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Musicians to raise funds for Waffle House shooting victims

Nashville's musical community is raising money to benefit the victims of a shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House with a special T-shirt honoring the man who stopped the gunman.

James Shaw Jr., lauded as a hero during the shooting that left four dead and more injured early Sunday, met with country singer Brantley Gilbert and indie rocker Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional on Wednesday at a Nashville rehearsal hall.

At their upcoming concerts in May, the musicians will sell a T-shirt that features the words "I Believe In Heroism," along with an image of Shaw's injured hand that was burned when he grabbed the gun away from suspect Travis Reinking. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the victims, as well as Shaw.

"I know he says he's not a hero and he was just trying to protect himself, but anytime you stand up in a situation like that, my belief is you've got hero in you," Gilbert said.

Shaw, who has also been honored by state lawmakers, said he thinks the term hero signifies someone whose actions are fictional.

"When you think of a hero, you think of Batman or Superman, or something like Wonder Woman, somebody like that," Shaw said. "And they are fictional characters. But if I say a regular guy took a gun from someone, I hope you can find that saving fire within yourself and you can possibly emulate that. And anybody can be a hero."

Gilbert, who has written songs like "Dirt Road Anthem," a hit single for Jason Aldean, and "Bottoms Up," said he wanted to use his platform to help the Nashville community. Most of all, Gilbert said he just wanted to thank Shaw.

"Thank him for being a hero because he inspires people," Gilbert said. "Anytime you stand up to a situation like that it inspires me, inspires everybody I think."

____

Online:

https://ibelieveinnashville.com/

Hypnobirthing delivery technique reportedly used by Kate Middleton but what is it?

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, gave birth to a baby boy on Monday.

>> Read more trending news 

This is the third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who welcomed their new son into the world in the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

According to reports, Middleton endured a five-hour labor without pain relief as a part of a delivery method called hypnobirthing. This isn’t the first time she’s tried it. Middleton has used the practice for all three of her babies. 

What is hypnobirthing?

It’s a type of therapy that helps parents seek a natural birthing experience with more patient control and less pain, according to Hypnobirthing.com. It involves special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice and attention to nutrition and body. The method can be practiced at home, in a hospital or birth center.

>> Related: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to baby boy

How exactly does it work?

Hypnobirthing is an effort at removing the anxiety associated with the birthing experience. Experts believe fear activates stress hormones that cause slow digestion and an increased heart rate. Blood is also forced to the arms and legs, which depletes blood to the uterus. This is what contributes to uterine pain. 

>> Related: What will Kate and Wills name new royal baby?

Parents can take hypnobirthing classes to learn specific breathing and visualization techniques, according to WebMD. For example, many courses teach mothers to self-hypnotize with their open eyes. Instructors may also encourage expectant moms to envision an easy birth and recite affirmations, such as “I relax and my baby relaxes.” Phrases that reference the difficulty of childbirth are rejected. Instead of using the words “pain” or “contraction,” patients are encouraged to say “sensation” or “surge” instead. 

Do you still feel pain?

A 2006 review of five previous studies found that women who chose hypnobirthing were almost half as likely to use painkillers and about one-third less likely to use an epidural during labor.

Who else has used this practice?

Celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba, have also reportedly tried hypnobirthing. During an appearance on Ellen, Alba said “it’s not a weird thing.” 

>> Related: 4 fast facts about Kate Middleton

“It's not like the clock in front of your face and you go out and you wake up and you got a baby,” she joked. “My husband takes me through sort of a meditation. He'll say, 'you're relaxed, and you're floating on clouds while you're going through labor and your contractions. I'm just concentrating on breathing and staying relaxed...when you get tense that makes the whole labor worse and more painful.”

MSNBC's Reid says homophobic posts were result of hack

MSNBC's Joy Reid insists that homophobic language in one of her old blog posts is the work of a computer hacker and her security expert said Wednesday they have a strong suspicion of who did it, although he would not name the suspect.

The bizarre tale involving the news network's rising star is a technical who-dun-it that not everyone believes, given that Reid had admitted in December to similar anti-gay language in the same forum and had apologized for it. A gay rights organization has subsequently backed away from its plans to give an award to Reid, host of the "AM Joy" weekend shows on the cable news network.

