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Poll shows Swiss willing to keep paying for public TV, radio

A new poll suggests the Swiss are willing to continue paying fees for public broadcasting before a referendum being closely watched across Europe.

The survey published Friday by Tamedia group found 59 percent of respondents would reject a proposal to abolish the current system of financing public TV and radio stations.

The online poll of 15,197 voters, conducted Jan. 15, found 40 percent would back the so-called No Billag proposal, named after the company tasked with collecting the fee.

The survey has a margin of error of 1.1 percentage points.

Backers of the proposal, to be voted on March 4, say charging households 451.10 Swiss francs ($472.30) a year to use radio and television is excessive.

Opponents warn it could imperial an important public service in multilingual Switzerland.

Rapper Kodak Black arrested in South Florida

Rapper Kodak Black was arrested Thursday in South Florida, accused of grand theft of a firearm, possession of marijuana and child neglect, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said.

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Black, 20, whose legal name is Dieuson Octave, also faces two counts of possession of a weapon by a felon and two counts of probation violation, the Sheriff’s Office said in its arrest report. Black was booked at the Broward County Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale.

The native of Pompano Beach, Florida, was arrested in May for breaking the terms of his probation after a court ruled the rapper broke the terms of his probation. He had been arrested for strong arm robbery, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a delinquent and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement.

On Thursday, a live video was published on Black’s Instagram account. In the brief clip, Black can be heard talking about his cellphone and whether he should turn the device over to authorities.

“Your phone’s part of this search warrant. You are not going to get your phone back,” a man can be heard saying in the video.

Black released a video for his “Roll In Peace” single with XXXTenaction, also known as Jahseh Onfroy, WPLG reported. In the video, Black is shown throwing cash on a courtroom floor.

'Jersey Shore' reality star expected to plead to tax charges

One of the former stars of the "Jersey Shore" reality TV show is due in federal court in Newark on Friday to plead guilty to cheating on his taxes.

Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino and his brother, Marc, were charged in 2014 and again last year with multiple counts related to nearly $9 million in income from the show.

They had pleaded not guilty, but wrote a letter to the judge this week stating they wanted to change their pleas.

Their trial was scheduled to begin next month.

The brothers initially were charged with filing bogus tax returns on income earned between 2010 and 2012, mostly through two companies they controlled, MPS Entertainment and Situation Nation.

They allegedly filed false documents that understated the income from the businesses as well as their personal income. Michael Sorrentino also was charged with failing to file taxes for 2011, a year in which he earned nearly $2 million.

Both brothers were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which is punishable by a maximum potential prison sentence of five years upon conviction. Both also faced counts of filing false returns, each of which carries a maximum three-year sentence.

The U.S. attorney's office filed additional charges last April, including tax evasion, structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting requirements and falsifying records.

Michael Sorrentino's attorney declined to say which charges his client would plead guilty to.

"The Situation" appeared on all six seasons of the MTV reality show, which followed the lives of rowdy housemates in a New Jersey beach town. They were known for their drunken antics and the phrase they used to describe their lifestyle: "gym, tan, laundry."

Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie criticized the show for promoting stereotypes, and last year signed a bill capping the amount of state money universities can pay for speakers, after Rutgers University paid "Jersey Shore" cast member Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi $32,000 in 2011.

With Daveed Diggs, 'Blindspotting' tells an Oakland story

"Hamilton" star Daveed Diggs used his own life as inspiration for the film "Blindspotting," which premiered as one of the opening night films of the Sundance Film Festival Thursday to largely positive reactions.

Diggs co-stars in and co-wrote the film with his longtime friend and collaborator Rafael Casal. They used their experience growing up in Oakland to inform the script about a man, Collin, is in his last days of probation, and his best friend Miles, who are grappling with the gentrification of the Bay Area and their once "rough" childhood home. Its provocative logline describes it as "a buddy comedy in a world that won't let it be one."

Audiences largely praised the film on social media following its Park City, Utah premiere, kicking off the annual indie film festival.

"This is a powerful and passionate movie about race and Oakland and language that I will be thinking about for days," wrote Buzzfeed reporter Adam Vary on Twitter.

