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Court orders judge to free rapper Meek Mill on bail

The Washingon Times + 85 other

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pennsylvania’s highest court on Tuesday ordered a judge to free rapper Meek Mill on bail while he appeals decade-old gun and drug convictions, following a five-month campaign by his supporters to get him out. The Supreme Court directed a Philadelphia judge who had jailed him to immediately issue an order releasing him on unsecured bail, though it wasn’t immediately clear how soon he would get out. Mill was sentenced in November to 2-4 years in prison for probation violations. Dozens of people gathered outside the prison near Philadelphia in hopes of seeing him walk free. A team of lawyers and public relations consultants had waged an all-out battle to get him freed, leveling fierce criticism at the judge as a stream of high-powered figures and celebrities visited him in jail outside Philadelphia, including actor Kevin Hart just hours before the Supreme Court ruling. Mill issued a statement saying the past months had been “a nightmare,” and thanked his many supporters and visitors, who included Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues,” Mill said. He said he wo…

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The Latest: Cosby at courthouse; jury to start deliberations

The Washingon Times + 3 other

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial (all times local): 8:45 a.m. Bill Cosby has arrived at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse where jurors will start deliberating at the comedian’s sexual assault retrial. The 80-year-old Cosby arrived on the rainy Wednesday. He gave a quick fist pump and sashayed toward people chanting “We love Bill!” The jury of seven men and five women are to start weighing charges, one day after more than five hours of closing arguments that portrayed Cosby as a calculating predator and the victim of a multimilli…

Best of Late Night: Trump’s Awkward Interactions With Macron Become Late-Night Fodder

The New York Times + 1 other

Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. If you’re interested in hearing from The Times regularly about great TV, sign up for our Watching newsletter and get recommendations straight to your inbox. Bromance Française President Trump has shown a lot of affection for Emmanuel Macron during the French president’s visit to the White House this week. His handshakes seem to last a little too long, fingers get tangled, cheek-kisses flow abundantly. The late-night hosts rolled the tapes and let the jokes fly…

A look at how Marvel Studios built a box-office juggernaut

The Washingon Times + 2 other

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Marvel Studios has built a movie empire that has not only proved crowd-pleasing, but has also racked up box-office profits to the tune of nearly $15 billion in the 10 years since “Iron Man” was released. The 2008 film starring Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man proved that superheroes not named Spider-Man, Superman and Batman could find massive audiences. “Avengers: Infinity War,” the 19th film in the Marvel Studios universe arrives Friday, and may break box-office records in its opening weekend. The third Avengers film assembles characters and story lines…

Van Morrison Would Rather Play Jazz Than Talk About It

The New York Times + 1 other

For rock stars of a certain age, the eventual turn to the Great American Songbook can feel something like an obligation, or a graceful bow goodbye. For Van Morrison, it’s no such thing. The 72-year-old Irish musician, who was knighted in 2016, has always had roots planted in early jazz, jump blues and midcentury R&B. From the early 1960s, he was playing blues covers and soul offshoots in Belfast garage bands. Since going solo in 1967, he’s kept his ensembles stacked with heavy-duty improvisers, often building something like a rock ‘n’ roll big band, with a formidable horn section. Last yea…