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'Dirty Dancing' turns 30: Film being feted in NY's Catskills

The 30th anniversary of the release of "Dirty Dancing" is being celebrated near the former Catskills resort that inspired the film.

The Hurleyville Arts Centre is having a "Dirty Dancing"-themed Saturday. The events including a fashion show set to the 1987 film's soundtrack, a talk by former resort dance instructor Jackie Horner and a screening of the movie.

Horner taught dance lessons to guests and entertainers at nearby Grossinger's, now abandoned. The famous Catskills hotel served as the inspiration for Brooklyn native Eleanor Bergstein's screenplay about a Jewish girl nicknamed Baby who spends the summer of 1963 at an upstate resort and falls in love with dance instructor Johnny Castle.

Bergstein's family vacationed at Grossinger's in the 1950s, when Horner was the dance instructor. Many of Horner's experiences wound up being part of the film.

Prince William, Kate attend concert for children in Hamburg

Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, are wrapping up a three-day trip to Germany in Hamburg, where they're attending a concert for children in a spectacular new concert hall.

The couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, kicked off their two-nation European tour in Poland earlier this week before visiting Berlin and Heidelberg. They're traveling with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, though the children haven't appeared at most of their public engagements.

On Friday, they took a train from Berlin to Hamburg and visited the city's International Maritime Museum, which houses a model of Britain's royal yacht Britannia.

The royals viewed Hamburg's harbor from the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall, and joined 350 schoolchildren to hear a concert with excerpts from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

Beijing says no to Justin Bieber over past 'bad behavior'

China's capital says it won't be inviting Justin Bieber to perform in the country because of his past "bad behavior," although it did concede that the Canadian singer has talent.

In response to a question from a purported fan on its web page, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture said it was acting in the interest of imposing standards and order and "cleaning up" the domestic performance market.

It said Bieber's "bad behavior," including in his private life abroad and while in China to perform, had caused "public dissatisfaction." It did not provide details.

Bieber performed in Beijing, Shanghai and the eastern city of Dalian in 2013.

"Justin Bieber is a young foreign singer who is talented at singing but also controversial," the bureau said.

"Therefore, it's not appropriate to bring in artists who show bad behavior," it said. "However, in the process of growing up and improving his words and deeds, he can truly develop into a singer who is beloved of the masses," it added.

Bieber, 23, has had numerous run-ins with police around the world. During his 2013 visit to China he drew criticism when pictures showed him being carried up the Great Wall of China by a pair of bodyguards.

Bieber's "Purpose World Tour" wraps up in Asia in September with performances in Tokyo, the semiautonomous Chinese territory of Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.

'American Pie' singer's domestic assault charge dismissed

Domestic assault and terrorizing charges against "American Pie" singer-songwriter Don McLean have been dismissed after he met the terms of a plea agreement, including staying out of trouble for a year.

The charges in Maine were dismissed Thursday. McLean also paid a $3,000 fine to settle three other charges that remain on his record: domestic violence criminal threatening; criminal restraint and criminal mischief.

McLean pleaded guilty last year in Rockland under a "deferred disposition" process in which some of the charges could be wiped away if a defendant met certain conditions.

His lawyer, Walter McKee, said McLean never physically assaulted his ex-wife, Patrisha, during a dispute at their Camden home in January 2016. He said his famous client "prevailed" on the domestic violence assault charge that was "the most serious and damaging of all the charges."

"Mr. McLean will continue to clear his name of any and all accusations against his character and reputation," the attorney said.

The two had been married for 30 years and were going through a divorce at the time. A protection order was granted in March of this year.

Ari Melber tries to improve a troubled time slot at MSNBC

One of MSNBC's most valuable utility players, Ari Melber, gets his own regular show Monday with the assignment of shoring up a weak spot in the cable network's lineup.

Melber, the 37-year-old chief legal correspondent, launches "The Beat" at 6 p.m. ET, promising a show that makes its points more by reporting than pontificating.

He's a familiar face to regular viewers of MSNBC. In his fifth year at the network, he has guest hosted for every host in the evening lineup — Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell and Brian Williams — giving him experience with different styles and staffs.

"I learned this is really hard," he said. "I've worked in government, I've worked in competitive New York litigation, I've worked as a writer and reporter. Honestly, anchoring the news on a nightly basis is the hardest job I've ever taken on."

MSNBC has struggled to find its footing in the time slot since bouncing Al Sharpton in September 2015. It aired a rerun of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's Bloomberg political show for nearly a year and, most recently, tried Greta Van Susteren after she left Fox News Channel. She lasted barely six months.

It is commonly MSNBC's least-watched hour in the after-work lineup that begins with "Meet the Press Daily" at 5 p.m., and is squarely at the transition between a newsier daytime lineup and the more opinionated prime-time hosts.

