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Spurlock's 'Super Size Me' sequel pulled from Sundance fest

Morgan Spurlock's latest documentary will not premiere at the Sundance Film Festival as planned.

The remaining partners in his production company said Friday that they removed "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!" from the Sundance slate in light of Spurlock's confessions of sexual misconduct this week.

Warrior Poets partners Jeremy Chilnick and Matthew Galkin said in a statement that "this is not the appropriate time" for the film to premiere.

YouTube Red, which was to distribute the film, also had a change of heart. YouTube said Friday it would not release the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Producers of another documentary set to premiere at Sundance next month also said Friday they were distancing themselves from Spurlock.

"In light of Morgan's recent revelations, we agreed to end his association with 'The Devil We Know,'" producer Kristin Lazure said in a statement. She said she hoped to keep the focus on the film, which explores the effects of toxic chemical pollution.

Spurlock said Wednesday in a lengthy online post that he was accused of rape while in college and settled a sexual harassment case with a female assistant at his office eight years ago. He said he would immediately step down from the production company he co-founded.

Representatives for Spurlock did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Disney-Fox deal may create a new nerdy nirvana

The coming union of Disney and Fox is set to create a new nirvana for fanboys and -girls. It will reunite superheroes and science-fiction characters long separated by an energy barrier of corporate legalism.

For years, Marvel characters from the X-Men and the Fantastic Four have battled bad dudes from the studios of 20th Century Fox.

Meanwhile, Marvel's Avengers such as Iron Man and Black Widow vanquished villains in Disney's corner of the galaxy.

And the rights to various "Star Wars" films have been scattered far, far away from each other.

Those will all be unified under the Magic Kingdom. Disney announced Thursday it's buying most of Fox for $52 billion.

The combined company will account for more than a third of theatrical revenues in the U.S. and Canada.

Billie Lourd shares photo of mom Carrie Fisher, honoring ‘Star Wars, her last movie

Billie Lourd is remembering her late mother, Carrie Fisher, in a touching Instagram post.

>> Read more trending news 

The touching photo Lourd shared Friday shows the pair clinging to each other on the red carpet of a recent movie premiere.

The mother and daughter starred in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” back in 2015, and now Fisher’s last movie, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” premiered in theaters on Friday. Lourd said she will forever cherish those memories.

“I’m a big believer of things happening for a reason and I think I ended up on that movie for a reason,” Lourd said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres after losing her mother. “It was really incredible for us to get to have that experience together.”

Lourd lost both her mother and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, within one day of each other last year.

Fisher died after going into cardiac arrest aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles. She died four days later.

>> Related: Mark Hamill admits he and Carrie Fisher once ‘made out like teenagers’

Lourd has posted several tributes to her mother over the past year.

On Fisher’s birthday, she posted a photo of the two of them wearing matching night gowns when Lourde was a child.

In May, also shared another photo of her and her mother riding what appeared to be a train.

>> Related: Carrie Fisher once sent producer a cow tongue after friend was allegedly assaulted

Prosecutors decline to charge rapper Nelly with rape

The rapper Nelly will not face rape charges because the accuser is not cooperating, prosecutors in Washington state said.

The woman said Nelly raped her on his tour bus in October in a Seattle suburb. Auburn police arrested Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., in his bus at a Walmart and he was booked into jail on suspicion of second-degree rape, then released.

Shortly afterward, the woman said she wanted to stop the investigation.

King County prosecutors said in a statement Thursday that they have reviewed the investigation, but without the woman's help, they can't "proceed or fully assess the merits of the case."

Nelly's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, said in a statement to The Associated Press that the performer had been the victim of a "deceitful allegation devoid of credibility."

Rosenblum said Nelly supports advocacy groups that deal with sexual assault and violence against women and is dedicated to raising awareness about such issues.

"However, this type of reckless false allegation cannot be tolerated, as it is an affront to the real survivors of sexual assault," he said.

Vincent Nguini, guitarist for Paul Simon, dead at 65

Vincent Nguini, a guitarist from Cameroon who worked with Paul Simon since the late 1980s, died last week in Brazil. He was 65.

Simon's publicist, Elizabeth Freund, confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Friday. Freund said Nguini died on Dec. 8 with his wife, Florence Nombulelo Yawa, by his side.

No more details or cause of death were provided.

Nguini co-wrote "The Coast" from Simon's 1992 album, "The Rhythm of the Saints." He also played guitar throughout the album.

Nguini also worked in recording sessions with Peter Gabriel, Jimmy Buffett, Josh Groban, the Neville Brothers and Angelique Kidjo.

Nguini is also survived by his daughter Olivia Michelle; his sisters Nomo Cecile, Meyo Virginie; his brother Jean Marie; his ex-wife Stephanie Batchelor; and three grandchildren.

The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store

iTunes Official Music Charts for the week ending December 14, 2017:

Top Songs

1. Perfect, Ed Sheeran

2. rockstar (feat. 21 Savage), Post Malone

3. Havana (feat. Young Thug), Camila Cabello

4. Perfect Duet (with Beyoncé), Ed Sheeran

5. Never Be the Same, Camila Cabello

6. Thunder, Imagine Dragons

7. I Want to Know What Love Is, Chloe Kohanski

8. Both Sides Now, Addison Agen

9. Meant to Be (feat. Florida Geo..., Bebe Rexha

10. Bad at Love, Halsey

Top Albums

1. What Makes You Country, Luke Bryan

2. ÷, Ed Sheeran

3. A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe, Pentatonix

4. Double Or Nothing, Big Sean & Metro Boomin

5. Reputation, Taylor Swift

6. From A Room: Volume 2, Chris Stapleton

7. You Make It Feel Like Christmas, Gwen Stefani

8. The Greatest Showman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Various Artists

9. boom., Walker Hayes

10. Christmas, Michael Bublé

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(copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.

