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Hall of fame to redo soccer star Brandi Chastain plaque

A bronze plaque honoring soccer star Brandi Chastain got a red card Tuesday after a social media outcry over its unflattering portrayal of the athlete.

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco said Tuesday it will redo the plaque, which was unveiled a day earlier and quickly panned by the public.

Fans on Twitter compared the likeness to former President Jimmy Carter, actors Gary Busey and Mickey Rooney, baseball player Babe Ruth, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and movie character Mrs. Doubtfire, played by Robin Williams.

Chastain is often remembered for ripping off her jersey in celebration of her game-winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup.

Chastain attended the unveiling of her plaque at a San Francisco hotel Monday night and graciously commented, "It's not the most flattering. But it's nice," according to The Mercury News of San Jose.

Hall of Fame president Kevin O'Brien told KTVU-TV that he spoke with Chastain on Tuesday and offered to redo the plaque if she sent in a new photograph of herself. She agreed and a new plaque will be made, O'Brien said.

"It's expensive," he said. "But it's the right thing to do."

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt visits Santa Fe High School shooting victims 

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt continues to make an impact in the wake of the mass shooting at a southeastern Texas high school, KTRK reported.

>> Read more trending news

Watt visited some of the victims injured in the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School on Monday and took photographs with them and their nurses at the hospital. He also visited several victims at their homes, KHOU reported.

A gunman opened fire Friday at the high school in Santa Fe, Texas, killing 10 and wounding 13.

Among the students Watt visited Monday was Chase Yarborough, who he visited at home; and Clay Horn, who remains in the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound.

Horn could undergo more surgery Tuesday, KTRK reported.

>> J.J. Watt offers to pay for funerals of Santa Fe victims

Last week, Watt offered to pay the funeral expenses for the people who were killed.

>> Exchange student, substitute teacher among those killed

German foundation examining origin of colonial-era goods

The German foundation that coordinates research into the origin of Nazi-confiscated property says it will also start looking into cultural objects collected during Germany's colonial past.

The German Lost Art Foundation said Tuesday it will begin developing guidelines for project funding that will include provenance research in museums, collections and basic research.

It says it will work closely with the German Museums Association and experts.

Founded by the government in 2015, the foundation's main job is help identify property confiscated from Jewish owners during the Nazi era from 1933-1945 to facilitate its return or compensation, and cultural assets lost under the Soviet occupation and in communist East Germany.

German colonies included territories in what is today Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Mozambique in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

R. Kelly sued by Texas woman for sexual battery, false imprisonment, claims he gave her STD

R&B singer R. Kelly is involved in yet another lawsuit in which he is accused of sexual assault.

The New York Times reported that Faith A. Rodgers, a 20-year-old Texas woman, filed a suit in a New York court. Rodgers said she was 19 when she started a relationship with Kelly.

>> Read more trending news 

NYT reported that, according to the filing, Rodgers said she met Kelly in March 2017 after he performed in San Antonio, Texas. She said she was flown to New York by Kelly after months of phone contact. It was in New York that Rodgers alleges Kelly “initiated unwanted sexual contact” in a hotel room and did not tell Rodgers he was infected with herpes. The suit claims she contracted the disease.

“He turns on all the lights ...And he’s like, ‘Take off your clothes.’ And he says it, you know, with authority in his voice,” Rodgers told CBS News Tuesday. “Not just, you know, he’s demanding me to do this. And I didn’t take off my clothes because why would I? I just wasn’t ready… Sex isn’t something, you know, I’m ready for.”

Rodgers said she ultimately submitted and had sex with Kelly even though she didn’t want to. She claimed Kelly recorded the act on his iPad without her consent.

Rodgers said after the incident, Kelly asked how old she was.  

“I told him and he’s like, ‘You know, if you’re really, you know, 16, that you can tell daddy, right?’ And he was like, ‘You know, you just look about 14, 15 or 16,’” she said.

Rodgers said in the suit that she was in a relationship with Kelly for a year, in which he “routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact.” The suit alleges Kelly’s actions were “designed to humiliate, embarrass, intimate and shame her.”

The suit is seeking unspecified damages, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease. CBS News reported that Rodgers previously filed a criminal complaint with the Dallas Police Department in April.

In the past, Kelly has routinely denied allegations of sexual abuse. In response to the April criminal complaint, Kelly’s representative said the musician “categorically denies all claims and allegations.”

