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Rapper Tekashi69 says men forced him from car, took jewelry

The rapper known as Tekashi69 says two men forced him from a car at a New York City intersection and robbed him of jewelry.

The New York Police Department says the rapper went to a police precinct early Sunday to report what happened to him.

Authorities say he stated he had been the passenger in a car that was bumped by another vehicle around 4:30 a.m. in Brooklyn and the two men got out and forced him into their car.

Police say the rapper says the men forced him to call another man to bring him some personal property, which he did. Police say the rapper reports the men took an undisclosed amount of jewelry and left.

Police say the rapper became uncooperative after filing the report.

Rapper Offset posts bail, reunites with wife Cardi B after arrest for weapon, drug charges

Migos rapper Offset came home Saturday after he was arrested on suspicion of drug and weapon charges Friday.

WSB reported the 25-year-old and his bodyguard, Senay Gezahgn, were traveling in Jonesboro, Georgia, when police pulled over Offset for an improper lane change.

Offset, whose real name is Kiari Cephus, was driving a 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera.

>> Read more trending news 

According to WSB, Clayton County police said officers searched the vehicle and found less than 1 ounce of marijuana and more than $107,000 in cash.

Offset was charged with improper lane change; possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce; possession of a weapon by a convicted felon; and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

Related: Rapper Offset, of trio Migos, arrested in metro Atlanta on weapon, drug charges

Offset and his Migos group mates, Quavo and Takeoff, were arrested on drug and gun charges in 2015 during a show at Georgia Southern University. While Quavo and Takeoff were able to post bail after two nights in jail, Offset remained in jail for eight months because of past burglary and theft convictions

Gezahgn was charged with possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

Quavo confirmed Offset was home on Twitter.

People reported that Offset’s wife, rapper Cardi B, posted a quick glimpse of the rapper at home with her and their newborn daughter on her Instagram story. She also cleared up details of Offset’s arrest, saying, “For the record Offset is NOT ON PROBATION.”

Offset’s lawyer, Drew Findling, told People the rapper’s top priority is his family. He also said his client was not guilty of any crime. 

“He did not commit any traffic offense and he certainly was not in possession of any weapons,” Findling told People. “This was an improper arrest and I believe in his innocence.

“He’s up as best he can considering the circumstances and knows he has not broken any laws. He is going to have his day in court.”

Opera based on Pink Floyd album 'The Wall' makes US debut

An opera based on Pink Floyd's album "The Wall" has made its U.S. debut in Cincinnati.

"Another Brick in the Wall" opened Friday at Music Hall. It premiered in Montreal last year. Pierre Dufour's production follows a rock singer named Pink, who relives pivotal moments in his life during a stay at a mental health clinic.

The opera includes all of the album's lyrics along with some melodic themes. Dufour says he believes the progressive rock album's story of love and loss makes it a great opera.

"Another Brick" star Nathan Keoughan has the task of diving into Pink's "tortured" life. He says he believes many rock fans are attracted to the opera because of its creativity.

The opera will run through July 31.

'Equalizer 2' squeaks past 'Mamma Mia 2' and takes top spot

In the battle of two very different sequels at the box office this weekend, Denzel Washington's action pic "The Equalizer 2" has narrowly won out over the ABBA jukebox musical "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."

Studios on Sunday estimate that the R-rated Denzel Washington joint grossed $35.8 million from North American theaters over the weekend. It's Washington's first ever sequel and the biggest opening of director Antoine Fuqua's career. The first "Equalizer," from 2014, opened similarly and went on to earn over $190 million worldwide.

Second place went to Universal Pictures' "Mamma Mia 2," which took in $34.4 million, a sum that was driven by an audience that was 83 percent female and 64 percent over the age of 25. The film brought back much of the original cast, like Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan, and added Cher, Andy Garcia and Lily James to the mix. Critics overall gave the sequel better marks than the first, which still went on to gross over $600 million worldwide 10 years ago.

"We consider this a terrific opening," said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "And knowing the audience for these types of films, we are going to have a very healthy run at the domestic and worldwide box office. This is a very fun, very uplifting movie that people need right now."

It's also a rare showdown of two star-driven films that succeeded in targeting two very different audiences.

"It's amazing how well-matched these contenders are," said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Both studios really did a great job of marketing each of these movies to their target audience. It's classic counter-programming."

Sequels powered the top six spots at the domestic box office this weekend and eight out of the top 10 overall. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" came in third with $23.2 million in its second weekend, "Ant-Man and the Wasp" took fourth place with $16.1 million in its third weekend, "Incredibles 2" landed in fifth with $11.5 million, and "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" came in sixth with $11 million.