"I'm going to continue the type of reporting that I've been doing, which is evidence-based, but I will certainly share my passion about why stories matter," he said.

The time slot will test his ability to be nimble. While 6 p.m. is a good time to review the day's big stories, as competitors Bret Baier at Fox News Channel and Wolf Blitzer at CNN do, it's early enough for news to still break.

Melber has mixed breaking news and more prepared pieces, such as an extensive look-back at Watergate, on his Sunday show, "The Point," for the past few months. He's ending that to settle in to the new schedule.

On its face, Melber would seem a better fit for the liberal MSNBC audience than Van Susteren. Melber worked for John Kerry's presidential campaign and traveled with Barack Obama's campaign as a writer for The Washington Independent. He worked at a New York City law firm specializing in First Amendment issues. Hired as an analyst by MSNBC in 2011, he joined the network full-time two years later.

It certainly promised more immediacy. Studying up on an issue to prepare a more senior lawyer for trial was less appealing than preparing for his own interview with a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, as he did with Stephen Breyer in 2015.

"TV can keep you honest because the viewers really do listen," he said. "People who have succeeded in this have shown the audience how hard they work and that their reporting is really worthwhile."

Through six months, it's clear that Trump operates differently than any other president — for good or bad, depending on your perspective, said Melber, choosing his words with a lawyer's precision.

"We are living through one of the biggest political and cultural stories in modern American history," he said. "We have a president who has clearly ignited a huge debate about what it means to be an American and how America should run. And we are still in the first inning."

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This story has been corrected to show that Melber traveled with Barack Obama's campaign as a writer for The Washington Independent and did not work for the campaign.

Justin Bieber banned in Beijing

Pop singer Justin Bieber is now banned in Beijing.

>> Read more trending news

Bieber won’t be performing in the Chinese capital due to “bad behavior,” according to a statement from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture.

“His series of misbehaviors while living abroad and during his performances in China has caused public resentment,” said the statement, which was dated July 18. “To regulate the domestic entertainment market and purify its environment, we find it inappropriate to bring in performers with bad behaviors.”

The 23-year-old Canadian is currently on a world tour, CNN reported.  He has dates scheduled in Japan, the Philippines, India, Singapore and Indonesia. Bieber’s website does list a show in Hong Kong on Sept. 27. It does not show any scheduled dates for mainland China.

Bieber joins a list of musicians allegedly blacklisted by China, CNN reported, including Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Linkin Park, Bjork, Bon Jovi and Maroon 5.

Exhumation of Dali's remains finds his mustache still intact

Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dali's embalmed remains to find genetic samples for a paternity test — a move that opens the possibility for a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of the Dali estate.

Officials said Friday that the artist's mummified remains were so well conserved that even his famous mustache had survived the passing of time and remained in "its classic shape of ten past ten," referring to the positions of the hands on a clock.

Dali was buried in the Dali Museum Theater in the northeastern Spanish town of Figueres, his birthplace, when he died at 84 years old in 1989. The exhumation followed longstanding claims by Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old tarot card reader, who says her mother had an affair with Dali in the town.

In June, a Madrid judge finally ruled that a DNA test should be performed to find out whether her allegations were true.

Forensic experts opened the artist's coffin Thursday night in a sensitive operation that involved using pulleys to lift a 1.5-ton stone slab.

Lluis Penuelas Reixach, the secretary general of the Gala Dali Foundation, said Dali's remains — including his mustache — are well conserved, mummified after the embalming process applied 27 years ago. He was speaking to reporters Friday during a press conference in Figueres.

According to judicial authorities, only five people —a judge, three coroners and an assistant— were allowed to oversee the removal of the samples out of respect for the remains and in order to avoid any contamination.

Representatives of the foundation managing Dali's estate said Friday the evidence backing Abel's claims weren't enough to justify the intrusive exhumation, and that it will continue a legal battle to nullify the paternity test.

Dali and his Russian wife Gala —whose birth name was Elena Ivanovna Diakonova — had no children of their own, although Gala had a daughter from an earlier marriage to French poet Paul Eluard. .

Abel, who for a while made her living by reading tarot cards on local television, was born in Girona, a city close to Figueres. She has fought for the exhumation because she wants legal proof that the artist was her biological father after an alleged affair between her mother and Dali.

If proved right, she could claim one fourth of the painter's estate which is now in the hands of a public foundation, according to her lawyer Enrique Blanquez. There are no current estimates of the value of that fortune.

If she is proved wrong, the Dali foundation will seek financial compensation for the costs of the exhumation.

Either way, minimizing the disruption to the museum's operations and to the rest of Dali's remains is the priority for the foundation managing Dali's estate, according to its secretary. "It's important for Salvador Dali to be returned to rest in the interior of his museum's dome," Penuelas said.

