Monday, January 2nd, 2017
Members of the rap group Run-DMC are suing Amazon and Walmart for $50 million for trademark infringement.
The suit, filed Thursday in federal court in New York, accuses the retailers of manufacturing, marketing and selling products with the group’s trademarked name, including glasses, hats, T-shirts and wallets.
Run-DMC says in the suit that it has made $100 million on trademarked products over the years, including a $1.6 million sneaker deal with Adidas. “The brand is extremely valuable,” the suit said.
Neither Amazon nor Walmart had an immediate response to a request for comment.
Run-DMC was formed in Queens, N.Y., in 1981 by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mizell. Mizell was shot and killed at his studio in 2002. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Being overweight may impact not only your health but your future child’s development as well, a new study suggests.
Children of obese parents may be at risk for developmental delays, says the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
In the United States, an estimated one in five women is obese when they get pregnant, registering a body mass index above 30. The healthy average is between 18.5 and 24.9.
But few studies have looked at the father’s weight, even though 20% to 30% of US adults — both male and female — are obese.
A team from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development set out to learn more.
“Our study is one of the few that also includes information about fathers, and our results suggest that dad’s weight also has significant influence on child development,” said lead researcher Dr. Edwina Yeung, an investigator at the institute.
Effects differ based on the heavier parent
The researchers looked at 4,821 children from 4 months old to the age of 3, between 2008 and 2010, and found specific effects on children, depending on which parent is obese.
Compared with normal or underweight mothers, children of obese mothers were more likely to have difficulty using small muscles, such as those in their fingers or hands.
Paternal obesity was associated with increased risk of failing at personal-social activities, such as feeding themselves, playing and undressing themselves. Those born to extremely obese couples also were more likely to fail problem-solving tests.
The researchers used data from the ongoing Upstate KIDS study, which follows over 6,000 children born in New York state.
It aims to track the growth, motor and social development of children and its correlation with infertility treatments, obesity, rising maternal age and pregnancy complications.
Parents are asked to regularly complete the Ages and Stages Questionnaire for their children.
“The questionnaire is a screening tool. It’s an indicator of whether a child is on track for behaviors appropriate to his or her age,” Yeung explained.
The tool was designed to pinpoint development progress and catch delays in children up to the age of 6.
Yeung’s team looked at reports recorded by parents at 4, 8, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months. According to Yeung, although parents are self-reporting information, the potential for bias is small, as questions are straightforward (PDF).
“The fine motor skills part, for example, asks such questions as whether the child can turn the pages of a book or whether he or she can stack blocks,” she explained.
Mothers also completed a questionnaire about health status and lifestyle at enrollment to determine both parents’ height and weight before pregnancy.
According to the study authors, factors associated with obesity — such as lower income and education, smoking and alcohol use — were taken into to consideration when analyzing the results.
Weight at delivery was taken from electronic birth certificates.
Cause remains unclear
It is not unclear exactly why parental obesity might increase developmental delays in children.
“Our study wasn’t designed to prove cause and effect. At this point, we only have correlations between parents’ BMI and children’s scores on a screening questionnaire,” Yeung stressed.
However, the authors note that studies on animals show that obesity during pregnancy may promote inflammation, which can affect the fetal brain.
“Obesity is correlated with a rise in inflammation and in hormones that regulate body fat and metabolism. One theory is that these hormones might influence the development of the baby’s brain,” Yeung said.
Other theories are that high blood sugar or a shortage of certain nutrients might influence brain development.
The study offers less information on the potential effects of paternal obesity on child development, but the authors cite previous research hypothesizing that obesity could affect the expression of genes in sperm.
Scott Johnson, a professor in developmental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, was fascinated by team’s results.
“The authors pose some interesting possible mechanisms by which maternal and paternal obesity could be responsible for the outcomes they reported,” Johnson said.
He thinks the theories that maternal obesity poses a risk to a fetus’ development are sound but says much more research is required.