MSNBC says the case has been referred to law enforcement officials and the network is awaiting their determination.

The posts that came to light in December were written for "The Reid Report," her blog when she was covering Florida politics a decade ago. In posts, she refers to then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist as "Miss Charlie" and suggested he was "ogling the male waiters" on his honeymoon after marrying his wife, whom he has since divorced. She questioned whether the marriage was a sham by a gay man who thought it would help him politically.

Reid apologized, saying her remarks were "insensitive, tone deaf and dumb."

This week, Mediaite revealed a set of other supposed blog posts, pictures of which were sent via the Twitter account @Jamie_Maz. In one of these posts, Reid supposedly notes that "most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing" and that she couldn't see the movie "Brokeback Mountain" because she didn't want to watch two male characters having sex. Another post says that a lot of heterosexuals find the idea of homosexual sex to be gross and that there are concerns that gay men tend to be attracted to young, post-pubescent types and want to bring them "into the lifestyle."

Reid said that these posts were "fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology."

She said she hired a security expert who found evidence that she had been a hacking victim. The expert, Jonathan Nichols, said Wednesday that time stamps indicated the posts were written at a time Reid was on the radio and would not have had time to write them. He said they are inconsistent with the way that she wrote and triggered no reaction from the blog's comments section, which he believes would have surely happened if they had been legitimate posts.

Meanwhile, the company Internet Archives, whose Wayback Machine collects copies of Internet postings, said that after being contacted by Reid's lawyers, it had investigated and found no evidence that any of its versions of Reid's original posts had been altered. Nichols said that this doesn't contradict Reid's story, since they believe it was the original blog posts — not the Wayback Machine versions — that were hacked.

The Wayback Machine had found evidence that the posts with the homophobic language had been erased due to an automated process that can be installed to wipe out the specific archives. Nichols said the posts — potentially very embarrassing for a personality for a network with commentary that leans left — had been erased at Reid's behest.

Nichols said that Reid's blog posts were altered in an attempt to smear and embarrass her.

"I hope that whoever corrupted the site recognizes the pain that they have caused, not just to me, but to my family and communities that I care deeply about," Reid said.

Nichols said he has collected "a preponderance of evidence" to indicate that someone with a grudge against Reid planted the material to embarrass her. But he said he would not identify the person because his research isn't done. "I'm not going to throw someone under the bus unless I'm certain," he said.

Reid's story has its skeptics. A New York magazine web site headline on Wednesday said that Reid's "'I was hacked' story doesn't add up."

PFLAG National, an organization for LGBT people and their families, said it had planned to honor Reid despite knowing about the blog posts involving Crist.

"We appreciated how she stepped up, took ownership, apologized for them, and did better — this is the approach we ask of any ally," said Jean Hodges, PFLAG National's president. "However, in light of new information, and the ongoing investigation of that information, we must at this time rescind our award to Ms. Reid."

Blake Shelton tweets dig at ex Miranda Lambert amid reports she’s dating Evan Felker

Miranda Lambert is reportedly dating folk musician Evan Felker, and fans of her ex-husband Blake Shelton seem to think that one of Shelton’s tweets is about her.

According to Us Weekly, Shelton has called out Lambert in a subtweet posted Wednesday. Us Weekly reported on Tuesday that Lambert, was dating Felker, of the neo-folk group Turnpike Troubadours. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Been taking the high road for a long time.. I almost gave up. But I can finally see something on the horizon up there!! Wait!! Could it be?! Yep!! It’s karma!!” Shelton, 41, tweeted.

According to Us Weekly, an unnamed source confirmed that Shelton is referring to Lambert in the tweet.

Lambert was previously with musician Anderson East for two years. Us Weekly reported that the timing of her relationship with Felker is unclear, but a source told them that the two began dating while Lambert was still with East. The outlet also reported that Felker has been married to Staci Nelson since September 2016, but she filed for divorce in February. The filing was a month after Felker’s band started opening for Lambert on her Livin’ Like Hippies tour.