During a press conference this week, Abel explained how her mother and grandmother told the family secret when Abel was still young. Years later, she said she asked her mother again, who confirmed to her the story was true.

The foundation and the museum in Figueres took steps to make sure no images of the exhumation may emerge in public. Before work in the crypt began on Thursday, mobile phones were put in a deposit and a marquee was installed under the museum's glass dome to prevent any photography or video from drones.

The biological samples will travel to a forensic laboratory in Madrid for analysis, a process that could take weeks.

Bennington's death mirrors that of close friend Cornell

The death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington came as a surprise to the world when it was announced, but it also struck similarities to the death of fellow rocker and close friend Chris Cornell, who killed himself in May.

Authorities are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide, Los Angeles County coroner spokesman Brian Elias said Thursday. Bennington, who was 41, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles. He had a strong bond with Cornell and died on what would have been the Soundgarden singer's 53rd birthday.

Bennington was also the godfather to Cornell's 11-year-old son, Chris. And Bennington sang Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at Cornell's memorial.

The Cornells called Bennington a member of their family in a statement released Thursday.

"The Cornell family is overwhelmed by the heartbreaking news about Chester Bennington which tragically comes so soon after their family's own loss," said a Cornell family spokesperson. "They open up their loving arms to Chester's family and share in the sorrow with all those who loved him."

Cornell died by hanging after a concert in Detroit. Linkin Park was set to go on tour next week.

Bennington helped Linkin Park, whose sound mixed rap and rock, become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s. The Grammy-winning group sold more than 10 million copies of their 2000 debut, "Hybrid Theory," which featured the megahit and anthem, "In the End." They sold another 6 million with 2003's multiplatinum "Meteora." Both albums explored feelings of frustration and fury.

The success helped Linkin Park become Billboard's No. 1 act of the decade for rock songs and alternative songs.

Band co-founder and producer Mike Shinoda said on Twitter he was "shocked and saddened."

"Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends," Warner Bros. Records CEO and Chairman Cameron Stang said in a statement.

Bennington's voice could soar with piercing strength or descend to a whisper. Rolling Stone once called it a "shrapnel-laced howl that sounds like it comes from someone twice his size."

The band also sold millions with its remix album, "Reanimation," and its mash-up record with Jay-Z, "Collision Course." They won Grammys for best hard rock performance in 2001 for "Crawling" and best rap/sung collaboration for "Numb/Encore" in 2005. Linkin Park was next scheduled to perform next week in Massachusetts and New York.

Bennington struggled with drug and alcohol addictions at various times during his life. He said he had been sexually abused as a child and was homeless for months before the band found fame.

Linkin Park released their most recent album, "One More Light," in May. It was an album that divided critics and fans alike for its embrace of moody pop. One song on the album, "Heavy," opens with the words: "I don't like my mind right now."

Although the band had always experimented with different sounds, some claimed Linkin Park had sold out, which Bennington denied. "One More Light" became the band's fifth No. 1 album debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

"If you like the music, fantastic. If you don't like it, that's your opinion too. Fantastic. If you're saying we're doing what we're doing for a commercial or monetary reason, trying to make success out of some formula. then stab yourself in the face!" Bennington told NME magazine.

When he got his big break in 1999, Bennington was an assistant at a digital-services firm in Phoenix. A music executive sent him a demo from the band Xero, which needed a lead singer. (He had been recommended by his attorney.) Bennington wrote and recorded new vocals over the band's playing and sent the results back. He soon got the gig and the band then changed its named to Hybrid Theory, then Linkin Park.

Bennington told The Associated Press in 2010 that because of the sound the band is known for — fusing sounds from nu-metal, punk, rock, pop and hip-hop — it was virtually impossible to satisfy their many kinds of fans.

"We're making music for us, that we like. We're not making music for other people," he said. "We're not thinking, 'Let's make a pie-graph of all our fans and find out how many people fit in whatever category and then make the perfect album for them.' Like, that would be absolutely ridiculous."

Bennington was married to his second wife, Talinda, and is survived by six children.

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AP Entertainment Writers Mark Kennedy in New York and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.

O.J. Simpson triumphant, others devastated as he gets parole

Barring any last-minute snafus, O.J. Simpson will walk out of prison a free man in about three months, having persuaded a Nevada parole board the bungled hotel-room heist he pulled nearly 10 years ago was a monumental error in judgment and one he will never repeat.

Although he still adamantly maintains he was trying to retrieve his personal property when he barged into a hotel room with five other men in September 2007, he acknowledged repeatedly Thursday that it was something he never should have done.

"I thought I was glad to get my stuff back, but it just wasn't worth it," he told the board. "It wasn't worth it, and I'm sorry."

After a nationally televised hearing that clearly revealed the public's fascination with Simpson continues, four parole commissioners voted unanimously to release him.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," he said quietly as he buried his head on his chest with relief.