Film critic Tomris Laffly said she respects it more than she loves it.

"Had lots to say about racial injustice, though I found it structurally/stylistically messy," Laffly wrote. "An imperfect artifact."

Los Angeles Times writer Tre'vell Anderson said that Diggs' performance was "gripping."

"Beautifully captures the enduring effects of police overuse of power on black folks while commenting on a changing (gentrifying) Oakland," Anderson said.

"Blindspotting" is the feature debut for music video director Carlos Lopez Estrada, who has known Diggs for years and directed a few videos for his experimental hip hop group Clippings. When Diggs and Casal approached him with the script, he said he knew it was the right thing to get on board with.

"It's inspired by many characters and places and events that took place in their lives and them being a mixed duo lends itself to a lot of conversations, that, I'll just say, are important right now in America," Estrada s told The Associated Press. "Through their relationships, we try to navigate those and ask questions that hopefully inspire some meaningful conversations."

Estrada is also looking forward to audiences getting to see Diggs in a new light.

"He is an extremely talented individual," Estrada said of the Tony-winner. "I've seen him before in a variety of mediums. I've seen him perform a lot of rap, I've seen him perform spoken word. I have never seen him deliver range like he does in this movie. The movie is a comedy at times. It's a drama at times. It quickly jumps between one and the other. There are a lot of musical elements. To me this is one of those roles that honestly no one else could play but him."

Opening night selections have not always been sure-bets at Sundance — one year the spot featured Damien Chazelle's "Whiplash," which went on to win J.K. Simmons an Oscar. The next year, it was the largely forgotten gymnastics comedy "The Bronze."

"Blindspotting" is in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the festival, which runs through Jan. 28, and one that is angling to get purchased for distribution. Along with the dystopian comedy "Sorry to Bother You," with Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, "Blindspotting" also is one of two films at the festival this year set in Oakland.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Prolific artist Ed Moses of LA's 'Cool School' dies at 91

The prolific abstract expressionist Ed Moses, who was one of the founding members of a collective known as the "Cool School" and helped transform Los Angeles from a cultural backwater to a major force in the world of modern art, has died. He was 91.

Moses died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles' Venice Beach section with his family by his side, his son Andy Moses told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The elder Moses, who produced hundreds of paintings and drawings and whose work was the subject of countless exhibitions during a career spanning more than 60 years, continued to work almost daily until about two weeks ago when his health began to fail.

"He never ceased to push the envelope and he stayed so engaged in painting every step of the way," his son, a prominent artist himself, said Thursday. "He was a true explorer and he was just able to pull it off every time. Most artists sort of struggle through transitional periods and he didn't have any transitional periods. He would abruptly stop one body of work, start another and have it fully realized."

Moses had his first major exhibition in 1958 at the legendary Ferus Gallery in Hollywood where he became a member of the gallery's post-World War II "Cool School," a group of artists which put Los Angeles on the artistic map both for their outsized talents and personalities. Other members included Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Edward Kienholz, Larry Bell, John Altoon and Wallace Berman.

Over the next 60 years, Moses would work tirelessly, transitioning from one style to another.

"The rational mind constantly wants to be in charge," he once said. "The other parts want to fly. My painting is the encounter between the mind's necessity for control and its yearning to fly, to be free from our ever-confining skull."

Early in his career, he gained attention for his "Rose Drawings," the result of tracing rose patterns he found on an oilcloth from Tijuana, Mexico, and repeating them until they created dense abstract fields that spread out seemingly endlessly. One piece in the collection of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art covers a folding, four-piece panel.

Later he embraced processed-based art, working with different materials to create stunning works.

In 2016, the year he turned 90, he debuted a series of craquelure paintings that he created by placing black or white paint on a canvas, adding what he called a "secret sauce," letting it dry and then hitting the canvas with his fist or elbow.

The institutions that hold his works include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hammer Museum, the New York and San Francisco's Museums of Modern Art and New York's Whitney Museum of American Art.

