Bill O'Reilly announces vacation amid scandal; report claims he may not return to show

Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 8:01 AM

Inside Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” announced Tuesday that he would be taking a “planned vacation," one he had scheduled last fall.

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But New York Magazine reports that four separate network sources said Tuesday's episode could be O’Reilly’s final show on the network. In the middle of a storm surrounding numerous sexual harassment claims, his fate may be decided by the Murdoch family in the coming weeks, the magazine reported.

>> Here’s what viewers think of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment scandal

According to CNN, a Fox News spokesperson denied reports that O'Reilly isn't coming back and said he will return April 24.

>> As advertisers dump Bill O'Reilly, Trump comes to his defense

The sources say that a legal team from the same firm that investigated former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is now investigating O’Reilly’s past and present. They’re looking into recent sexual harassment claims made by Fox News guest Wendy Walsh, according to the report.

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A recent mass boycott of “The O’Reilly Factor” caused the show to lose at least half its advertisers; the New York Times says the number may be closer to two-thirds.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report

Fans want Missy Elliott statue to replace Confederate monument in Portsmouth, Virginia

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 7:48 PM

Missy Elliott - Fast Facts

One fan of Missy Elliott has made waves on the internet, having created a Change.org petition that has gained more than 28,000 signatures in less than a week.

The reason? Nathan Coflin wants the city of Portsmouth, Virginia, to replace a Confederate monument with a statue of Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott.

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The Washington Post reported that Coflin, a resident of Elliott’s hometown of Portsmouth, is a longtime fan of Elliott.

“I wanna show we can honor the positivity that’s happening today in Portsmouth and I think no one better suits that than Missy Elliott,” he told The Post.

“We believe it is time to finally replace the Confederate Monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth Virginia near the intersection of Court and High streets with a new statue of a true Portsmouth native hero,” Coflin wrote on the petition. “Who better to encapsulate the culture and spirit of the city enshrined in a new monument than Grammy Award winning rapper, dancer, and record producer Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott?”

Making nods to Elliott’s 2002 single “Work It,” Coflin expressed his reasons for replacing the monument.

“Getting this statue put up will be a lot of work and you may ask yourself is it worth it? I say yes and ask you to join me in letting us work it,” he wrote. “Together we can put white supremacy down, flip it and reverse it. Let us come together in getting City Council to erect this statue in honor of Missy Elliott and all those in the great City of Portsmouth who work it each and every day.”

In response to a tweet about the petition, Elliott said “just to see this warms my heart and it's so humbling to me.”

Jay-Z dedicates ‘Numb/Encore’ performance to Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 11:43 PM

Jay-Z dedicated a performance of
Jay-Z dedicated a performance of "Numb/Encore," a 2004 collaboration with Linkin Park, to Chester Bennington, the band's late member.(Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images/Getty Images)

While performing a set at Virgin V Festival in Chelmsford, England, Sunday, Jay-Z paid tribute to Chester Bennington, the late Linkin Park singer.

UsWeekly reported that the rap icon, 47, mentioned Bennington by name before performing “Numb/Encore,” a 2004 single that was a collaboration between Jay and Linkin Park.

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“Can you guys light it up tonight for Chester, Linkin Park, one time tonight?” he said. “Please make some noise so he can hear you all the way up in heaven tonight!”

Bennington died of a suicide July 20 at his Los Angeles home. He was 41 years old.

“Numb/Encore” comes from “Collision Course,” a collaborative EP released by Jay and Linkin Park in 2004. 

Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda tweeted a thank you to Jay-Z for dedicating the performance to Bennington, according to People.

“We appreciate you,” Shinoda wrote.

A video, uploaded by a concertgoer, of the performance at the festival can be watched on YouTube.

Venus Williams agrees to turn over phone records from day of fatal crash

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 7:19 PM

Tennis champion Venus Williams poses with her trophy after beating her sister Serena during their final tennis match of the 2008 Wimbledon championships at The All England Tennis Club in southwest London, on July 5, 2008.
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
Tennis champion Venus Williams poses with her trophy after beating her sister Serena during their final tennis match of the 2008 Wimbledon championships at The All England Tennis Club in southwest London, on July 5, 2008.(CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Tennis great Venus Williams has agreed to turn over her cell phone records to attorneys representing a family who is suing her in connection with a June traffic accident that claimed the life of a 78-year-old man.

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In a brief court hearing on Tuesday, lawyers for Williams and those representing the family of Jerome Barson told Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Cymonie Rowe that the 37-year-old athlete had agreed to turn over records of calls from noon to 2:30 p.m. on June 9, the day of the crash, said attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who represents Williams.

The records will be redacted in court documents so the phone numbers would be kept from public view, Cunningham said. He described the request as routine.

“It’s very typical — very standard — for this kind of litigation or any kind of litigation, actually,” he said.

>> Related: Venus Williams breaks down during Wimbledon press conference

Attorney Michael Steinger filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Williams on behalf of the Barson family. In court papers, Steinger and his associates said the phone records could help show whether Williams was distracted at the time of the mid-day crash. They are also seeking Williams’ phone and any other electronic devices she had with her during the June 9 accident. That request is still pending.

>> Related: Surveillance video shows deadly car crash involving Venus Williams

Palm Beach Gardens police say Williams was at the wheel of her SUV in the middle of the intersection at Northlake Boulevard and BallenIsles Drive when the light turned red. Linda Barson, who was driving a Hyundai Accent, drove through the green light, smashing into the side of Williams’ vehicle as Williams continued through the intersection, they said. Williams, who lives in the nearby BallenIsles Country Club, told investigators she did not see Barson’s car.

Jerome Barson, a passenger in the vehicle, was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center and died there on June 22. Williams was not injured in the crash.

Linkin Park to hold ‘special event’ to honor Chester Bennington 

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 7:13 PM

Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park perform on May 22, 2017 in Burbank, California. Linkin Park announced a
Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park perform on May 22, 2017 in Burbank, California. Linkin Park announced a "special event" to honor Bennington, who died of a suicide at age 41.(Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

A little over a month since the death of their bandmate Chester Bennington, Linkin Park announced it will host an event in Los Angeles to honor him, according to Spin.

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“Just wanted to say thank you to all our fans around the world for the tremendous outpouring of love, which has strengthened our spirit during this incredibly difficult time,” the band said on its Twitter page Tuesday. “The five of us are so grateful for all of your support as we heal and build the future of Linkin Park. We are working on a special public event in Los Angeles to honor Chester’s memory and look forward to sharing details with you soon.”

Whether the event will include a performance from the band isn’t clear. The group canceled its summer tour a day after the news of Bennington’s death.

Bennington died of a suicide July 20.

Linkin Park members said Bennington’s death “leaves a void that can never be filled” in a joint statement after his death.

On Sunday, Jay-Z paid tribute to Bennington by performing his 2004 collaboration with Linkin Park, “Numb/Encore,” at the Virgin V Festival in Chelmsford, England.

Fans continue to share thoughts about Bennington on social media, many of which are posted on the Linkin Park website.