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The Latest Entertainment Headlines

    Atlantic City's new Call Of Duty is this: To become the East Coast center of competitive video game tournaments, also known as esports. The activity is rapidly growing in popularity across the country and around the world, and the New Jersey gambling resort wants to become a major player in the nearly $1 billion global market. Proponents see it as a way for Atlantic City's nine casinos to add revenue and help endure the slow winter months. And in the hyper-competitive East Coast casino market, they also believe it can attract tourists whose interest in gambling is marginal or non-existent. Isle of Man-based Continent 8 is building a $5 million data center at the Atlantic City Convention Center to serve not only the data-intensive esports industry, but internet gambling and sports betting technologies as well. It should be ready in April. Two Atlantic City casinos held tournaments last year, and another will host an industry convention this weekend. And Stockton University is joining the Eastern College Athletic Conference's intercollegiate esports competition, building a room at its Galloway campus, near Atlantic City. Gambling and technology companies believe esports is a natural progression in Atlantic City's ongoing diversification of its gambling market. 'The sky is the limit on this,' said Barbara DeMarco, a spokeswoman for Continent 8. 'Sports wagering is bringing in millennials, and this group likes to work off a mobile device. Do we catch that before someone else does?' Esports is already well-established in the United States, and growing rapidly. In 2016, the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas built an esports lounge, hosted tournaments and, with bookmaker William Hill, took the first sports wager placed in Nevada on an esports tournament. Major gambling companies including Casesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International have invested in esports tournaments and facilities. The market research firm Newzoo puts esports at a $905 million global market this year, predicting it will hit $1.4 billion by 2020. About 380 million people will watch at least one esports tournament this year, the company estimates. 'The first time I noticed esports was in the streets of Seoul, South Korea,' said L. Anthony Gaud, president of Atlantic City-based INGAMEesports. 'There was a giant crowd, and I asked someone, 'Is that a movie star or a rock star?' They said, 'No, it's a game player.' I had never seen anything like it in my life.' Internet gambling has been a steadily growing industry since Nov. 2013, and New Jersey launched sports betting in June after winning a U.S. Supreme Court case allowing it and other states to do so. This weekend, the Ocean Resort Casino will host Gameacon, a convention with video game tournaments, networking sessions for game creators and artists, and sessions for fans to interact with developers. The industry is also examining whether any laws or regulations can be changed to help spur the growth of esports in Atlantic City. Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
  • Appeals court judges weighing President Donald Trump's bid to shut down a former 'Apprentice' contestant's defamation suit against him are asking a hypothetical question: Could a New York court order the president to jail if he were to buck an order in the case? The question came up — but wasn't definitively answered — as lawyers for Trump and ex-contestant Summer Zervos argued Thursday in a New York appeals court. Zervos sued Trump for calling her a liar after she accused him of unwanted kissing and groping in two incidents in 2007. Trump's lawyers are trying to get the case dismissed or delayed until after his presidency. Thursday's court session focused on one of the Trump legal team's central arguments: that a sitting president can't be sued in a state court over conduct outside official duties. It made for a discussion largely about Constitutional clauses and legal interpretation. But state Supreme Court Appellate Division Justices Peter Tom and Angela Mazzarelli had some theoretical questions about practical matters: Could a president be taken to a city small-claims court? Or jailed by a state judge who could hold the commander-in-chief in contempt of court after an order was disregarded? Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz suggested the contempt question helped prove his point. 'I think there is something really, really telling about that argument,' he said. Zervos' attorney, Mariann Wang, said it's unlikely the hypothetical scenario would ever happen and the Constitution doesn't shield a president from state court suits over non-official conduct. 'The president does not stand above the law. He is still a human being,' she said. The appeals panel peppered both sides with queries and, as is common, didn't immediately issue a decision. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that then-President Bill Clinton wasn't immune from a federal sexual harassment lawsuit concerning an alleged encounter with an Arkansas state employee while he was governor. But the high court didn't settle the question of whether a president could be sued in a state court over unofficial conduct. During that suit, Clinton was held in contempt of court for providing what a federal judge said was misleading testimony during a deposition — a session of pre-trial questioning under oath. Clinton was fined more than $90,000. Zervos, a California restaurateur, watched intently from the court audience, sitting forward in her seat while Wang argued her case. Outside court, Zervos didn't comment on the case but asked the public to contribute to a GoFundMe page to help pay her attorneys. 'They've worked very hard, and they haven't been paid up until this point,' she said. Zervos appeared on 'The Apprentice' in 2006, when Trump was the reality show's host. She says she met with him twice the next year, seeking career advice but getting unwelcomed kisses and groping. According to her lawsuit, she didn't broach the encounters publicly for years because she thought they were isolated episodes of bad behavior by a businessman she admired. She went public with her allegation after an 'Access Hollywood' recording emerged in October 2016 of Trump boasting about groping women. Trump — by then the Republican presidential nominee — denied Zervos' claims and retweeted a message calling them 'a hoax.' He also launched broadsides on Twitter and on rally stages against all the dozen-plus women who broached sexual misconduct claims against him around that same time, calling them 'liars' peddling 'totally made-up nonsense to steal the election,' among other comments. Zervos' lawyers say his comments were factual falsehoods that subjected her to threats and made her restaurant lose business. Trump's lawyers say his remarks were opinions that he had a free-speech right to express in the course of politics. Zervos is seeking a retraction, an apology and compensatory and punitive damages. Like Trump, she is a Republican. Both sides have continued gathering evidence while they await the appeals court's decision on whether the case can proceed, and they have been clashing over the scope of documents they should have to provide one another. A Manhattan court is set to hear arguments on those issues next week.