Prince Harry, Meghan at first royal event as newlyweds

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, on Tuesday attended their first royal event as newlyweds — a Buckingham Palace garden party honoring Harry's father, Prince Charles, for his many years of charitable work.

The long spell of sunny weather that gave their Saturday wedding a special glow continued Tuesday at the outdoor occasion.

More than 6,000 people involved with charities supported by Charles also attended the party in the vast palace gardens.

It is the first of many events to be held in advance of Charles' 70th birthday in November.

Meghan chose a pale pink dress by British label Goat for the occasion, worn with a matching saucer-style hat by milliner Philip Treacy.

Harry spoke in glowing words about his father's good deeds — despite being buzzed by a bee that momentarily threw him off his prepared remarks.

"It is your selfless drive to affect change, whether that is to improve the lives of those who are on the wrong path, to save an important piece of our national heritage or to protect a particular species under threat, which (Prince) William and I draw inspiration from every day," he said.

The event marks the first time Harry and Meghan have been seen in public since an evening reception on their wedding night.

GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Women," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization GLAAD.

GLAAD said in its sixth annual report that of the 109 major releases surveyed from 2017, 12.8 percent included LGBTQ characters, down from 18.4 percent the previous year. None of the major films had a transgender character either, although there was an increase in the racial diversity of LGBTQ characters after two years of decline.

Individually none of the studios received higher than the "insufficient" rating given to 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures. Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios all received "poor" ratings, and both Lionsgate and Warner Bros. got "failing" grades.

As usual, independent and art house releases included more LGBTQ characters. Of the 40 films released by Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Roadside Attractions and Sony Pictures Classics, which distributed both "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Woman," 28 percent were LGBTQ-inclusive, up from 17 percent in 2016.

The report says that Hollywood is at a tipping point with both the Time's Up and #MeToo movements and the huge box office successes of films like "Black Panther" and "Wonder Woman."

"Inclusion is good for the bottom line," said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. "It is time for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) stories to be included in this conversation and in this movement."

According to GLAAD, 20 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 identify as LGBTQ.

The organization is calling on the industry to commit to hitting a target of 20 percent of major releases including LGBTQ characters by 2021, and 50 percent by 2024. It is also making a plea to studios to integrate LGBTQ characters more directly into the plot and not to leave a character's queer identity to subtext or interpretation as was the case with "Power Rangers."

GLAAD notes that 2018 is off to a more promising start with releases like Fox's "Love, Simon," Paramount's "Annihilation" and Universal's "Blockers," all of which played on thousands of screens in North America and "included central queer characters who have agency over their own stories."

"Films like 'Love, Simon' have helped accelerate acceptance around the world with many outlets covering the stories of LGBTQ young people who were inspired and empowered to come out after seeing the movie," Ellis wrote. "This is the unique power of entertainment — to change hearts and minds by sharing our stories, and helping people find understanding and common experiences with people who may not be exactly like them."

___

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

EPA blocks some media from summit, then reverses course

A reporter for The Associated Press was grabbed by the shoulders and shoved out of an Environmental Protection Agency building by a security guard Tuesday for trying to cover a meeting on water contaminants in which some reporters were welcomed and others were not.

An aide to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt later called to apologize to AP reporter Ellen Knickmeyer and said the incident is being looked into. Knickmeyer, who said she was not hurt, was later let into the meeting when the EPA reversed course and opened it to all reporters.

Representatives from CNN and E&E News, which covers energy and environment issues, were also initially barred from the meeting.

Even for an administration with a contentious relationship with the press and a president who has put the phrase "fake news" into the lexicon, Tuesday's events were unusual.

Pruitt had convened what he called a national summit on dangerous chemicals that have been found in some water systems. Some 200 people attended, including representatives of states, tribes and the chemical industry and environmentalists.

Pruitt's remarks at the meeting were listed on his public schedule and described as being open to the press on a federal daybook of events.

Knickmeyer said she called Monday about the event and was told by EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox that it was invitation-only and there was no room for her. She said she showed up anyway, and was told by a security guard that she couldn't enter. She said she asked to speak to a representative from the press office, was refused and told to get out. Photos of the event showed several empty seats.

After security told her that "we can make you get out," Knickmeyer said she took out her phone to record what was happening. Some of the security guards reached for it, and a woman grabbed her shoulders from behind and pushed her about five feet out the door.