“It wasn’t clear to me how that general property induces specific deficits in fine motor skills,” Johnson said.
The effects of obesity in male sperm are also not sufficiently explained, but the developmental psychology expert says it is not impossible.
“It’s not a crazy idea. It has been speculated for some time that there may be distinct paternal genetic contributions to autism risk, for example,” he said.
“Overall, the study has some important findings and an intriguing set of possible explanations,” Johnson concluded.
However, at this point, nothing can be confirmed.
“It’s really important to stress that these results need to be confirmed by other studies,” Yeung agreed.
But that is not easy, as recruiting families and collecting and analyzing the data could take years. If the team’s results are confirmed, physicians who work with young children might take parents’ weight into account when screening for development.
In the end, it’s one more reason to keep an eye on your waistline.
“We know that obesity greatly increases the risk for such conditions as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. For anyone, male or female, pregnant or not, it makes sense to attain a healthy weight,” Yeung said.
The young pastor stood in a house filled with mourners ready to minister. His parishioner had been strangled, her body dumped.
The Rev. Eric S.C. Manning prayed with the victim’s devastated mother, reciting from Psalms, one of his favorite books in the Bible: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” Days later, Manning led the funeral for the young woman.
It was his first eulogy for a murder victim.
“Standing there delivering the eulogy was hard but God brought me through that,” he said, recalling that emotional moment 14 years ago.
Over the years, Manning has dealt with tragedy and death, including in his own family.
And the prayers and comfort he knows how to give to people who have lost a loved one in a sudden, savage way prepared him for what is one of the toughest recent pastor assignments in America: being the spiritual leader of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine members, including the church’s beloved pastor, during a Bible study in June 2015.
“God, through every aspect, every juncture of my life, was preparing me for this time,” said Manning, 49, who was handpicked to shepherd a traumatized congregation that he admits he’s still figuring out how to lead. “No one’s ever seen this before.”
Gifts and graces for the situation
Manning is a dignified man who often wears one of the 30 to 40 bow ties he owns. He wore his clergy robe when he sat in a Charleston courtroom last month providing what he called “a ministry of presence.” Armed with his Bible, he listened as family members of victims and survivors gave graphic, emotional testimony during Roof’s federal trial. Sometimes, Manning placed his hand on a shoulder or gave a hug.
“He has all of the gifts and graces that a situation like that could call for,” said the Rev. Wendell Christopher Sr., who knows Manning and once led the Maryland church where the parishioner was strangled in 2002. “They couldn’t have appointed a better man, a better pastor than Rev. Manning.”
A jury swiftly convicted Roof on all counts. On Tuesday, the jury will decide his sentence. Some family members of victims appear torn over whether Roof should be sentenced to death.
Manning, who is against the death penalty, said the trial drained him. But he plans to be back in court, Bible in tow, on Tuesday for phase two.
Summoned to a traumatized church
Roof targeted the historically black church, often called Mother Emanuel, on June 17, 2015, because he wanted to start a race war, he told the FBI. He showed up at the Bible study, where the group welcomed him and handed him a sheet of verses. He sat with the victims for about 15 minutes and then, when they stood for prayers, pulled out a Glock .45-caliber pistol and fired 70 rounds at them.
Last June, a few days after the anniversary of the massacre, Manning was working in his office at Bethel AME in Georgetown, South Carolina, when his phone rang. It was Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, leader of the 7th Episcopal District that includes the scores of AME churches in South Carolina.
“I need you to go to Mother Emanuel,” Manning recalled Norris saying.
Manning took a step back and sat in a chair. Humbled by the request, he called his wife.
“I told him to follow his heart,” Andretta Manning, 47, said.
In June 2016, Manning became Emanuel’s new leader, replacing a pastor who had been reassigned after six months at the church following the Roof shootings.
‘God will continue to guide me’
Word soon spread across South Carolina that Manning was Emanuel’s new pastor. Mark Ross, a professor of theology at Erskine Theological Seminary’s Columbia, South Carolina, campus where Manning had earned his master of divinity degree in 2011, sent his former prized pupil an email offering prayers.