  • “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta' star Tommie Lee was arrested for the second time in less than 48 hours Wednesday night. WSB reported that Tommie Lee, whose real name is Atasha Chizaah Jefferson, was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking and obstruction of an officer. >> Read more trending news  According to police paperwork obtained by WSB, Jefferson was arrested at her home in Smyrna, Georgia, around 8 p.m. Wednesday. On Tuesday, Lee was arrested at an area middle school after she allegedly assaulted one of her daughters. She was charged with felony aggravated assault, simple battery, first-degree child cruelty and disruption of public schools. Related: 'Love & Hip Hop' star Tommie Lee arrested at daughter's middle school Lee posted $27,000 bond Wednesday morning and got out of jail, but she violated her bond by making contact with the daughter she allegedly assaulted on Tuesday. She allegedly refused to come to the door when police arrived. Instead, police said, she tried hiding in her attic. Lee is being held in the Cobb County Jail without bond. She will remain in jail indefinitely. 
  • Paul Schrader's religious thriller 'First Reformed' is the leading nominee for the 28th annual Gotham Awards, including nods for best feature and best actor for star Ethan Hawke. The Independent Filmmaker Project announced nominations for the 28th annual IFP Gotham Awards on Thursday. The period drama 'The Favourite' snagged two nominations and its actresses, Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, will receive a special jury prize for their performances. The other nominees for best feature include: 'If Beale Street Could Talk,' ''Madeline's Madeline' and 'The Rider.' Schrader was also nominated for best screenplay. The hit Mr. Rogers film 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' was nominated for best documentary. The awards will be handed out Nov. 26 in New York.
  • A judge in South Dakota has denied a motion to dismiss a drug charge against rapper Chief Keef. The rapper, whose legal name is Keith Cozart, was arrested in June 2017 at the Sioux Falls airport when drugs were found in his carry-on bag after he performed at the University of Sioux Falls. He later pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges for possessing marijuana, edibles and drug paraphernalia. The Argus Leader reports that a Second Circuit Court judge last week denied Cozart's motion to dismiss a charge of possession of a controlled substance, saying the THC-infused edibles he was carrying are not considered marijuana under South Dakota law because they contained no plant material. Chief Keef, a Chicago native, lives in Los Angeles.
  • “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star Tommie Lee was arrested Tuesday at her child's middle school in Smyrna, Georgia. WSB obtained the arrest warrant for Lee, whose real name is Atasha Chizaah Jefferson. >> Read more trending news  Jefferson is accused of shoving her child’s head into a locker, among other things, at Griffin Middle School. According to Smyrna police, Jefferson was charged with felony aggravated assault, simple battery, first-degree child cruelty and disruption of public schools. WSB reported she posted $27,000 bond Wednesday morning and is out of jail. Related: “Love & Hip Hop” star Erica Mena, boyfriend Clifford Dixon arrested Jefferson has had several other run-ins with the law. She was arrested in July after police said she refused orders from officers and hit a valet on the head. The valet didn't press charges, but Jefferson was charged with 'disorderly under the influence' and booked at Atlanta City Detention Center. Jefferson was also accused of attacking an Atlanta mall employee in February.