The weekend's other big new opener, "Unfriended: Dark Web," also a sequel, scared up $3.5 million for a ninth-place start. The only two originals in the top 10 were "Skyscraper" and "Sorry to Bother You."

"People are enjoying these films," said Dergarabedian. "It doesn't matter if there's a number after the title."

And yet there are still original films and documentaries making their own modest impact on the charts, including "Blindspotting," a buddy comedy with some serious themes about race and class starring Tony-winner Daveed Diggs that opened in 14 theaters and made an estimated $332,500.

"Movies like 'Sorry to Bother You' and 'Blindspotting' are showing that in the summer people don't live by blockbusters alone," Dergarabedian said.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Equalizer 2," $35.8 million ($3.3 million international).

2. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," $34.4 million ($42.4 million international).

3. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," $23.2 million ($37.7 million international).

4. "Ant-Man and the Wasp," $16.1 million ($21.6 million international).

5. "Incredibles 2," $11.5 million ($36.5 million international).

6. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," $11 million ($17.3 million international).

7. "Skyscraper," $11 million ($27.3 million international).

8. "The First Purge," $5 million ($8.9 million international).

9. "Unfriended: Dark Web," $3.5 million.

10. "Sorry to Bother You," $2.8 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," $42.4 million.

2. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," $37.7 million.

3. "Incredibles 2," $36.5 million.

4. "Skyscraper," $27.3 million.

5. "Dying to Survive," $25.3 million.

6. "Ant-Man and the Wasp," $21.6 million.

7. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," $17.3 million.

8. "Hidden Man," $10.4 million.

9. "The First Purge," $8.9 million.

10. "Animal Crackers," $3.7 million.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

___

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

Lady Antebellum calls police lip sync of its song 'amazing'

An Ohio police department's entry in a lip sync challenge sweeping the nation has gotten rave reviews — including from the country music group whose song is featured.

Middletown police Chief Rodney Muterspaw says he's "overwhelmed" by the response to a video his department created as part of a national lip sync challenge among police departments. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports among fans of the video is the band Lady Antebellum, which tweeted that the police department's cover of its song "Need You Now" is "amazing."

Since its posting on Wednesday the video has been viewed more than 2 million times.

The police chief says it took about an hour to shoot the video. He says some officers were reluctant at first but everyone seemed to enjoy the experience.

Author tells of kidnapping by pirates he'd gone to interview

Michael Scott Moore is walking a bit gingerly these days, but it has nothing to do with the 2½ years he spent imprisoned by Somali pirates, the beatings he suffered, his time spent in chains or the lousy food that caused him to lose 40 pounds.

"I got thumped by a wave surfing off Manhattan Beach the other day," the author of "The Desert and the Sea: 977 days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast" says with a sheepish grin. "I've got a cracked rib."

Otherwise Moore, freed by his pirate captors in 2014 after his mother raised a $1.6 million ransom, looks fine. He's dressed casually in a dark blue shirt and jeans as he sits down in the shade of the century-old art-deco building that houses Los Angeles' downtown library to talk about his latest book.

"The Desert and the Sea" goes on sale Tuesday, and its 49-year-old author is about to embark on a cross-country tour of readings and signings.

The page-turning thriller, published by Harper Collins, takes readers on a relentless journey as Moore reveals the squalid living conditions that nearly killed him, the beatings he endured and the thoughts of suicide he weighed, along with other thoughts of grabbing one of his captor's machine guns (they were careless about leaving them lying around) and seeing how many of them he could kill before they killed him.

"I don't know," he says with a smile when asked how he survived it all.

After several seconds of quiet contemplation, he adds that a combination of giving up any immediate hope of freedom and living in the moment helped. So did maintaining a sense of humor while trapped in a very unfunny situation. Thus, the book contains several darkly comic moments.

Like the one when Moore hid the keys to the chains the pirates kept him in after he tried to escape by leaping from an old fishing vessel and attempting to swim to shore. They never could find them and had to buy a new set, something that delighted their captive.

Or the time one of the friendlier pirates, knowing Moore holds dual U.S.-German citizenship, woke him one morning to say excitedly that Germany, that year's World Cup winner, defeated Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal game. Moore dismissed the news as "more pirate bull----," replying that no team scores seven goals in a soccer game. Then he turned on the radio and learned it was true.

Moore first thought of writing a book about modern-day piracy when he came across examples of it in coastal African and southeast Asian nations he visited while seeking out some of the world's best surfing spots for a 2010 book. "Sweetness and Blood," documenting how a loose-knit band of hippies, star-struck wanderers and U.S. military personnel helped turn an ancient Hawaiian sport into an international pop-culture phenomenon, has been hailed as arguably the best historical account of modern-day surfing.

