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New Oscars ‘Popular Film’ Category To Be Introduced At 2019 Show

The Academy of Motion Pictures just announced some changes to its annual Oscars event. In a tweet Wednesday morning, the Academy announced it’s planning a new category “around achievement in popular film.” The Academy Board of Governors has yet to reveal more information about what kind of achievement will be recognized and what qualifies as a popular film, and the Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Hollywood Reporter reported that “a single film is eligible for an Oscar in both categories- Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film and the Academy Award for Best Picture. The new category will be introduced this coming year, at the 91st Oscars.”   The new category was announced in a letter to Academy members that also reveals the 2020 date of the Oscars ceremony will be moved to earlier in February than the event usually runs. Next year’s Oscars, however, will still air on Sunday, February 24.  ...Read more

New York Knicks To Part Ways With Joakim Noah

According to multiple reports, the New York Knicks are preparing to part ways with center Joakim Noah. The Knicks new regime led by Scott Perry and David Fizdale will use the waive-and-stretch provision on their veteran sometime after Sept. 1. Perry has been trying to move Noah since the Feb. trade deadline but has been unwilling to part with the first-round pick or young prospect that it would cost to unload the veteran. Noah abruptly left the team last season due to issues with then head coach Jeff Hornacek. Noah has appeared in just 53 games in two seasons following his infamous $72 million contract in the summer of 2016. ...Read more

NCAA Announces New College Basketball Policies

The NCAA adopted a sweeping series of policy and rules changes Wednesday that it hopes will clean up college basketball, which has been engulfed by controversy the past few years. Among the significant changes that were adopted by the NCAA’s board of governors and Division I board of directors are allowing elite high school basketball recruits and college players to be represented by agents who are certified by the NCAA; allowing eligible underclassmen to enter the NBA draft and return to school if undrafted; introducing more rigorous certification requirements for summer amateur basketball events; and imposing longer postseason bans, suspensions and increased recruiting restrictions for coaches who break rules.  ...Read more

Trump Administration To Impose New Sanctions On Russia Over Nerve Agent Attack

The Trump administration said Wednesday it would impose new sanctions on Russia for its involvement in the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal. The pair were found unconscious on a bench after they came into contact with a Novichok nerve agent. They were taken to the hospital in critical condition and have now been released. The State Department announced Wednesday it had determined the Russian government had “used chemical or biological weapons” in violation of international law. The administration’s announcement came after demands from the GOP chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce of California. Royce called on the administration to hold Russia accountable for the Skripal poisonings. British officials have blamed Russia for the poisonings, but Russia has denied any involvement. ...Read more

New York Congressman Chris Collins Pleads Not Guilty To Insider Trading Charges

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to federal insider trading charges. The congressman was arrested earlier in the day on charges that he shared non-public information with family and friends related to Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics, on which Collins served as a board member. An indictment released Wednesday alleges that Collins, 68, called his son from the White House lawn and share information with him about a failed drug trial, and that his son and others then sold stock based on that tip before the trial results became public. Collins’ son, Cameron Collins, 25, as well as the father of his fiancee, Stephen Zarsky, 66, were also charged, according to the court filing. All three pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and will be released on $500,000 bond. The next court hearing is set for Oct. 11, less than a month before Collins will face reelection.  ...Read more

Ruby Rose To Play Batwoman For CW’s Superhero Universe

“Orange is the New Black” alum Ruby Rose has been cast to play Batwoman in both the annual DC superhero crossover event on the CW network, and in a pilot for possible series consideration. CW has confirmed its version of the character will be an out lesbian with “a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind.” She is a “highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence.” Rose is best known to American TV audiences as Stella on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” but was a prominent model and host in her native Australian for several years before that. Rose’s casting comes on the heels of CW casting activist Nicole Maines as the first trans superhero, who is set to join the network’s series “Supergirl” next season. ...Read more

HGTV Is The Winning Bidder On ‘The Brady Bunch’ House

It was revealed Tuesday morning that HGTV is the new owner of the iconic house used for the exterior shots of the beloved 1970s series “The Brady Bunch.” David Zaslav, chief executive officer of HGTV’s parent company Discovery, made the announcement during the company’s second-quarter earnings call. Zaslay said: “I’m excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and we’ll restore the home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can.” Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass had taken to social media this week to express his disappointment at losing out on the house; Bass was initially told his offer had been the winning one but later learned it had been rejected for a more lucrative offer from a then-unidentified corporate buyer. However Bass tweeted Tuesday after the news broke saying: “I’d be pretty upset if it were anyone else, but how can you be mad at HGTV?? My television is stuck on that channel. Kudos HGTV, I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again.” The house was listed at a starting price of almost $1.9 million; however the sale price has not been announced yet. ...Read more

Cleveland Indians Unveil 2019 MLB All-Star Game Logo

The Cleveland Indians went the rock ‘n’ roll route with a logo for the 2019 All-Star Game. Inspired by the city’s deep musical roots, the team on Tuesday unveiled its logo for next year’s game; a guitar outlined with red baseball stitches. The Indians are hosting the Midsummer Classic for the sixth time, and next year’s game coincides with the 25th anniversary of Progressive Field. Cleveland hosted the 1997 game at its downtown ballpark, just a short drive from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  ...Read more

Browns Rookie Antonio Callaway Cited For Marijuana Possession

Cleveland Browns rookie Antonio Callaway was cited for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license on Sunday, according to reports.  Callaway was pulled over by Strongsville police at 2:59 a.m. on Sunday after “failing to yield for oncoming traffic,” the report states. “A small amount of suspected marijuana” was located under Callaway’s seat. The wide receiver is scheduled to appear in Court on Thursday morning, according to the report. The Browns promoted Callaway to the starting offense on Monday. Cleveland selected Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft, following a string of off-the-field issues during his college career. Callaway tested positive for a diluted drug test sample at the NFL combine in April. ...Read more

Remains Of Unidentified Young Boy Found At New Mexico Compound

Searchers found the remains of a boy after raiding a makeshift compound last week in search of a missing Georgia child, authorities said Tuesday. The remains were found Monday during a search in Amalia, near the Colorado border; authorities were awaiting positive identification of the remains. The search for Abdul-ghani of Georgia led authorities Friday to the squalid compound where they found Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the father of the missing boy, along with four other adults and 11 children living in filthy conditions. Wahhaj told the boy’s mother that he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child, who suffered from seizures, because he believed the 3-year-old was possessed by the devil. The mother told police that Wahhaj took the boy for a trip to a park and never returned. Wahhaj was armed with several guns, including a loaded AR-15 assault rifle, when he was taken into custody without incident at the compound, the sheriff said. Children ages 1 to 15 were rescued from the compound that had been under investigation for months. ...Read more