  • This one's for the girls, during a night when CMT honored all female stars, from Loretta Lynn to Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini, at their annual Artists of the Year show in an empowering night of lifting up each other. Although female artists still struggle to get airplay, the women saluted each other for breaking through the barriers in the industry on Wednesday night in Nashville, Tennessee. Underwood ended the show with a medley of iconic songs from Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Man' to Shania Twain's 'Man! I Feel Like A Woman!' supported by two all-female groups Runaway June and Maddie and Tae. In her acceptance speech, Underwood told the women gathered in the room that they were the backbone of the industry. 'You are not here because you are women,' Underwood said. 'You are here because you are dang good.' Sissy Spacek, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn in 'Coal Miner's Daughter,' said Lynn was a trailblazer whose honest lyrics made her unlike any other songwriter in the genre. Lynn, who is 86 and just released a new album, 'Wouldn't It Be Great,' last month, was unable to attend the show and Spacek accepted the honor on her behalf. Spacek called her 'my sister, my best friend' and teared up a bit on stage. 'She's just direct and authentic,' Spacek told The Associated Press on the red carpet before the show. 'She tells it like it is. She can say things that you and I couldn't say, or would be afraid to say.' Throughout the night, the country artists showed off their influences outside the genre with collaborations with artists from soul, gospel, Americana and more. Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town sung 'Help Me Make It Through the Night' and 'I Can't Make You Love Me,' with soul icon Gladys Knight. During the show, Fairchild pulled out her iPhone to list off about two dozen women in country music that deserved to get radio play. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, who performed with Tori Kelly and Kirk Franklin, brought her 5-year-old daughter to the show, hoping to show her that women can be anything they want to be. 'She can dream as big and as far and wide as she can possibly can,' Scott said prior to the show. Maren Morris was joined by acclaimed singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile in a duet tribute to Aretha Franklin. Morris and her husband and singer Ryan Hurd both dismissed an oft-repeated claim that female country music fans don't want to listen to many women on country radio, which has often been used as an excuse to limit women on playlists and on radio. 'I don't think it's real,' Morris said. 'I don't think any woman has said out loud, at least to me, 'I don't like to listen to women.' I think that's so ridiculous.' Miranda Lambert performed with her group, the Pistol Annies, with Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe and said every day she recognizes what other women have done to help her. 'Not a day will go by that I don't honor and lift up women in this industry and want to work with them and collaborate because we have to be there for each other,' Lambert said. Kelsea Ballerini and Alison Krauss did a cover of 'Ghost in This House.' Ballerini said many women that she has looked up to have reached out their hands to her, including Shania Twain, Reba McEntire and Taylor Swift. 'What I have learned from this is to lift each other up, to support each other and to share our stage no matter how big or small it is,' Ballerini said. __ Online: http://www.cmt.com/artists-of-the-year __ Follow Kristin M. Hall at Twitter.com/kmhall ___ This story corrects the title of Loretta Lynn's album and release date.
  • The Emmy Award-winning “Golden Girls” sitcom, featuring the adventures of four feisty older women, ran for seven seasons starting in the mid-1980s. More than 30 years later, the show is still airing on cable TV and its still-growing fan base spans the generations. >> Read more trending news  Maybe that’s part of the reason Funko, known for its pop culture-themed products, just debuted a limited-edition “Golden Girls”-inspired tribute cereal. The cereal just hit store shelves at select Target stores late last month, and it is already hard to find. The multigrain cereal, based on the characters of Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia, is basically a monochrome version of Fruit Loops, with thick O’s in an unusual shade of blue, according to Parenting.com, and goes for an expensive $7.99 a box, if you can find it. >> Related: Betty White says vodka and hot dogs, ‘in that order,’ secret to a long life Just one of the Golden Girls is still alive. Actress Betty White has outlived her co-stars by years, and at 96, she is still going strong in Hollywood.  
  • Judy Blume has at long last agreed to a feature film adaptation of her seminal 1970 young adult novel 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.' Writer and director Kelly Fremon Craig is set to adapt and direct the film, which will be produced by James L. Brooks' Gracie Films. It does not yet have a script or distributor. Fremon Craig tweeted the news Wednesday, writing that 'thrilled is an understatement.' She's known for writing and directing the critically acclaimed coming-of-age film 'The Edge of Seventeen.' Blume tweeted in August that she was in Los Angeles meeting about film and series adaptations of her books after years of turning down offers. Deadline first reported the news.