“He’s one of those students in your class that you’re expecting great things will come of him,” Ross recalled.
In the email exchange that Ross shared with CNN, Manning thanked his former professor for “being such a great inspiration” and wrote that, in retrospect, he could see “that the Lord was preparing me for such an awesome task (I never thought that it would be something such as this).”
“God will continue to guide me,” he wrote.
Manning had led four AME churches in South Carolina over a dozen years before his appointment to Emanuel. At each church, he learned the names of his parishioners so he could address them personally when he prayed for them.
“My husband is the type of person that, wherever he’s assigned, that’s where his heart is, with the people,” his wife said.
At Emanuel, Manning said he reached out to the families of the victims and the survivors to get to know them. “We talked, we cried. … We laughed,” he said.
Clifford Jones, a lifelong Emanuel member whose cousin, Ethel Lance, 70, died in the shooting, said he has been impressed with Manning’s devotion to the families and survivors who have suffered.
“We had those trials the last couple of weeks and he was there every day for the families,” said Jones, 56, a disabled Army veteran living in North Charleston, South Carolina. “That just shows he’s dedicated and he’s passionate, and he cares.”
Finding his call
Manning’s path to ministry started to form early, though he didn’t realize it at the time.
Manning recalled that a career placement questionnaire he filled out while in high school in the Philadelphia suburbs listed his possible career paths as the military, law and religion.
The military came first.
Manning spent six years in active duty in the Army in his late teens and early 20s, rising to the rank of sergeant. He laid eyes on his future wife when they were both stationed in South Korea. Andretta Manning came from a military family of eight siblings.
The couple married six months later, on January 25, 1991.
The Mannings later moved to Florence, South Carolina, where Manning’s mother had relocated. She soon left her church but Manning stayed, and he set out on his path to the ministry. His initial sermon in 1995 touched on walking in the spirit and not the flesh. He was ordained two years later.
“Looking back at it, I responded in the due season that God would have me respond,” Manning said.
Prepared for ‘difficult times’
By the late 1990s, the Mannings were parents of two young children. He moved the family to Maryland for a job in information technology, a career that was helping pay the bills while he also served as a pastor. The family later joined Mt. Moriah AME Church in Annapolis, where he became the associate pastor.
Manning would deal with several difficult deaths in his family.
In one instance, his father-in-law had beaten cancer in his lungs, but the disease then attacked his brain. Manning drove his wife back and forth on trips from Maryland to Rhode Island to care for her father. He ministered to her and her siblings, and eulogized his father-in-law at his funeral.
Manning’s wife said the experience “prepared him for the difficult times … having to be there for people that are close to you.”
His readiness to deal with a violent death was tested in September 2002 when his parishioner was violently killed.
“It was a murder; it was something I’d never dealt with. I never thought we would have to deal with,” he said of the death of Paula Edwards, the parishioner. “But we did.”
Forgiveness brings peace
Edwards, 34, was a mother of three girls and a school bus driver. Police found her body on September 7, 2002, said her mother, Betty J. Edwards, 79, a retired teacher.
She recalled that Manning visited the family the next day after church service. He told her, “God will give you the strength that you need.”
Edwards, of Severna Park, Maryland, said Manning: “just consoled me in what he said.”
Paula Edwards’ oldest daughter, Monica Alexander, also remembers Manning’s consoling advice. “You’re not going to forget but when you are ready in your life, you’ll have to find some type of forgiveness so that you can have peace,” Alexander, 29, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, recalled him saying.
Her father was sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing her mother.
‘I am here to serve you’
In the days leading up to his arrival at Emanuel, Manning prayed and fasted. He declined interviews, he said, because he wanted the congregation to learn about its new pastor in person, not through media reports.