Wilcox issued a statement late Tuesday saying Knickmeyer "pushed through the security entrance." After the AP objected to the characterization, the spokesman issued a second statement removing that account and instead saying Knickmeyer "showed up at EPA but refused to leave the building after being asked to do so."

"When we were made aware of the incident, we displaced stakeholders to the overflow room who flew to Washington for this meeting so that every member of the press could have a seat," Wilcox said.

Reporters from other organizations, including Politico, were allowed in. Inside the event, there were seats reserved for Politico, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, the Daily Caller, the Hill, MLive and NJ Advance Media.

Although Knickmeyer has only recently begun covering the embattled Pruitt and the EPA, the EPA had publicly criticized AP reporter Michael Biesecker for a story he co-wrote noting that the AP had surveyed toxic waste sites in the Houston area flooded by Hurricane Harvey when the EPA had said these sites were inaccessible. The EPA called it "yellow journalism"; the AP objected at the time and said it stood by the reporting.

CNN, a frequent target of criticism by President Donald Trump, said the EPA had not responded to its queries Monday about the meeting. Reporter Rene Marsh, a producer and a photographer showed up to cover the meeting anyway, and when the photographer attempted to enter, Wilcox came to the entrance and provided security with a list of reporters who were allowed. CNN was asked to leave. Marsh later tried to enter through a different entrance and was turned away.

Similarly, reporter Corbin Hiar of E&E News was denied entrance for the morning session.

News organizations decried the ban.

"The Environmental Protection Agency's selective barring of news organizations, including the AP, from covering today's meeting is alarming and a direct threat to the public's right to know about what is happening inside their government," said AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee.

CNN said in a statement that "we understand the importance of an open and free press and we hope the EPA does, too."

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., called on Pruitt to apologize. "This intimidation of journalists seeking to cover a federal official presiding over important policy-making is un-American and unacceptable," He said

After the story began spreading, Knickmeyer said she received a call from Lincoln Ferguson, an adviser to Pruitt. He apologized for how she was manhandled and said officials were looking into it.

He invited her and other reporters back for the summit's afternoon session. Ironically, the EPA had initially planned to allow reporters in only for Pruitt's remarks, yet after the access issue was raised, later sessions were opened to the press. CNN and E&E News attended the afternoon session, too.

Lauren Easton, spokeswoman for the AP, said the news organization was pleased that the EPA had reconsidered its position.

Asked about the incident, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration was looking into the incident. She pushed back on a question about whether there are any instances where the White House believed it was appropriate to physically handle a reporter.

"I'm not going to weigh in to random hypotheticals that may or may not exist," she said. "I don't know any information about this specific incident. You're asking me to speak to a blanket possibility, which I'm not going to do."

Fans say Brandi Chastain's Hall of Fame plaque is a bust

American soccer legend Brandi Chastain is one of the most recognizable women athletes in the world. But sports fans were scratching their heads after viewing her plaque as she was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night.

>> Read more trending news

In their minds, Chastain’s bust was, well, a bust.

Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle, who wrote inscription for the plaque, called the rendition “shameful” and tweeted that Chastain’s plaque makes Cristiano Ronaldo’s plaque “look perfect.”

“Brandi Chastain is one of the most beautiful athletes I’ve ever covered. How this became her plaque is a freaking embarrassment,” she tweeted.

Chastain was inducted during a ceremony at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. She has won two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup titles with the United States women’s soccer team.

Chastain was diplomatic about the plaque, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

“It’s not the most flattering,” Chastain said. “But it’s nice.”

On a lighter note, social media posters were having a field day. Some compared Chastain’s likeness to Gary Busey, Rex Ryan, Jimmy Johnson, Jerry Glanville, Peter King, Jerry Lewis, John Goodman, Bill Belichick and even Mickey Rooney. Others were comparing it to a hideous rendition of another soccer legend, Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Cristiano Ronaldo sculptor: Eh, this isn’t too bad. Brandi Chastain sculptor: Hold my chisel,” The Washington Post tweeted.

“I don’t know about Brandi Chastain, but they nailed Mickey Rooney,” Jason Davis tweeted.

There are no plans to redo the plaque, Andy Savick, the vice president of finance and administration for BASHOF told the Mercury News. He told the newspaper that images on the plaques are “representations” and not intended to be photographic likenesses. 

Chastain’s bust was on a more favorable view at the 1999 World Cup. She scored the game-winning penalty kick and celebrated by sinking to her knees, ripping off her jersey to reveal her sports bra while clenching her fists. The photograph of that moment has become an iconic moment of celebration in sports history.

