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Taylor Swift’s new album gets favorable reviews

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 6:27 AM

Taylor Swift released her sixth album,
Taylor Swift released her sixth album, "Reputation," just before midnight Friday.(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NARAS)

Taylor Swift’s sixth album arrived as expected on download services just before midnight Friday, and it’s already getting a good reputation. 

>> Read more trending news

What might have been unexpected was how “Reputation” -- Swift’s 15-song album that was released after four pre-releases and a three-year album hiatus by the singer -- was received by critics, Billboard reported.

The album had more than 400,000 pre-orders, The Associated Press reported on Nov. 3. Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, was predicting sales of more than 2 million in the album’s first week.


The reviews have been positive so far. The Los Angeles Times called “Reputation” Swift’s “most focused, most cohesive album yet.” Rolling Stone said it was an album “full of one-on-one adult love songs.”

It is “her most intimate album,” Rolling Stone continued. “A cycle about how it feels when you stop chasing romance and start letting your life happen.

“That’s a daring swerve from a songwriter who’s scored so many brilliant hits about pursuing the next romantic high,” Rolling Stone wrote.


Before the album’s official release, Swift previewed four songs from “Reputation”: “Look What You Made Me Do,” “... Ready For It?” “Gorgeous,” and “Call It What You Want.”

>> Taylor Swift previews fourth song from album

“Don’t let the album title fool you,” USA Today reported. “Taylor Swift doesn’t give a damn about her bad reputation.”

The New York Times called “Reputation” a “public renegotiation, engaging pop music on its terms, not hers.” It is “fundamentally unlike any of her other albums in that it takes into account -- prioritizes, actually -- the tempo and tone of her competition.”

UK party leader's girlfriend suspended over Meghan Markle comments

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 3:45 AM

WATCH: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle First Engagement Interview

The girlfriend of the leader of Britain’s right-wing U.K. Independence Party has been suspended from the party after reportedly making racist comments about Prince Harry’s American fiancee, Meghan Markle.

The Mail on Sunday published a series of messages reportedly sent by 54-year-old Henry Bolton’s 25-year-old girlfriend, Jo Marney.

>> On Rare.us: Meghan Markle’s half-sister slams rumors about her family ahead of the royal wedding

Marney reportedly said Markle would “taint” the royal family, that she had a “tiny brain” and that black people were "ugly."

In a statement to The Mail, Marney said: “I apologize unreservedly for the shocking language I used.”

She added: “The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point and have, to an extent, been taken out of context. Yet I fully recognize the offense they have caused.”

Former deputy leader of the party Peter Whittle wrote on Twitter: “These are disgraceful remarks," adding, “This person should not just be suspended … but expelled altogether.”

>> Read more trending news 

UKIP’s chairman, Paul Oakden, told the Mail on Sunday that Marney had been suspended from the party membership immediately after he was made aware of the messages.

“UKIP does not, has not and never will condone racism,” he said.

Bolton, who was elected party leader in September, tweeted to confirm that Marney had been suspended from the party “immediately upon [UKIP] receiving this information.”

He was responding to a teenage party activist who urged him to publicly call for Marney to have her UKIP membership revoked.

“Her words were blatantly racist and there should be no room for that in UKIP,” Jack Penny wrote on Twitter.

Bolton confirmed his relationship with Marney in a letter to UKIP supporters earlier this month, after seemingly leaving his wife to pursue his new relationship, the BBC reported.

Dennis Rodman arrested on DUI charge

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 3:04 AM

FILE - In this June 14, 2017, file photo former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman listens to a guide at the Sci-Tech Complex in Pyongyang, North Korea. Police say Rodman has been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Southern California. Lt. Rachel Johnson of the Newport Beach Police Department says Rodman was pulled over late Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, for a traffic violation. Johnson says officers administered a field sobriety test, which Rodman failed. Rodman was released from custody Sunday morning.
AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon, File
FILE - In this June 14, 2017, file photo former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman listens to a guide at the Sci-Tech Complex in Pyongyang, North Korea. Police say Rodman has been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Southern California. Lt. Rachel Johnson of the Newport Beach Police Department says Rodman was pulled over late Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, for a traffic violation. Johnson says officers administered a field sobriety test, which Rodman failed. Rodman was released from custody Sunday morning.(AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon, File)

Dennis Rodman reportedly has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

>> On Rare.us: Dennis Rodman says Kim Jong Un is a 'madman'

Entertainment site TMZ broke the news that Rodman was pulled over for a traffic violation late Saturday and ended up being arrested on a DUI chargeThe Associated PressCNN and other news outlets later confirmed the arrest.

>> Read more trending news 

The arrest occurred around 11 p.m. in Newport Beach, California.