He hoped to show parishioners he believed he was “a pastor after God’s own heart,” he said. He settled on scriptures from Psalms for his first sermon, including the familiar “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
He told his congregation “he didn’t know how to lead them,” he recalled, but he would lean on God’s guidance.
After the sermon, he said one member told him, “We’re going to take care of you while you’re here.” He responded: “No, I am here to serve you.”
Bearing a heavy load
Emanuel now draws a steady stream of visitors who know what happened there. Some come to worship, some come out of macabre curiosity.
“If they come to be a spectator, who knows, they might leave a worshiper,” Manning said. “If they come … out of curiosity, they may leave having a deeper understanding of God’s love and grace.”
Manning believes that grace was visible as he and the families of the victims endured the trial last month. In one of the most chilling moments of the roughly weeklong proceeding, they watched a police video of Roof laughing after confessing to the shootings.
Like everyone, Manning felt the heavy weight of the trial. One night he asked his wife, “How much more do you think I can handle?”
He knows the congregation’s healing continues — and that they will heal together.
In his sermons, he often refers to the congregation as one: “We are Mother Emanuel.”
“We are a body of believers who have gone through a tragedy; the world has watched us,” he said. “We will continue to have resilience. … We will continue to believe that God is still in the midst.”
Mariah Carey: Dick Clark Productions Slams ‘Defamatory’ And ‘Outrageous’ Allegations She Was Sabotaged
Mariah Carey’s botched New Year’s Eve performance is turning into an even bigger controversy.
Carey’s team is blaming Dick Clark Productions, the production company behind the annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” special on ABC, saying the company “set her up to fail.” And Dick Clark Productions is firing back.
“As the premier producer of live television events for nearly 50 years, we pride ourselves on our reputation and long-standing relationships with artists. To suggest that DCP, as producer of music shows including the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and Academy of Country Music Awards, would ever intentionally compromise the success of any artist is defamatory, outrageous and frankly absurd,” Dick Clark Productions said in a statement provided to CNN.
The statement continued: “In very rare instances there are of course technical errors that can occur with live television, however, an initial investigation has indicated that [Dick Clark Productions] had no involvement in the challenges associated with Ms. Carey’s New Year’s Eve performance. We want to be clear that we have the utmost respect for Ms. Carey as an artist and acknowledge her tremendous accomplishments in the industry.”
Their response comes after Carey’s team spoke to Billboard magazine and claimed that Carey, who had attended a rehearsal earlier in the day, had alerted Dick Clark Productions that her ear piece was not working. Carey’s publicist, Nicole Perna, said that her client “was not winging this moment and took it very seriously” and added, “A shame that production set her up to fail.”
Perna separately said to CNN, “There was a production issue. Technical difficulties. Unfortunately there was nothing she could do to continue with the performance given the circumstances.”
As for Carey singing along to a track, a source close to her said: “It is not uncommon for artists to sing to track during certain live performances.”
Carey took the stage shortly before midnight for a three song set, first performing “Auld Lang Syne” before moving to her own song, the 1991 hit “Emotions.” That’s when things started visibly going downhill. While the track played, Carey told the audience that a proper sound check had not taken place and opted to let those in the crowd sing her lyrics. After walking off stage in a huff after attempting to sing her hit, “We belong together,” Carey took to Instagram to post a meme with the caption: Sh** happens. Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here’s to making more headlines in 2017.”
It’s a time of new beginnings.
We are leaving 2016 behind and fully embracing the New Year.
What better time to get into the fresh streaming options from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Now.
Should old acquaintance be forgot, remember that you can always stay in and enjoy the best that streaming has to offer.
Here’s a list of just some of the movies and shows available to stream in January 2017.
“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”
“Real Detective: Season 1”
“Superman: The Movie”
“The Parent Trap”
“V for Vendetta”
“American History X”
“Swiss Army Men”
“Maid in Manhattan”
“She’s All That”
“Curse of the Starving Class”
“Leaving Las Vegas”
“Man in the Moon”
“Sesame Street: Season 47” (January 7)
“The Young Pope” (January 15)
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
Two Dakota Access Pipeline protesters unfurled an anti-DAPL banner from the rafters high above the Minnesota Vikings game Sunday, but the game went on.
