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#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy

“Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and thousands of children may have a chance to see it for free thanks to the #BlackPantherChallenge

>> Read more trending news

Earlier this month, Frederick Joseph, of New York, launched a GoFundMe to help students from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem “see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life,” he wrote on the campaign page. He set a goal of $10,000 and nearly quadrupled that amount, raking in more than $40,000 in a few weeks.

>> Related: Man raises more than $30,000 on GoFundMe to help Harlem kids see 'Black Panther'

With all of the attention he garnered, including an appearance on the “The Ellen Show,” he began asking others to start similar fundraisers in their own communities. 

“This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally,” he said.

People seem to have answered the call, because 90 campaigns have been created, with more than $100,000 raised, Joseph announced this week

A ton of celebrities have gotten involved, too, including Jemele HillSnoop DoggChelsea Clinton and most recently Viola Davis and the film’s star Chadwick Boseman.

James Franco, ‘Wonder Woman’ among Oscar nomination snubs

Nominations were announced for the 90th Academy Awards‬‬ Tuesday, and although a number of actors and filmmakers and films have multiple noms, some names expected to be called were snubbed.

>> Read more trending news 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Franco was considered by many to likely be nominated for his role  in “The Disaster Artist.” The actor, who faces multiple sexual misconduct allegations, was not among those nominated. “The Disaster Artist” only received one nomination for adapted screenplay for screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.

Related: Oscar nominations: ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Dunkirk,’ ‘Three Billboards,’ lead nominees

“Wonder Woman” was not nominated for any awards, technical or otherwise, despite being a high-grossing blockbuster last year. The star of the film, Gal Gadot, was also not nominated, Deadline reported.

Tom Hanks was considered snubbed when he did not receive a Best Actor nomination for his role in “The Post.” Deadline reported that his co-star Meryl Streep received her 21st Oscar nomination overall for her role in the film. The movie also has a best picture nomination, but director Steven Spielberg was not nominated.

Streep is set to join other nominees at the 90th Academy Awards March 4.

A-Rod again replaces Boone, joins ESPN Sunday Night Baseball

Alex Rodriguez is taking over for Aaron Boone again, this time moving into the ESPN booth for Sunday Night Baseball.

ESPN announced Tuesday that A-Rod was joining its crew as an analyst. The former star slugger will become a rare, two-network announcer — he will continue as a studio analyst for Fox Sports in the postseason.

Rodriguez fills the ESPN spot held last season by Boone, hired last month to manage the New York Yankees.

Boone hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning of Game 7 in the 2003 AL Championship Series against Boston, but the third baseman tore up his knee in the offseason and missed a year.

Rodriguez became his replacement with the Yankees, acquired from Texas in a trade before the 2004 season. Rodriguez stayed with the team through 2016 and hit 696 career home runs.

"I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my broadcasting career," Rodriguez said in a statement. "It's an exciting time in baseball and now I get that front-row seat to tell that story every Sunday night on ESPN,as well as calling my fourth postseason on Fox, where I started this journey."

The 42-year-old Rodriguez keeps raising his profile since missing the 2014 season because of a drug suspension. Along with his baseball broadcasting, he works as an adviser for the Yankees and often shows up on red carpets with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez.

Rodriguez's new job led some to suggest on social media that someday he should follow Boone a third time, as manager of the Yankees. Shortly before the Yankees officially hired Boone, J-Lo posted on Instagram : "It couldn't be clearer.#arodforyankeesmanager."

The ESPN Sunday night crew will include play-by-play broadcaster Matt Vasgersian, analyst Jessica Mendoza and reporter Buster Olney.

Rodriguez and the new crew make its debut on Thursday, March 29, when the San Francisco Giants visit the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day. The first Sunday night telecast is Giants-Dodgers on April 1.

"Alex's achievements as a player speak for themselves, and I've been greatly impressed by the passion and dedication he has put into his broadcasting career," Mendoza said.

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For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Police plan to ramp up security at Jackson Browne concert in Florida after threat

There will be increased security during singer-songwriter Jackson Browne’s concert Tuesday evening at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts after a threat was made at a northwest Indiana church known for its progressive stands on racial and social justice issues, the Orlando Police Department said.