According to some fan replies below Shelton’s tweet, the dig comes from speculation that Shelton and Lambert divorced in 2015 after four years of marriage because of Shelton’s infidelity. In actuality, reports at the time speculated infidelity on both sides. 

In a 2011 “Behind the Music” episode on Lambert, Shelton spoke about falling for Lambert in 2005 when he was still married to his ex-wife Kaynette Williams. The two sang “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” at CMT’s 100 Greatest Duets Concert.

“I was a married guy, you know, standing up there going, ‘Man, this shouldn’t be happening.’ Looking back on that, I was falling in love with her right there onstage,” Shelton said.

“It was just like this draw to each other,” Lambert said on the episode. “It was just sort of this inevitable chemistry.”

Shelton is currently dating his fellow “The Voice” coach, singer Gwen Stefani. 

Oh, Yeezus: Trump and Kanye West trade Twitter love

Trump-West 2020?

In a moment that seemed to encapsulate 2018's social media-driven blurring of celebrity and politics, President Donald Trump tweeted his thanks to rap superstar Kanye West on Wednesday for his recent and perhaps unexpected online support.

"Thank you Kanye, very cool!" the president posted in response to the tweets from West, who called the president "my brother."

West, the enigmatic hip hop provocateur, posted a series of tweets in support of the president, whom he visited at Trump Tower in December 2016 during the presidential transition.

"You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy," West wrote Wednesday. "He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought."

Later, West posted a photo of himself wearing one of Trump's signature red campaign "Make America Great Again" hats and showcased that the president had signed it. "MAGA!" Trump responded in another tweet, using the acronym for his slogan.

West noted that his wife, reality star Kim Kardashian West, wanted him to clarify that he was not in lockstep with all the Republican president's positions.

"My wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone," West wrote. "I don't agree with everything Trump does. I don't agree 100% with anyone but myself."

West lent an air of celebrity to Trump, who has not been nearly as popular among movie and music stars as his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. He complained about struggling to lure big-name talent to his Inauguration and made a point of calling Roseanne Barr, a rare Trump supporter in Hollywood, for the recent success of her sitcom.

Trump has also consistently been supported by a small percentage of black voters.

West has recorded several best-selling albums and produced a buzzy fashion line and has the undeniable talent for attracting attention. He's also been linked to several previous presidents, including when Obama called him "a jackass" in 2009 for storming the stage at an MTV awards show to interrupt Taylor Swift. And in 2005, during a telethon to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, West criticized the White House's response to the storm by famously charging that "George W. Bush doesn't care about black people."

There was quick backlash to West on Twitter on Wednesday.

"Kanye doesn't care about black people," tweeted comedian Akilah Hughes.

But others were quick to embrace West.

Eric Trump, one of the president's sons, tweeted three American flags next to West's declaration of dragon energy. His brother Donald Trump Jr. appropriated Hillary Clinton's slogan, "#ImWithHer," when he retweeted a Kardashian West post in which she denounced the media for calling the rap superstar erratic. And InfoWars host Alex Jones, a conspiracy theory promoter, invited West onto his show.

West has toyed with running for president himself and on Wednesday tweeted a poster of his face emblazoned with the slogan "Keep America Great" and "#Kanye2024."

Coincidentally or not, West also tweeted earlier this week that he has a new album coming out this summer.

___

Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire

Venues reject Cynthia Nixon campaign event. She blames Cuomo

Cynthia Nixon thinks Andrew Cuomo was behind the refusal by two venues to host her campaign's first stop in the state's second-largest city.

The Democratic candidate for New York governor's economic development discussion with local leaders originally was scheduled Wednesday at a Buffalo community center, but Nixon was turned away after being told the venue couldn't host political events.

After being turned away from a second venue, the "Sex and the City" star met with community leaders at Babeville, musician Ani DiFranco's concert hall located in a refurbished church. Cuomo's "power establishment" forced the venue changes, Nixon said after the round table discussion, which was closed to the media.

"I just want to say I'm here meeting with grassroots leaders and activists in Buffalo, and I guess that's really threatening to the power establishment here," Nixon said. "It shouldn't be. It's a democracy. I just want to talk."