His plans to report on piracy weren't sealed, however, until he covered the trial of 10 pirates captured after abducting a German cargo ship off Somalia in 2010. Their two-year trial, which Moore covered for the publication Spiegel Online, marked the first case of piracy prosecuted in Germany in nearly 400 years.

"I really wanted to write a book that had material that I hadn't seen. On pirates," he says now. "And it became an obsession."

By the time he arrived in Somalia in January 2012, piracy had become a cottage industry for a nation plunged into poverty and lawlessness by years of civil unrest. Young men unable to find other work sailed the high seas in small skiffs looking for people to kidnap and hold for multimillion-dollar ransoms.

Moore says he knew going to Somalia was dangerous, but he thought he'd taken all necessary precautions. A "fixer" with clan connections arranged the trip in which he was accompanied by a large contingent of machine-gun-toting guards.

But a pirate leader Moore interviewed betrayed him, paying off most of his security team. Moore was captured on a dusty desert road by pirates who demanded a $20 million ransom.

As his mother spent years negotiating the price and raising money from family and friends, Moore's plight went largely unreported. His employer, Der Spiegel, asked other news organizations to withhold the story, fearing publicity would drive up the price. Almost all, including The Associated Press, complied.

"Honestly, I don't know if it was better or worse to keep it quiet," he says now.

Tall and trim with graying hair, Moore says he has fully recovered physically from his ordeal, although it took more than a year. He laughs when he recalls that several Asian fishermen he was held captive with remarked, "Michael, you got fat," when they saw him during an emotional 2016 reunion.

He still struggles with some emotional scars and takes part in a therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which involves concentrating on what happened to you while focusing the eyes.

"I don't know if it's trendy or cutting edge," he jokes.

"At times, I think he still has very much trouble sleeping, although he says he doesn't have nightmares," his 78-year-old mother, Marlis Saunders, says in a phone interview from the Redondo Beach home where her only child grew up and became an avid surfer.

Another ex-hostage, former Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, says it's unlikely anyone gets completely over such an ordeal.

"That kind of an experience does damage to you that takes a long time to compensate for," said Anderson, who was AP's chief Middle East correspondent when he was abducted by Islamic militants in Lebanon in 1985 and held for nearly seven years. "You don't forget it."

Anderson, 70, says he's glad to hear Moore is getting counseling, adding he underwent it himself but still struggled to accept how emotionally damaging his experience was.

For now, Moore is busy with his book tour and working on a feature story about three men recently convicted of plotting to blow up a Kansas apartment building housing Somali refugees.

After that he'd like to get back to some of the travel writing that took him to many fascinating parts of the world when he was researching his surfing book.

"I don't want to give that up," he says.

Then he laughs as he quickly adds, "It doesn't have to be dangerous travel."

And now he is 5: Britain's Prince George marks birthday

Who doesn't like birthdays?

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate have released a new photo of their son Prince George to mark his fifth birthday.

The photo shows George grinning in the garden of Clarence House after the christening of his younger brother Prince Louis on July 9.

George is third in line for the British throne. His grandfather, Prince Charles, is heir to the throne and his father William comes next.

George has seemed increasingly self-assured in public this year, serving as a page boy at Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle in May at Windsor Castle and making several other appearances.

Happy 5th birthday, Prince George! Kate Middleton, Prince William share sweet photo of oldest son

Someone looks very happy to be turning 5.

Kensington Palace shared an adorable photo of a smiling Prince George, the oldest child of Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on Saturday, one day before the pint-sized royal's birthday.

>> Prince Louis' christening portraits revealed: Kate Middleton, royal family stun in new photos

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share a new photograph of Prince George to mark his fifth birthday – thank you everyone for your lovely messages," the palace tweeted along with the photo, taken by Matt Porteous.

>> See the photo here

The tweet quickly racked up 57,000 likes and 6,500 shares in 10 hours.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Louis christened

Take a look at his previous birthday portraits below:

>> Read more trending news 

Ryan Reynolds teases 'Deadpool 2' extended cut at Comic-Con

Ryan Reynolds has made a triumphant return to San Diego Comic-Con Saturday to promote the release of a "Deadpool 2" extended cut.

Speaking to a packed Hall H audience, Reynolds said that the first "Deadpool" was made because of the people in the room.

The enthusiasm around footage shown at the comic book convention in 2014 convinced the studio to make it.

The second movie, Reynolds deadpanned, was made because of "corporate greed and a splash of destiny." The two films have made over $1.5 billion worldwide.