>> Read more trending news

Police said banners with racist and anti-gay messages were discovered Sunday attached to a fence outside the Unitarian Universalist Church in West Lafayette, Indiana, which is about 70 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The banners were discovered the morning after the church hosted a “Resistance Fair,” which included left-leaning groups that oppose President Donald Trump's agenda.

One banner included a slur against gays and lesbians; the second had slurs against racial minorities, gays and lesbians.

The second one also referenced Browne, while the other included the date Jan. 23 and the message "die Orlando just like Los (sic) Vegas,” referencing Browne’s appearance in Orlando.

The other wording appears to refer to the sniper who opened fire in October from a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring more than 800 others.

West Lafayette police said they are investigating the incident and have notified the FBI.

Orlando police officials said they are in communication with police in Indiana.

“The safety and security of our guests, colleagues and artists is our highest priority,” Lorri Shaban, spokeswoman for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, said in an emailed statement. “We were made aware of the situation Sunday night and have been working closely with law enforcement to ensure a safe, secure environment for the concert.”

Those who purchased tickets for the concert but don't feel safe may call the venue's box office for a refund, Shaban said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

CBS News appoints new leader for evening newscast

CBS News has appointed Mosheh Oinounou (WAH-noo-noo) as the top behind-the-scenes executive at the "CBS Evening News," where Jeff Glor recently took over as the anchor.

Oinounou replaces Steve Capus as the show's executive producer. CBS News President David Rhodes said Capus, a former NBC News president who has been the show's executive producer for the past four years, will be staying at CBS in a role yet to be defined.

CBS says Oinounou will be looking for digital extensions to the nightly newscast. He was part of the leadership team for the CBSN streaming service.

The "CBS Evening News" generally draws about 7 million viewers a night, placing it third in the ratings to newscasts at ABC and NBC.

Mary J. Blige thrilled at becoming a double Oscar nominee

Mary J. Blige is still getting used to the idea of being a double Oscar nominee.

The nine-time Grammy winner was nominated for two Academy Awards on Tuesday: Supporting actress and original song for "Mudbound."

Blige said she spent the morning "yelling and screaming and about to cry." The 47-year-old called the nominations beautiful.

"This is a new one, the actress nominee, and this is beautiful. This is really special," she said. "So is the song because it's something that I love to do. I love to sing. And that's something I've been doing for a very long time that's special to me, and the Oscars have recognized it. So it's all special."

Directed and co-written by Dee Rees, who was nominated Tuesday for adapted screenplay, "Mudbound" is a story about two families set in the Jim Crow South. Blige plays Florence Jackson, a sharecropper's wife who becomes an unlikely friend and ally to the landowner's wife, played by Carey Mulligan.

Blige said playing Florence added a new dimension to her life, even after production wrapped.

"I take Florence with me, and I take all the experiences and emotion with me," Blige said. "But I don't mind because Florence is a beautiful, powerful, confident woman, and she gave me a lot of confidence and strength in my struggles in my trials that I was dealing with the time."

The character, Blige said, is like a song.

"She's just inspiring a whole other side of me," Blige said. "A deeper me; a deeper confidence where I don't have to depend on so many things, things that the world uses or says that makes you beautiful. Florence is a stripped-down, beautiful woman, and that's a song in itself."

Blige's original song for the film, "Mighty River," written with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson, plays over the closing credits.

"Mudbound" also made history with its nomination for cinematographer Rachel Morrison, the first woman ever recognized in that category.

Blige said working with Rees and Morrison on the film "made my life easy."

"(Dee) gave me new life with Florence and she gave me courage to play this character," the singer said. "And Rachel was just amazing. Seeing these women every day on set, it was so refreshing and such a treat and just beautiful."

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/YouKnowSandy .

Davos diplomacy scene not exactly a natural fit for Trump

One question looms as President Donald Trump packs his bags for Switzerland: How will the Diet Coke-loving nationalist fit in with the Champagne-sipping globalists he'll encounter at the World Economic Forum in Davos?