Nixon, a longtime activist on education and LGBT issues, announced March 19 that she was challenging the two-term incumbent in the Democratic primary.

Cuomo's campaign denies he or anyone else associated with him was behind the venues' rejecting Nixon's event. His campaign leader, Lis Smith, tweeted: "First we've heard of it, but not the first Nixon to be paranoid!"

Nixon's campaign said it had received approval earlier this week to host Wednesday morning's meeting at the Olivencia Community Center and had agreed to pay for use of the venue. When campaign staffers arrived to set up, the center's operators told them they wouldn't be allowed to hold the event there, Nixon's campaign said.

A backup venue, the Delavan-Grider Community Center, was secured, but just minutes later the venue backed out, her campaign said. Nixon blamed political pressure from Cuomo's circle for both rejections.

She said in a statement that Cuomo "is clearly scared of our campaign, and desperately wants me to go away."

Candice Moppins, executive director at the Delavan-Grider center, said the person who called to arrange to have the Nixon event there initially didn't mention that it was for a political campaign or that it involved Nixon. As a not-for-profit organization, the venue isn't allowed to host political events, Moppins said.

Cuomo has steered billions in state funds to Buffalo in recent years, including millions for community improvement projects, and the Buffalo Billion, his economic development initiative for the city. The plan is at the center of an upcoming corruption trial involving a former Cuomo administration official and a Buffalo construction contractor.

"The money is going to people who are great contributors of the governor's, and there is very little oversight," Nixon said.

Whistleblower sparks investigation into Georgia film tax credits

Georgia state officials are investigating after an anonymous whistleblower came forward with allegations that Warner Bros. improperly claimed more than $600,000 in Georgia tax credits for work on the movie “Sully,” the industry publication Variety reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The 2016 film, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks as heroic pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, did indeed film in Georgia. Eastwood and Hanks were spotted hanging out at a downtown Atlanta bar during the production’s work here.

>> Related: Photos: ‘Sully’ actors Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood relax after filming 

The allegations contained in the Variety report focus on a specific piece of equipment the whistleblower said was not actually in Georgia. The unnamed informant provided Variety with invoices and contracts that purport to show the equipment in question was elsewhere, the publication said.

A Warner Bros. spokesman told Variety the claims are not true and the studio wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize things in film-friendly Georgia. The Georgia State Attorney’s office tells the AJC that the matter has been referred to the Department of Revenue, while the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the state agency of which the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office is part, declined to comment.

“Sully” had an estimated budget of $60 million, and its box office haul exceeded $125 million, according to data from Box Office Mojo.

>> Related: Will Smith, filming a movie in Savannah, just can't handle the bugs in Georgia

Georgia’s enticing tax policies, offering up to a 30 percent tax credit to filmmakers, have created the state’s booming film industry – something state officials love to tout.

“I am excited by the success of this industry,” Georgia House Speaker David Ralstonsaid at the 2017 Georgia Film Day, an annual event held during the legislative session. “As long as I sit in that office, there will be no bigger fan of that tax credit and this industry than I am.”

>> Related: Kevin Hart reckons with cheating scandal in J. Cole music video

At this year’s Film Day event, the crowd that packed the Capitol rotunda area enjoyed a video highlighting everyday Georgians who work in the industry, and cheered a robust economic report – 320 feature films, television movies and series, commercials and music videos were shot in Georgia in 2017 and projects during fiscal year 2017 generated an economic impact of more than $9.5 billion, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

“No other film production center has seen more growth in infrastructure than Georgia has over the last eight years,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Gov. (Nathan) Deal’s leadership and unwavering support has ensured Georgia’s place as a top destination for film and television activity.”

A 2017 industry study named Georgia the world’s top filming location for big-budget domestic films.

>> Related: Now casting: Taraji P. Henson film seeking men

A request for comment from the state’s film commission and other officials regarding the allegations involving “Sully,” have not been answered yet.

Eddie Money Finally Comes Clean About That 'Shakin" Lyric

Eddie Money explained how he was able to get one of the FCC's banned words into his hit "Shakin'."