  • Kobe Bryant was dropped Wednesday from the jury of an animated film festival after calls for the former NBA star's ouster over a 2003 rape allegation. Eric Beckman the CEO of GKIDS, the company that organizes the Animation Is Film Festival, announced the move. 'After discussions with the various stakeholders of Animation Is Film, the decision has been made to remove Kobe Bryant from the 2018 jury, Beckman said in a statement. 'We are a young organization and it is important to keep our collective energies focused on the films, the participating filmmakers, and our festival attendees.' An online petition had been circulating demanding Bryant be dropped. Bryant won an Academy Award in March for his part in making the animated short, 'Dear Basketball' and has founded an animation company, Granity Studios. He released a statement saying he was honored to be invited and disappointed to be excluded. 'This decision further motivates me and my commitment to building a studio that focuses on diversity and inclusion in storytelling for the animation industry,' Bryant's statement said. 'I remain focused on changing the world in positive ways through diverse stories, characters, and leadership, in order to inspire the next generation.' In 2003, Bryant was charged with raping a 19-year-old hotel employee. The Lakers star said he believed it was a consensual sexual encounter. The case was dropped after Bryant's accuser refused to testify. She later filed a civil suit against him, which was settled out of court with Bryant admitting no guilt.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • As a former FBI agent was sentenced to 4 years in prison Thursday in Minnesota for disclosing classified information to the news media, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions hailed the latest court moves against leakers in the federal government, saying the Trump Administration is waging what may be ‘the most aggressive campaign against leaks’ in the history of the Department of Justice. “Today’s sentence should be a warning to every would-be leaker in the federal government that if they disclose classified information, they will pay a high price,” Sessions said in a statement, making clear that government leakers will be ‘prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and punished.’ Terry Albury, the Minneapolis FBI agent arrested for leaking classified information to the Intercept, gets four years in prison. 'We are conducting perhaps the most aggressive campaign against leaks in Department history,' AG Sessions says in statement: https://t.co/QBFKUUiXy8 — Kevin Collier (@kevincollier) October 18, 2018 The Sessions statement came after a busy week on the leak front for the feds: + On Monday, a former employee of the Senate Intelligence Committee plead guilty to lying to the FBI about leaks to a reporter. + Wednesday, a Department of Treasury official was charged with leaking banking activity reports to a reporter which was linked to the Russia investigation. + Today, former FBI agent Terry Albury was sentenced to four years of jail time for leaking national security material to the Intercept. From press reports in recent days, it is obvious that more leak investigations are underway as well. + The Trump Administration has sent a subpoena to an immigration attorney, trying to find out how leaked an internal government memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on how asylum applications would be handled for domestic violence victims. + The charges this week against a Treasury Department employee for leaking “Suspicious Activity Banking” reports shows another official in the same office had contacts with the news media as well. + Earlier this week, Attorney General Sessions told the Washington Times that there were 27 ongoing leak investigations at the Department of Justice. + Back in February, Sessions vowed that the Justice Department was going “aggressively” to find out who leaked information about transcripts of phone conversations involving former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
  • A 63-year-old man was shot and killed by police in Monroe, Georgia, Thursday after pointing what turned out to be a replica Thompson submachine gun, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. >> Read more trending news  The incident happened about 9 a.m., when police responded to a report of a man with a gun, Monroe Public Safety Director Keith Glass said in a statement. The man was identified as Mahlon Edward Summerour, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a statement, adding that Summerour appeared to be wearing a curtain over his clothing. “During the encounter, Summerour pointed the weapon at one of the officers,” Miles said. “One officer fired a shot at Summerour, striking him in the chest. Summerour was transported to a local hospital where he later died.” Officer-involved shootings in Georgia in 2018 are on track to surpass the 97 recorded in 2017, according to the GBI. The Monroe shooting is the 73rd such investigation the agency has opened in 2018.
  • The Georgia State Patrol says a man is dead after he managed to fire a weapon that he had hidden behind his back while he was handcuffed during a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Georgia. >> Read more trending news The shooting happened at exit 293 in Cartersville, near the exit ramp to Highway 411 in Bartow County. Officials say a trooper pulled a couple over around 5 a.m. Thursday and the trooper found contraband in the car. The female driver was taken into custody. Authorities said the male passenger originally gave a false name and, at some point, the first trooper called for backup. When a second trooper arrived, the officers determined the man was a wanted parole violator who had been on the run for months, officials said. The troopers searched the man’s car for weapons and handcuffed his hands behind his back, according to investigators. >> Man carrying replica machine gun fatally shot by police, cops say The man was able to grab a weapon hidden behind his back in his pants and fired at the troopers. One of the officers was struck in the stomach, but protected by a bullet-proof vest.  The troopers shot back at the suspect, authorities said. The man was taken to the hospital and later died, according to officials.  The trooper was treated at the hospital and released.  Authorities continue to investigate.
  • State authorities are investigating a deadly shooting involving police in Monroe, officials said. >> Read more trending news The incident happened about 9 a.m. Thursday in the 400 block of East Marable Street in Walton County when police responded to a report of a man with a gun, Monroe Public Safety Director Keith Glass said in a statement. >> See the latest on AJC.com A 63-year-old man was shot and killed after police said he was carrying a gun that turned out to be a replica Thompson machine gun, WSBTV reported. The scene is about one block from Athens Technical College’s Walton campus. >> See the latest on WSBTV.com It was one of two officer-involved shootings in Georgia on Thursday. The second was reported in Bartow County. >> Suspect shot dead after pulling gun during traffic stop, injuring officer, Georgia State Patrol says Officer-involved shootings in Georgia this year are on track to pass the 88 recorded in 2017, according to the GBI. The Monroe shooting is the 73rd such investigation the agency has opened in 2018.