Looking at times like Spider-Man, the pair hung from what appeared to be rappelling gear alongside their banner during the first half of the Vikings’ matchup against the conference rival Chicago Bears. The banner included a U.S. Bank logo with the word “divest” written vertically down the banner. At the bottom, it said, “#NoDAPL.”
The Vikings’ home stadium in Minneapolis is named U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Minneapolis-based financial institution is reportedly a major investor in the controversial project.
The Minneapolis Police Department identified the climbers as Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26.
“They climbed up a metal guardrail to climb up these big trusses that hold up the roof,” said Minneapolis police spokeswoman Sgt. Catherine Michal.
Those sitting beneath the dangling protesters were evacuated as negotiators tried to persuade the climbers to return to solid ground, she said.
Several fans posted images on social media, saying they noticed the banner in the first half of the game. Eric Biermann of Minneapolis told CNN he saw police gathering on the platform above banner.
Jordan Proctor of Cedar Falls, Iowa, said he noticed the banner after a friend texted him during the first half.
“It looked very official, so I don’t think many people noticed it at first,” he said. “People were watching and talking about it a lot at halftime.”
A reporter for CNN affiliate WCCO tweeted footage of the two protesters being taken into custody. Michal confirmed the arrests. The banner remained in the rafters.
Citing a police spokesman, WCCO’s David McCoy reported that the protesters demanded the media be present when they came down from the rafters. Once down, they were taken to jail and charged with trespassing, McCoy said.
A third person, identified by police as Carolyn Feldman, 27, was arrested on charges of obstructing the legal process, a misdemeanor, police said. It’s not clear what role, if any, Feldman played in the protest action.
At no point was the game interrupted, Michal said.
Local reporters said they received a news release from the climbers. In it, Holiday says, “We are here in solidarity with water protectors from Standing Rock to urge US Bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
“The pipeline is dangerous for any community it passes through,” said Karl Zimmermann, identified in the news release as the second climber. It’s not clear if Zimmermann and Mayo are the same person.
CNN has not been able to independently obtain the statement.
A spokesperson for Standing Rock Indian Reservation said the climbers were not affiliated with its protest.
U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Dan Ripley declined comment, as did the Minnesota Vikings. SMG, which operates the stadium, said only that it dispatched police and fire personnel to clear the seats below the banner and worked to get the protesters down safely.
The $3.7 billion DAPL will run almost 1,200 miles from North Dakota’s oil-rich Bakken Formation to Illinois, moving as many as 470,000 gallons of crude oil a day.
While its backers say it will represent an economic boon and make the country more self-sufficient from an energy standpoint, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has sued the US Army Corps of Engineers, which approved the project.
The Sioux contend the project “threatens the tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the tribe.”
The statement reportedly sent by protesters says Sunday’s stunt was timed to coincide with a January 1 deadline for the pipeline, after which investors would be allowed to withdraw their contracts from the project if the pipeline had not been completed.
According to the myth-busting site Snopes, the Dakota Access vice president wrote in an August court document that if the project was not completed by Sunday, third parties would be able to cancel business contracts.
However, it’s not clear if any investors intend to terminate their contracts or what effect missing the January 1 deadline will have on the project, the site reported.
CNN’s Carma Hassan, Vivian Kuo, David Williams, Jason Durand and Tony Marco contributed to this report.
Less than a year after winning the Super Bowl, Gary Kubiak is leaving his position as Denver Broncos head coach.
“As I told our team last night, this is an extremely difficult decision to step down as head coach,” Kubiak said in a statement released Monday morning. “I love to work and I love football, but ultimately the demands of the job are no longer a good fit for me.
“I gave everything I had to this team the last two seasons, but this year, in particular, has been tough on me. As hard as it is to leave this position, I know that it’s the best thing for myself, my family and the Denver Broncos.”