Continue reading…

Universal promotes films with Cher performance, new footage

From a surprise Cher performance to new footage of everything from Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic "First Man" to M. Night Shyamalan's "Glass" and Jamie Lee Curtis's return to "Halloween," Universal Pictures pulled out all the showstoppers for CinemaCon attendees Wednesday morning.

Cher and a dozen backup dancers brought the house down at Caesar's Palace with a lively performance of Abba's "Fernando." The legendary performer co-stars in the upcoming movie musical "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!" a sequel to wildly popular 2008 film, which arrives in theaters on July 20. She plays the mother of Meryl Streep's character.

The performance closed out Universal's presentation at the annual gathering of theater owners and exhibitors, where the studio wowed the audience with first looks at a number of their most anticipated releases, including the scary opening to "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," out June 22.

Universal also brought out stars like Chris Pratt, Bruce Willis, Kevin Hart, Ryan Gosling, Tiffany Haddish and Samuel L. Jackson to hype their upcoming slate.

"We love making movies as much as we love going to see them," said Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley

Gosling said it was an honor to play Neil Armstrong in "First Man," Chazelle's first movie since he won the best director Oscar for "La La Land." The first trailer for the film teased a tense and heart-pounding experience, showing the famed astronaut heavy with responsibility before his historic mission to the moon.

"We have real confidence in the mission, we have every intention of coming back," Gosling, as Armstrong says in the trailer to his young son. The film takes flight on Oct. 12.

M. Night Shyamalan also came out to preview "Glass," which blends the worlds of his films "Split" and "Unbreakable," with stars Jackson, Willis, James McAvoy and Sarah Paulson.

"It's about time I got the title role in my own mother(expletive) movie," Jackson said.

Shyamalan says it's the, "first grounded comic book movie." It's expected in theaters in Jan. 2019.

Jamie Lee Curtis also introduced the first footage from "Halloween" in which she returns to the role of Laurie Strode, which she originated 40 years ago in John Carpenter's 1978 film.

"We had no money," Curtis remembered about the film. "But John Carpenter and Debra Hill had a vision. It would come to stand as an unyielding sustaining influence in the canon of horror. It is still terrifying in its simplicity."

This new showdown with Michael Myers is directed by David Gordon Green and hits theaters on Oct. 19.

One of the only major stars who wasn't there was Dwayne Johnson, a CinemaCon mainstay, who has the film "Skyscraper" with Universal. But the star and new father recorded a video message for the occasion, explaining that he's on "baby duty" right now and suffering from a lack of sleep.

"Skyscraper" was described as "Die Hard" meets "The Towering Inferno," and, director Rawson Marshall Thurber said it was inspired by "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and even "The Fugitive."

Speaking of Harrison Ford, the studio's animation arm, Illumination Entertainment, also announced that Ford would be taking on his first animated project ever, voicing a role in the sequel to "The Secret Life of Pets."

Universal Pictures is among a handful of Hollywood studios who are presenting to theater owners and exhibitors throughout the week. Since Monday, studio executives have been stressing the diversity of their slates and the health of the movie industry.

"The theatrical experience is alive and well and it's the cornerstone of our industry," said Peter Levinsohn, the president and chief distribution officer of Universal Filmed Entertainment. "Whatever challenges and opportunities we may face, we'll face them together."

___

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

Ancient skeleton of child found in ruins of Pompeii's bath

Work at ancient thermal baths in Pompeii's ruins has revealed the skeleton of a crouching child who perished in Mount Vesuvius' eruption in A.D. 79.

Pompeii's director Massimo Osanna said in a statement Wednesday that the skeleton, believed to be of a 7- or 8-year-old child, was found during work in February to shore up the main ancient baths in the sprawling archaeological site. The skeleton was removed on Tuesday from the baths' area for study, including DNA testing to determine the sex.

Osanna said it appears the skeleton might have been first spotted during a 19th-century excavation of the area, since the leg bones were orderly placed near the pelvis, but, for reasons unclear, wasn't removed by those earlier archaeologists.

Experts think deadly volcanic gases killed the child.

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