There are no plans to redo the plaque, Andy Savick, the vice president of finance and administration for BASHOF told the Mercury News. He told the newspaper that images on the plaques are “representations” and not intended to be photographic likenesses. 

Chastain’s bust was on a more favorable view at the 1999 World Cup. She scored the game-winning penalty kick and celebrated by sinking to her knees, ripping off her jersey to reveal her sports bra while clenching her fists. The photograph of that moment has become an iconic moment of celebration in sports history.

Here are some other infamous renditions of athletes. How does the Chastain plaque measure up?

Trump appeals again to delay 'Apprentice' contestant's suit

President Donald Trump wants New York's highest court to delay a defamation suit filed by a former "Apprentice" contestant who accused him of unwanted groping and kissing.

Trump's lawyers filed notice late Monday that they're asking the state Court of Appeals to freeze Summer Zervos' suit while a lower appellate court considers Trump's request to dismiss it or postpone it until after his presidency.

The president has denied Zervos' claims, and his lawyers formally did so in a filing late Tuesday. They also argue that he can't be sued in a state court while he's president.

Zervos' lawyer, Mariann Wang, said she looked forward "to proving that his denials are baseless."

She also noted that Trump has lost bids so far to delay the case.

"And for good reason," Wang added in a statement. "No one is above the law."

Zervos, a California restaurateur, appeared in 2006 on Trump's former reality show, "The Apprentice." She says he made unwelcome advances when she sought career advice in 2007.

Zervos was among more than a dozen women who came forward late in the 2016 presidential race to say Trump had sexually harassed or assaulted them.

Trump denied all the claims, saying they were "100 percent fabricated" and "totally false" and his accusers were "liars." He specifically contested Zervos' allegations in a statement and retweeted a message that included her photo and described her claims as a "hoax."

Zervos' suit argues Trump defamed her by calling her a liar. She says his words hurt her reputation, harmed her business and led to threats against her.

She's seeking a retraction, an apology and compensatory and punitive damages.

Trump's attorneys have said his remarks were "non-defamatory opinions" protected by the First Amendment. In Tuesday's filing, they also said his statements were true.

A Manhattan judge ruled in March that the case could go forward. Last week, a mid-level appeals court turned down Trump's bid to halt information-gathering in the case while appeals judges weigh his argument that a private citizen can't sue a sitting president in a state court.

Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz said last week there was "no valid reason" to reject the request.

Zervos' lawyers have issued subpoenas seeking a range of information about Trump's behavior toward women, including any Trump campaign documents concerning any woman who accused him of inappropriate touching and any unaired "Apprentice" footage that might feature Trump discussing female contestants in a sexual or inappropriate way.

A pregnant Claire Danes mulls motherhood stress in new film

A radiant Claire Danes walked the red carpet for the New York premiere of her new film, "A Kid Like Jake." She was glowing for a good reason — not just a new movie.

"I'm quite pregnant, but feeling good so far," Danes told The Associated Press. The actress is in her second trimester. It will be the second child for Danes and husband, Hugh Dancy.

Her co-star, Jim Parsons, was feeling good, too, though he strolled in with a cane and walking cast. It was the result of an onstage accident he sustained during his Broadway play, "The Boys in the Band."

"I injured it going to curtain call. I don't have any physical feats in this play that require me to jump or anything like that, I just tripped going down a goddamn stair, and cracked my foot and tore a ligament in my ankle," Parsons said.

As for the film, Danes and Parsons play the parents of a 4-year old boy named Jake who likes dressing up as a princess. The couple wonders if they should exploit Jake's gender nonconformity to gain an edge in school applications.

Danes identified with the challenge of finding the right school, because she was experiencing a similar issue while making the film.

"I related immediately to the story," she said. "When I shot the movie, my son was 4 years old, and I had just gone through that gauntlet of applying to kindergartens here in New York City, which is a unique kind of torture, really."

While the story deals with the topical discussion of gender identity, it's told through the lens of parenting, so it could easily apply to other types of family struggles. Danes said it taps into "that anxiety that we parents have that our children might be vulnerable out in the world."

Parsons agrees: "There's a big blowout fight scene between the parents that me and Claire play in this. And the thing I've heard many, many times is people saying, 'I've had the exact same argument, not about this obviously, but basically the exact same argument.'"

___

Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

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