’s come back time and time again trying to be better, and they both stopped drinking to prepared for married life together. We’re so happy for this duo!

SOURCE: HL

Troy Ave Is Suing Irving Plaza

Troy Ave and his legal team announced that they have filed a lawsuit against Irving Plaza and Live Nation Worldwide on Monday, August 8. Assisted by attorney Scott Leemon, Troy [Roland Collins], appeared before reporters anticipating the rapper’s arrival, after word leaked over the weekend that he’d be holding a press conference before Irving Plaza.

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“[If it weren’t] for their actions Troy never would have been shot, and none of the incidents that took place that night would have happened,” Leemon said, after informing members of the media that they had earlier filed the suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court. “He is the victim here. He did not bring a gun into this place, and we are seeking redress for the negligence.”

Troy Ave Is Suing Irving Plaza

Claims included in the lawsuit contradict the prosecution’s presumption that the bullet wounds Troy sustained during the May 25 incident were self-inflicted, alleging that the same individual who had subsequently shot and killed friend and bodyguard Ronald McPhatter, had shot him twice. The suit goes on to claim that in the absence of a metal detector, the venue had allowed patrons and fellow artists into its VIP section without using a wand or procedural pat-down to check for weapons. He is suing for an unspecified sum, which includes the cost of legal fees.

Troy Ave Is Suing Irving Plaza

Troy has been out on $500,000 bail since July 11. Visible on his ankle during the press conference was the tracking device he agreed to wear as a condition of his release. Regarding proximity Troy literally got about as close as he could to being returned behind bars, as he is forbidden from entering nightclubs, bars, or performing venues up until and through the duration of his trial.

SOURCE: VLADTV