The "Deadpool 2: Super Duper Cut" features alternate jokes, extended and deleted scenes. Reynolds said that they shot so many alternate versions of every joke that they could basically release a different film.

"Deadpool 2" will be available on blu-ray on Aug. 21.

Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

A private inspector said Saturday that he warned the company operating duck boats on a Missouri lake about design flaws putting the watercraft at greater risk of sinking, less than a year before the accident that killed 17 people during a sudden storm.

Steve Paul, owner of the Test Drive Technologies inspection service in the St. Louis area, said he issued a written report for the company in August 2017. It explained why the boats' engines — and pumps that remove water from their hulls — might fail in inclement weather.

He also told The Associated Press that the tourist boats' canopies make them hard to escape when they sink — a concern raised by regulators after a similar sinking in Arkansas killed 13 people in 1999.

The accident Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake outside the tourist town of Branson also is raising questions about whether storm warnings in the area went unheeded and whether any agency can keep boaters off the water when inclement weather approaches.

"If you have the information that you could have rough waters or a storm coming, why ever put a boat on that water?" Paul said.

A witness' video of the duck boat just before it capsized suggests that its flexible plastic windows might have been closed and could have trapped passengers as the hybrid boat-truck went down. It does not show passengers jumping clear.

"The biggest problem with a duck when it sinks is that canopy," Paul said. "That canopy becomes what I'll call a people catcher, and people can't get out from under that canopy."

A spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, the company operating the duck boats in Branson, did not respond Saturday to telephone and email messages seeking comment. Spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala has noted that Thursday's accident was the only one in more than 40 years of operation.

An archived version of Ripley's website said it operates 20 duck boats in Branson and described them as "built from the ground up under United States Coast Guard (USCG) supervision with the latest in marine safety."

In central Wisconsin, Original Wisconsin Ducks in the Dells has no plans to change how it operates after 73 years of safe rides, general manager Dan Gavinski said. But his company operates World War II-vintage boats, not the modified modern version.

Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike. Their height can obscure cars, pedestrians or bicycles from a driver's view, and maintenance problems can be severe.

Paul said he won't know until the boat that sank is recovered from the lake whether it's one of the two dozen he inspected for Ripley Entertainment in August 2017.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat that sank was built in 1944 and had passed an inspection in February, The Kansas City Star reported . But Paul said the boat would have been heavily modified to make it longer so that only part of it dates to World War II. He said it would still have the design flaw he identified in his report.

He declined to share a copy of his report with The Associated Press but said he said he is willing to make it available to authorities.

"I'm sure eventually it will be subpoenaed," he said.

Paul said the duck boats he inspected — which the company had just purchased or repaired — vented exhaust from the motor out front and below the water line. He said in rough conditions, water could get into the exhaust system, and then into the motor, cutting it off. With the motor off, he said, its pump for removing water from the hull would not operate.

"If you watch that video, that water is definitely being slammed up into that exhaust without a doubt," Paul said.

After the deadly sinking in Arkansas in 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended doing away with the canopies and adding more floatation capacity so duck boats could remain upright and keep floating even if they took on water.

The industry took little heed, said Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who has represented victims of duck boat crashes. The canopies can protect customers from rain or sun, he noted, and closed windows allow companies to heat the cabins, extending operating hours.

The NTSB called the industry's response to the recommendations disappointing, saying companies cited the cost of engineering and installing additional flotation capacity as prohibitive.

"The duck boat is notoriously unstable and unsuited for what they were attempting to do with it," said Daniel Rose, an attorney whose New York-based law firm has represented victims in several accidents. "It tries to be a boat and a car and does neither, really, except under ideal circumstances."

State officials said the Coast Guard regulates such craft; its officials did not immediately respond to requests for more information. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn't regulate duck boats because they're amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn't in this case because it's a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one.

It's also not clear that any agency had the authority to keep boats off the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built it in the late 1950s, but its officials said they don't have such authority.

Witnesses have said the weather appeared calm before a storm suddenly whipped up strong waves and spray.

But nearly eight hours earlier, the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the western and central Missouri counties.

A severe thunderstorm warning that went out at 6:32 p.m. specifically mentioned Table Rock Lake. The first emergency calls over the accident occurred just after 7 p.m.

Meteorologist Elisa Raffa of KOLR-TV in Springfield said in a phone interview Saturday that her station was forecasting the threat of severe weather all morning.

"This storm didn't come out of nowhere," she said. "That is what pains me. I feel like we did everything, at least we tried to do everything, by the book as meteorologists and we still had this horrible tragedy on our hands."

___

Hanna reported from Topeka, Kansas. Johnson reported from Seattle. Jim Salter in St. Louis; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kansas, and James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed.

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