American presidents tend to shun the Davos diplomacy scene, a glitzy annual gathering at a Swiss Alpine resort that for nearly 50 years has drawn politicians, CEOs and celebrities to ponder public policy and global cooperation.

Sitting presidents typically pass on the event, as known for its flashy parties and celebrity sightings as its policy powwows and international deal-making.

Instead, Trump will be the star attraction at this year's high-minded, invitation-only summit. A real estate executive turned reality TV star who has embraced nationalism and railed against international trade practices, Trump doesn't seem like a natural fit. But with a government shutdown averted, Trump is packing up much of his Cabinet and his "America First" message and heading into town.

"We'll be talking about investing in the United States again," Trump said Tuesday, as he signed new tariffs that could draw criticism from the Davos crowd.

The last sitting U.S. president to attend the summit was Bill Clinton in 2000. Barack Obama, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush all opted out. Ronald Reagan appeared via video link.

Just how Trump approaches the gathering is the subject of feverish speculation as attendees try to game out what Trump will say in his remarks and who he may meet with on the sidelines. Longtime attendees stressed that he might not find the warmest response among those who favor global trade and have been rattled by his rise to power.

"It's a bit of a puzzle," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist of IHS Markit. "First of all, he's going into a situation where the audience will not be that friendly."

An administration official said Trump is expected to highlight the booming U.S. economy and his recent tax overhaul while again criticizing trade practices he sees as unfair. The official, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly about internal plans and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Trump made the decision to go because he thinks he has a positive economic message.

Trump decided to make the move after some encouragement from Vice President Mike Pence and French President Emmanuel Macron, said a White House official, who also wasn't authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

He's likely get a different response than Clinton did 18 years ago.

A champion of global trade, Clinton urged world leaders to consider workers and poorer nations in his 2000 address, saying, "Don't leave the little guys out." He has frequented the meeting ever since, receiving a warm reception. His former vice president, Al Gore, an environmental activist, is scheduled to attend this year.

"Clinton is the only president that really was Davos Man," said Ian Bremmer, a foreign affairs columnist and president of the Eurasia Group, using the nickname for the summit's globalization focused participants. "Obama doesn't like contrasts like this. Bush was more folksy, homespun."

Still, top aides have typically attended even when the president did not. Vice President Joe Biden appeared on behalf of the Obama administration last year, and Vice President Dick Cheney attended for George W. Bush.

And of course, politicians aren't the only draw at Davos. In recent years, celebrity attendees have become part of the tableau, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Goldie Hawn and Bono among the superstar visitors. In 2006, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt attended panel discussions trailed by packs of photographers.

This year, Elton John and Cate Blanchett already have grabbed Davos headlines.

Trump has not attended before. Said Bremmer: "This is not Trump's crowd."

Even though Trump hasn't been there, his political rise — driven by nationalist rhetoric — has dominated the conversation in recent years.

"I remember two years ago, every meeting at Davos, whatever it was about, would end with the theme that Trump could never be elected president," said Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff. "For him, I suspect this is a victory lap."

Last year, Biden appeared at Davos in the final days of the Obama administration and used his remarks to issue a veiled criticism of Trump, calling on Europe and the United States to defend the "liberal" world order, decrying a growing impulse in the West toward isolation and building walls.

Also sending a message to Trump last year was Chinese President Xi Jinping, who cast his country as a champion of free trade and stability, saying: "Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from."

Trump may be looking to push back on those messages this year.

Last time, the crowd heard from Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci, the financier who briefly served as Trump's communications director over the summer. Scaramucci — known at Davos for throwing wine-tasting parties — sought to explain Trump's governing plans to an anxious audience.

He insisted the administration "did not want to have a trade war," predicted that Trump's inaugural address would be "very Reaganesque," and said, "Directionally, this is a super compassionate man."

But he also acknowledged the concerns about the incoming president.

Scaramucci joked: "This is my 10th year here, but it is my first year here with a food taster."

'Last Men' filmmaker reflects on historic Oscar nomination

The maker of the documentary "Last Men in Aleppo" has made Oscars history for his war-torn country, Syria.