"Ed Moses has been central to the history of art making in Los Angeles for more than half a century," the Los Angeles County museum's director, Michael Govan, said during a major exhibition of his drawings in 2015.

Born in Long Beach, California, on April 9, 1926, Edward Moses was conceived in Hawaii by parents who split up before he was born. He said he rarely saw his father, who remained in Hawaii after his mother moved to California.

Although he would say in later years he was born to be an artist, he briefly pursued a medical career after serving as a surgical technician in the Navy during World War II.

After leaving the military, he enrolled in a pre-med program at Long Beach Community College but dropped out after he said he struggled with the curriculum. Before he left campus, however, he took an art class whose instructor persuaded him art was his true calling.

Enrolling at the University of California, Los Angeles, he would go on to earn a master's degree in fine art. He was a graduate student in 1958 when he had his first Ferus Gallery exhibition.

Later he would teach at UCLA and the University of California, Irvine, where one of his students was abstract artist Chris Burden, whose stunning "Urban Light" work stands outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In addition to his son, Moses is survived by his wife, Avilda; another son, Los Angeles hospitality entrepreneur Cedd Moses; and two grandchildren.

The family plans a celebration of his life sometime in the spring.

TV crew attempts to pass fake bomb through airport security

Authorities say at least seven people who claimed to be working for a TV network were arrested at a New Jersey airport after they tried to film themselves passing a fake explosive device through a security checkpoint.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein says it happened at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday. She says some members of the group attempted to bring the fake explosive device in a carry-on bag, but it was detected by TSA officers and never made it past security.

Farbstein says the alleged TV crew members were arrested on multiple charges and face possible civil penalties by the TSA.

Endemol Shine North America, which employs the crew, says the device is a "specially designed suitcase" used to compact clothing and "has no other intended use."

Peter Mayle, author of 'A Year in Provence,' is dead at 78

Peter Mayle, the British author whose midlife relocation to France inspired his best-selling "A Year in Provence" and other works set in his adopted country, died Thursday at age 78.

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced that Mayle died after a brief illness in a hospital near his home in the south of France.

A Brighton native, Mayle was in his late 40s and had worked in advertising and in educational publishing when he moved to France in 1987, planning to write a novel. But, as he told the Guardian in 2010, he was so caught up in the new world around him — "the farmer next door, the mushroom hunter and the lady with the frustrated donkey" — that he wrote to his agent, Abner Stein, telling him that the novel wasn't working out.

"Eventually I sent Abner a long letter, largely inspired by guilt, trying to explain why I hadn't even started the novel, listing some of the distractions," Mayle explained. "To my enormous surprise and relief, he wrote back saying that if I could do another 250 pages like the letter, he might be able to find a publisher."

"A Year in Provence," released in 1989, was a word-of-mouth success that sold millions of copies, was adapted into a miniseries by the BBC and was credited with opening up a market for such other expatriate stories as Frances Mayes' "Under the Tuscan Sun."

Mayle's other books included the children's stories "Where Did I Come From?" and "What's Happening to Me?" and the novel "A Good Year," adapted by Ridley Scott into the 2006 movie of the same name, starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard. In recent years, Mayle completed a quartet of "Caper" novels: "The Vintage Caper," ''The Corsican Caper," ''The Marseille Caper" and "The Diamond Caper."

Top-selling albums don't mean an album of the year win

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was the biggest-selling album of all time, and it was richly rewarded by the Recording Academy, earning a then-unprecedented eight trophies, including album of the year in 1984.

Other best-selling albums have also been crowned with the top Grammy, including Santana's "Supernatural," ''Rumors" by Fleetwood Mac and Adele's "21."

But having a popular album doesn't guarantee a Grammy win for album of the year — sometimes, not even a nomination.

Based on sales figures from the Recording Industry Association of America, here are top-selling albums of all time that aren't compilations, greatest hits or live albums that don't have an album-of-the-year Grammy.

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— Led Zeppelin, "Led Zeppelin IV" has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and includes the classic "Stairway to Heaven," but the 1971 disc didn't appear in nominations for album of the year.