Rodman has "struggled openly with alcoholism the past 17 years," Rodman agent Darren Prince told CNN, adding that the former NBA standout has "been dealing with some major personal issues the last month, and I know it's time he checks back into a rehab center to work through them."

Rodman has pleaded guilty and no contest to DUI in the past, and also faced charges related to a hit-and-run.

In his post-NBA days, Rodman has made headlines for increasingly bizarre statements about North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un, whom Rodman sees as a friend.

Read more here.

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

Group Starts Petition To Have Dennis Rodman Kicked Out Of Hall Of Fame

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Aziz Ansari responds to sexual misconduct allegations

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 2:06 AM

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2018, file photo, Aziz Ansari arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Comedian Ansari has responded to allegations of sexual misconduct by a woman he dated in 2017. Ansari said in a statement Sunday, Jan. 14, that he apologized last year when she told him about her discomfort during a sexual encounter in his apartment he said he believed to be consensual.
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File
FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2018, file photo, Aziz Ansari arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Comedian Ansari has responded to allegations of sexual misconduct by a woman he dated in 2017. Ansari said in a statement Sunday, Jan. 14, that he apologized last year when she told him about her discomfort during a sexual encounter in his apartment he said he believed to be consensual.(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Comedian Aziz Ansari released a statement Sunday in response to allegations of sexual misconduct first reported on women's website Babe.net.

According to the article published Saturday, a 23-year-old photographer said Ansari pressured her into having oral sex and "repeatedly asked her for sexual intercourse after she had already declined" after the pair went on a date in September.

>> Eliza Dushku says she was molested by 'True Lies' stunt coordinator at age 12

She said she gave physical cues that she was not interested, but the comedian either did not notice or ignored them.

The woman added that she told Ansari during the encounter that she "didn't want to feel forced because then I'll hate you, and I'd rather not hate you."

She said Ansari texted her the next day to say it was fun meeting her.

"Last night might've been fun for you, but it wasn't for me," she said she wrote back. "You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances."

After explaining her discomfort, she said Ansari apologized, saying he had misread the situation.

>> Read the full story here (WARNING: Graphic content.) 

"In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual," the statement read, according to USA Today.

>> Read more trending news 

"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said."

The statement added: "I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."

Read more here.

Prominent Men Accused Of Sexual Misconduct In 2017

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Eliza Dushku says she was molested by 'True Lies' stunt coordinator at age 12

Published: Sunday, January 14, 2018 @ 2:39 AM

FILE - In this April 5, 2016 file photo, actress Eliza Dushku poses at the premiere of the film
FILE - In this April 5, 2016 file photo, actress Eliza Dushku poses at the premiere of the film "Be Here Now (The Andy Whitfield Story)," at the UTA Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif. Dushku says she was sexually molested at age 12 by a stunt coordinator during production of the 1994 film "True Lies." In a post on her verified Facebook account Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, Dushku also alleged that Joel Kramer, then 36, caused her to be injured on the set as payback for disclosing the alleged misconduct to a friend. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)(Chris Pizzello/Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Actress Eliza Dushku took to Facebook on Saturday to allege that she was molested as a child by a "True Lies" stunt coordinator.

"When I was 12 years old, while filming 'True Lies,' I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood's leading stunt coordinators," wrote Dushku, now 37. 

"Ever since, I have struggled with how and when to disclose this, if ever. At the time, I shared what happened to me with my parents, two adult friends and one of my older brothers. No one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I."

>> Read the full post here (WARNING: Discretion advised.)

She alleged that Kramer, who was 36 at the time, lured her to his hotel room, put her on the bed, then "disappeared in the bathroom and emerged, naked, bearing nothing but a small hand towel held flimsy at his mid-section" before wrapping his body around her and sexually assaulting her.

Dushku also said she was, "by no small coincidence," hurt in a "stunt-gone-wrong on the Harrier jet" the same day a friend she had confided in confronted Kramer about the incident.

"With broken ribs, I spent the evening in the hospital," Dushku wrote. "To be clear, over the course of those months rehearsing and filming True Lies, it was Joel Kramer who was responsible for my safety on a film that at the time broke new ground for action films. On a daily basis he rigged wires and harnesses on my 12 year old body. My life was literally in his hands: he hung me in the open air, from a tower crane, atop an office tower, 25+ stories high. Whereas he was supposed to be my protector, he was my abuser."

Kramer has denied the allegations, Variety reported.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Los Angeles Times, "True Lies" writer and director James Cameron said Dushku "is very brave for speaking up, and I think all the women are that are speaking out and calling for a reckoning now."

“I know the other party – not well. He hasn't worked for me since then," Cameron said, according to the Times report. "The fact that this was happening under our noses and we didn’t know about it, I think going forward it’s important for all industries – certainly Hollywood – to create a safe avenue for people to speak up."

Read more here.

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