The 90-minute documentary is the first Syrian film to be nominated for an Academy Award. Firas Fayyad, the Syrian director and writer of the film who is also from Aleppo, called the nomination "a big shout out to justice" because it documents what he called the "war crimes" of the Syrian government.

The Netflix production follows a group of first responders in the White Helmets who remain in the opposition-held part of Aleppo city and dig through the rubble and follow bombings from the Syrian government for survivors. They also pull out the dead from under the devastation in some heart-wrenching scenes when seconds can make a difference between life and death. The rescuers themselves often come under attack as they carry out their rescue missions.

The documentary also tells the story of Syria as it is being ripped apart by seven years of war.

"They say those who have the power always write history. We who don't have power are now writing history, one that can't be (erased)," Fayyad said in a phone interview while attending the global summit in Davos, Switzerland.

The White Helmets are not without controversy. They only operate in opposition-held areas, where government services are almost none existent and aerial bombings are recurrent. Syrian government supporters accuse them of being politically affiliated with the rebel groups. The documentary portrays the lives of the men who volunteered for the task as their country has plunged into war.

The first responders' bravery has inspired many around the world. They were the subject of another Netflix documentary, "The White Helmets," directed by British filmmaker Orlando von Einsiedel, which won the short documentary Academy Award last year.

Making it to the United States is an added struggle for Fayyad, who left the war-torn country in 2012 and lives in Denmark. With his Syrian passport, he has been interrogated for hours before being permitted in the US. His producer, also a Syrian, will have to "work hard" to make it to Los Angeles for the Academy Awards on March 4. Syria is one of the country's that face a travel ban to the United States.

The other nominees for best documentary feature are "Abacus: Small Enough To Jail," ''Face Places," ''Icarus" and "Strong Island."

Jordan Peele makes history with ‘Get Out’ Oscar nomination

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, “Get Out,” has earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. The nomination puts him among just four other black directors nominated for the award.

>> Read more trending news 

The Los Angeles Times reported that John Singleton (“Boyz n the Hood”), Lee Daniels (2009’s “Precious”), Steve McQueen (2013’s “12 Years a Slave”) and Barry Jenkins (2017’s “Moonlight”) have all previously been nominated in the Oscar category.

If Peele wins, he would be the first black director to have an Academy Award.

Related: Oscar nominations: ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Dunkirk,’ ‘Three Billboards,’ lead nominees

Peele has already made history as the first black filmmaker nominated for writing, producing and directing in the same year, according to Esquire

The feat doesn’t seem lost on Peele. He tweeted gratitude after the nominations were announced.

“Right now I’m just thinking about everyone who bought a ticket and told someone else to. You did this. Thank you,” he wrote.

“Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya also received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. “I just spoke to Daniel,” Peele wrote on Twitter. “You know when you’re on the phone trying to disguise the sound of an ugly cry? I failed at that.”

The Oscars are March 4.

James Franco accusers detail misconduct allegations on 'GMA'

Two women who have accused actor James Franco of sexual misconduct said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday that they're waiting for him to make amends.

Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan repeated accusations they've made on Twitter that Franco abused his power and behaved inappropriately.

Paley has accused Franco of coercing her into performing oral sex on him. "He kind of like pushed my head down and was like, saying, 'come on,'" she said Tuesday.

Asked what she'd like Franco to do now, Paley said, "a lot of things but please just apologize."

Tither-Kaplan said she was a student in a master class on sex scenes taught by Franco and a lot of scenes "seemed gratuitous and exploitative." She added that Franco "created exploitative environments for non-celebrity women on his sets."

Tither-Kaplan said she'd like to see Franco use his power to "give opportunities to women that are real and valuable and actually give them career advancement."

The two women initially made their allegations on social media after Franco attended the Golden Globes awards ceremony wearing a "Time's Up" pin indicating support for victims of sexual misconduct.

Franco's representative made no comment except to say the women's claims are not accurate. They referred to his previous comment on the matter.

On "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Franco said: "If I've done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to."

She said Franco exploited the "non-celebrity women" he worked with.

Franco's representative made no comment except to say the women's claims are not accurate. Franco said earlier: "If I've done something wrong, I will fix it."

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