— Pink Floyd's "The Wall" is not only considered one of rock's classics, it also boasts 23 million albums sold. It was nominated for 1980 album of the year but lost to Christopher Cross' self-titled album.

— AC/DC's "Back in Black" sold 22 million albums but wasn't a Grammy nominee.

— Shania Twain's "Come on Over" sold 20 million albums and won two Grammys. It was nominated for album of the year but lost to Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1999.

— The Beatles' "The Beatles" was perhaps better known as the group's legendary "White Album." The 1968 album's classics include "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," among others, but it didn't receive a nomination for album of the year. It is the Beatles' best-selling album with 19 million copies sold to date. However, the band had won best album for the 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," so perhaps it was just too soon for Grammy voters.

— Guns N' Roses' 1987 classic "Appetite for Destruction" didn't have any Grammy nominations. It has sold 18 million albums.

— Boston's "Boston" didn't get an album of the year nomination, but the band was nominated for best new artist. "Boston," released in 1976, has sold 17 million copies.

— Garth Brooks' "No Fences" also had no nominations; the 1990 album has sold 17 million copies.

— The Eagles' "Hotel California" was nominated but lost to Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" in 1978. It won two Grammys that year, including record of the year for the title track. The album has sold 16 million copies.

— Hootie & the Blowfish's "Cracked Rear View has sold 16 million since its 1994 release. It netted the group best new artist and pop performance by a duo or group trophies (the latter for "Let Her Cry"), but the album wasn't nominated for album of the year.

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The 60th annual Grammys will be presented Jan. 28 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Video: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin gets upset with Delta agent over missed flight

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin got upset with a Delta Air Lines agent after missing a flight at Los Angeles International Airport, according to TMZ video posted Tuesday.

Aldrin was told he wouldn’t be able to get on the flight, which prompted his frustration

 >> Read more trending news 

The issue was that it was past the check-in cutoff time at Los Angeles International for the flight, but the agent offered to rebook him on an alternate flight.

“Are you operating an airline here or not?” Aldrin asked on the video. “We’ve been sitting here now 20 minutes waiting for somebody to come and fix a two-minute problem…. This is the most lousy operation I’ve ever seen.” 

At one point, Aldrin stands up out of his wheelchair, frustrated about having to be booked on an alternate flight.

A TMZ cameraman later caught up with Aldrin, who seemed to have cooled off. “Look, my son worked for Delta, I know the people quite well,” Aldrin said.

The astronaut said he’d get a later flight.

Robert Redford addresses Weinstein, Me Too at Sundance

Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford did not shy away from addressing the elephants in the room — Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo — Thursday at the Sundance Film Festival, saying that the fallen executive is not "going to stop the show."

Both the lingering shadow of Weinstein, who long lorded over the indie film festival, and the Me Too movement dominated conversation at the historically tame opening day press conference in Park City, Utah.

"Harvey Weinstein was a moment in time and we're going to move past that," Redford said. "I don't think he's going to stop the show."

In recent months, Weinstein has been accused of two instances of assault at Sundance, including actress Rose McGowan's rape allegation from 1997. Representatives for Weinstein have denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

"We were sickened to hear along with everyone else about Harvey's behavior and even more so to learn that at least a couple of those instances happened at the Sundance Film Festival," added Keri Putnam, the executive director for the Sundance Institute. "They are nothing we were aware of at the time."

Putnam said that recent revelations and conversations around sexual misconduct are creating a new awareness.

"This isn't a new conversation for us, but it's a new moment and we're not going to go backward from here," she said.

In response to assault allegations during the festival and heightened sensitivity to sexual misconduct, the festival has taken strides to ensure the safety of its guests, including instilling a public code of conduct and a 24-hour safety hotline in partnership with Utah Attorney General's office.

"It's a bit of a ground zero," said festival director John Cooper.

Redford also addressed the Me Too and Time's Up movements saying that he's, "Pretty encouraged right now."

"It's bringing forth more opportunity for women and more opportunity for women in film for their voices to be heard and have their own projects," Redford said. "The role for men right now is to listen and to let women's voices be heard and think about it."

The Sundance Film Festival runs through Jan. 28.

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