Then, as he was led down a hall and back to prison, the Hall of Fame athlete and 1995 murder defendant raised his hands over his head in a victory gesture and said: "Oh, God, oh!"

Some two hours earlier, Simpson, gray-haired but looking trimmer than he has in recent years, had walked stiffly into a small hearing room of the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada dressed in jeans, a light-blue prison-issue shirt and sneakers.

He chuckled as parole board chairwoman Connie Bisbee began the hearing by mistakenly giving his age at 90 before quickly correcting herself.

"Feels like it though," Simpson, 70, said as laughter erupted.

Bisbee and three other parole board commissioners were gathered in another hearing room about two hours away in Carson City, the state's capital. They questioned Simpson via video.

Several major TV networks and cable channels — including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and ESPN — carried the proceedings live, just as some of them did two decades ago during a famous Ford Bronco chase over Southern California freeways that ended in Simpson's arrest and again when a jury in his murder trial returned with its not guilty verdict.

During Thursday's hearing, the charisma and charm that once made Simpson one of the most popular figures in American pop culture was clearly on display.

By turns remorseful, jovial and defensive, he heatedly insisted the items he and five others took during the armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel room in September 2007 were "my stuff."

Asked what he planned to do if released, Simpson said he would move to Florida to be close to two of his four adult children.

"I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don't think you guys want me here," he joked.

At one point, he set off a storm of sarcasm and mockery on social media when, assuring commissioners he would stay out of trouble, he said: "I've basically spent a conflict-free life, you know."

He also insisted he never meant to hurt anyone during the 2007 confrontation, never pointed a gun and didn't make any threats during the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers.

"These were friends of mine, actually guys who helped me move and store some of this stuff," he said of the dealers, Bruce Fromong and the late Alfred Beardsley.

Fromong testified that was true, adding it was one of the men accompanying Simpson who pointed a gun at him.

"He is a good man. He made a mistake," Fromong said of Simpson, adding that if Inmate No. 1027820 asks him for a ride from prison when he is released he will be there.

"I mean that," he said turning to face Simpson.

Simpson was widely expected to win parole, given similar cases and his good behavior behind bars. His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the murders he was acquitted of in Los Angeles in 1995, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Arnelle Simpson, at 48 the eldest of Simpson's four children, told the board, "We recognize that he is not the perfect man." But she said he has been "a perfect inmate, following all the rules and making the best of the situation."

Simpson said he has spent his time in prison mentoring fellow inmates, often keeping them out of trouble, and that he has become a better person during those years.

"I've done my time. I've done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can," he told the board.

Asked if he was confident he could stay out of trouble, he replied that he learned a lot from an alternative-to-violence course he took in prison and that in any case he has always gotten along well with people.

An electrifying running back dubbed "The Juice," Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as the nation's best college football player in 1968 and went on to become one of the NFL's all-time greats.

The handsome and charming athlete was also a "Monday Night Football" commentator, sprinted through airports in Hertz rental-car commercials and built a Hollywood career with roles in the "Naked Gun" comedies and other movies.

All of that came crashing down with his arrest in the 1994 slayings and his trial, a gavel-to-gavel live-TV sensation that transfixed viewers with its testimony about a bloody glove that didn't fit and stirred furious debate over racist police, celebrity justice and cameras in the courtroom.

Two years after his acquittal Simpson was found liable in civil court for the killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.

Last year, the case proved to be compelling TV all over again with the ESPN documentary "O.J.: Made in America" and the award-winning FX miniseries "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story."

The long prison sentence that resulted from the hotel-room stickup brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought Simpson got away with murder. Among them were Ron Goldman's sister, Kim, and their father, Fred.

"The Goldmans are devastated," family spokesman Michael Wright said of Thursday ruling.

___

Associated Press writers Scott Sonner in Carson City; John Rogers, John Antczak, Christopher Weber and Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles; and Terence Chea in Lovelock contributed to this report.

Disney building the world's first Marvel hotel

It’s a hotel that Disney is hoping guests will marvel at.

>> Read more trending news 

Disney’s Hotel New York, a 565-room property near Disneyland Paris’ Disneytown. will be renovated to feature the props, drawings and costumes from Marvel films, television shows and comic books, Travel & Leisure reported.

The Art of Marvel will be the first Marvel Comics hotel. It will boast a skyscraper facade and likely will include Stark Tower, Travel & Leisure reported, continuing Marvel’s expanded presence among Disney properties. 

The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009, and has opened two attractions -- Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission Breakout! at Disney’s California Adventure; and Iron Man Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland. Walt Disney World’s Epcot park in Florida will be opening a Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster soon, while Avengers attractions are being proposed for the Disney California Adventure park, Travel & Leisure reported.

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