Sam Smith, Miley Cyrus to perform Elton John tribute show

Sam Smith, Miley Cyrus and Coldplay's Chris Martin are set to honor Elton John at a tribute concert next month.

The Recording Academy announced Friday that it will tape "Elton John: I'm Still Standing — A GRAMMY Salute" at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 30, two days after the 2018 Grammy Awards.

The concert will broadcast at a later date on CBS. The Grammys will air live from Madison Square Garden on Jan. 28.

Others set to honor John onstage include John Legend, Miranda Lambert, Kesha, Keith Urban, Little Big Town and Maren Morris. John will also perform.

John has won five Grammys and received 34 nominations. He is also the recipient of the Grammy Legend Award.

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Online:

https://www.grammy.com/

https://www.eltonjohn.com

Peter Jackson's Weinstein story opens old wounds for Sorvino

Director Peter Jackson says he is now realizing that Harvey Weinstein's advice to avoid working with Mira Sorvino or Ashley Judd was likely part of a smear campaign against the two actresses.

Jackson tells Stuff that he was told by Miramax in the late 1990s that they were "a nightmare" to work with and thus didn't consider either for his Lord of the Rings films.

Sorvino said on Twitter that she burst out crying when she saw the article. She says it is confirmation that Weinstein derailed her career.

Judd and Sorvino are among dozens of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

A spokesperson for Weinstein disputed the account, saying that his company Miramax was not involved in casting, which was handled by New Line.

Jackson said late Friday that "aspects of Harvey's denial are insincere."

In a statement on behalf of himself and producer Fran Walsh, he says that they both expressed enthusiasm for Judd and Sorvino.

"We were immediately told by Miramax to steer clear of them, because they claimed to have had "bad experiences" with these particular actresses in the past," Jackson wrote. "We have no direct evidence linking Ashley and Mira's allegations to our Lord of the Rings casting conversations of 20 years ago — but we stand by what we were told by Miramax when we raised both of their names, and we are recounting it accurately. If we were unwitting accomplices in harming their careers, Fran and I unreservedly apologize to both Ashley and Mira."

Manhattan prosecutor returns 3 ancient sculptures to Lebanon

Three ancient sculptures are being returned to their rightful owners in Lebanon as the Manhattan district attorney forms a new antiquities trafficking unit whose goal is to repatriate stolen pieces from around the world.

At a news conference in his office Friday, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. stood by the more than 2,000-year-old treasures that were recently owned by private collectors and valued at more than $5 million.

They were excavated from the Temple of Eshmun, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Beirut, stolen during the Lebanese civil war that started in 1975 and confiscated in New York in the past few months, Vance said.

A marble torso from about the 4th century B.C., sold by an antiquities dealer, was seized in November. Another marble torso from the 6th century B.C. was recovered in October. And a bull's head from about 360 B.C. was recovered from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it was on loan from a collector.

They're the latest looted artifacts to be returned from New York, considered the U.S. hub of antiquity sales that are fueled by the city's concentration of wealth.

Matthew Bogdanos, who leads the DA's new antiquities trafficking unit, said ancient works found in war-torn lands easily end up in the hands of dealers who are "less than scrupulous" in determining their origins.

Majdi Ramadan, the Lebanese consul general in New York, said the Manhattan prosecutor's efforts "will mark the end of a long trail of theft and illicit trading."

Vance said that since 2012, his office has recovered several thousand trafficked antiquities collectively valued at more than $150 million. Members of the new trafficking unit are working with foreign governments as well as investigators from the Department of Homeland Security.

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This story has been corrected to show the pieces were first excavated from the temple, then stolen, not stolen directly from the temple.

Court rules for AP in reporter impersonation document fight

A federal appeals court has sided with reporters in a court fight over documents that began after an FBI agent pretended to be an Associated Press journalist while investigating bomb threats at a Washington state high school.

When the ruse became public in 2014, the AP and a press freedom organization attempted to get government records about the case and any other times FBI agents have impersonated journalists. After initially getting no records from the FBI, the AP and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sued. Though some documents were produced, the organizations argued that the agency's response was inadequate.

In an opinion issued Friday, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed. Judge David Tatel wrote for himself and colleagues Brett Kavanaugh and Laurence Silberman that the FBI "failed to demonstrate" that it conducted a search "for the requested records, using methods which can be reasonably expected to produce the information requested." The opinion reverses a lower court ruling in favor of the government that the FBI had "conducted a good-faith, reasonable search."

The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court. The FBI will have to search for additional records located in the office of the FBI's director and better explain how it conducted its overall document search, said Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press lawyer Katie Townsend. She said her organization was "obviously really pleased" with the decision.

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

The lawsuit stems from a 2007 investigation into bomb threats emailed to Timberline High School in Lacey, Washington, which is near the state capital of Olympia. As part of the investigation, an FBI agent communicating with a suspect in the case portrayed himself as an AP reporter. The agent sent the suspect a link to a fabricated AP news article, a link that when clicked allowed the FBI to pinpoint the suspect's location.

After the FBI's actions came to light in 2014, resulting in an outcry from the AP and other news organizations, both the AP and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press submitted records requests to the government under the Freedom of Information Act. The organizations asked for additional information about the Timberline High School incident, information about other instances where the FBI impersonated a member of the news media, and information about policies or guidelines governing the FBI's impersonation of members of the media.

After getting no records, the organizations sued in 2015. The government ultimately turned over about 190 pages of records, more than half of those pages with redactions.

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Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

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