Kubiak has had more than one health scare in his career. He missed Denver’s game on October 13 against the San Diego Chargers because of a complex migraine condition. When he was head coach of the Houston Texans, Kubiak suffered a transient ischemic attack — commonly known as a mini-stroke — when he collapsed during a game in 2013.
“When Gary informed me of his decision to step down as head coach, I was obviously saddened and disappointed,” Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement. “But, I understand and respect Gary for doing what’s right for him as well as his family.”
Kubiak was 24-11 in his two seasons as Denver’s coach. He will address the media with Elway at 10 a.m. (noon ET) on Monday.
Last season, Kubiak led Denver to a 24-10 win in Super Bowl 50 in February against the Carolina Panthers.
Following the win, however, the Broncos took a step back. Quarterback Peyton Manning retired, and his backup, Brock Osweiler, left for the Houston Texans. That left the Broncos with Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round draft pick in 2015, to start their title defense.
The Broncos finished this season 9-7 and didn’t reach the playoffs.
In his 10th season as an NFL head coach, Kubiak was 87-77. He spent 22 years with the Broncos, including nine as a quarterback from 1983-91 and 11 as offensive coordinator from 1995-2005. He also was an assistant coach when Denver won back-to-back Super Bowls from 1997-98.
“I’m not sure what my future holds, but I know that I’ll always consider myself a Bronco,” Kubiak said. “This team is in good hands with a lot of outstanding people, and I expect great things ahead for the Denver Broncos.”
President Barack Obama will deliver his farewell address to the nation on January 10 from his home city of Chicago, the President announced in a statement Monday.
“I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here,” Obama wrote.
President Obama said he was following the precedent set by George Washington, who penned a farewell address to the American people over 220 years ago.
George W. Bush also delivered a farewell address in 2009 from the White House.
“Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger,” Obama wrote Monday.
“That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.”
President Obama has said that while he won’t weigh in on every issue once he is out of the White House, he would consider speaking up about issues that go to “core questions” about American values and ideals.
Chicago is where President Obama got his start in politics after graduating from Harvard Law School and where the first family called home before moving to the White House. Obama’s presidential library will also be located in Chicago.
The Hollywood sign got a little green over New Years.
A prankster managed to change the iconic sign overlooking Los Angeles early Sunday to read “Hollyweed,” said L.A. Police Officer Christopher Garcia, who works in the agency’s security service division.
The vandal — probably a man — used tarps to change the O’s in the sign to E’s, he said.
The vandal was caught on security-camera footage between midnight and 2 a.m. local time, but police can’t tell his race or height because it was dark and raining, Garcia said.
The “Hollyweed” sign remained up until around 2 p.m. eastern time, when authorities took down the tarps used to change the lettering.
Estevan Montemayor, a spokesman for LA City Councilman David Ryu, whose district includes the Hollywood sign, had earlier promised that the iconic sign would be restored to its normal state.
“We don’t know who did it but park rangers are going up there very soon to take down the draping that was put on top of the ‘O’ to alter the sign,” Montemayor said Sunday morning.
There are sensors at the sign that trigger an alarm for police, but because the sensors are only in certain areas of the letters, it’s possible to avoid them. There’s a road accessible to the public by foot and car behind the sign.
“We believe this person came from behind the sign,” Garcia said.
Betsy Isroelit with the Hollywood Sign Trust told CNN that the last time the sign was vandalized to read “Hollyweed” was in 1976.
Vandals have altered the sign several times over the years.
Californians voted last month to make recreational use of marijuana legal statewide for those 21 and over.
No. 2 Clemson will meet No. 1 Alabama in college football’s national championship game after the Tigers routed the Ohio State Buckeyes 31-0 in Saturday’s second playoff semifinal. The Tide (14-0) and the Tigers (13-1) will square off January 9 in Tampa, Florida. Earlier, Alabama defeated the No. 4 Washington Huskies 24-7 in the first semifinal.