Terrorism Suspect In Ariana Grande Manchester Arena Bombing Faces 22 Counts of Murder

The brother and alleged accomplice of the man who killed 22 people—and injured more than 250 others—by igniting a bomb outside an Ariana Grande concert has denied the 22 murder charges that he’s currently facing.

Prosecutors plan to argue that this individual — 22-year-old Hashem Abedi — directly aided and contributed to the bombing. Abedi’s brother was killed in the blast, which took place in Manchester, England, in 2017.

Prior to being extradited to England earlier this week, Hashem Abedi was jailed in Libya, his parents’ home country, having fled the U.K. following the bombing.  While in a Tripoli prison, Abedi signed a written confession that detailed and confirmed his part in the planning and execution of the attack.  Now, back in England, Abedi’s lawyer argues that his client was tortured and forced to sign the admission of guilt.

Abedi’s initial trial was brief — no more than 15 minutes, according to firsthand accounts — and consisted of Abedi confirming his name and British nationality.  A bail hearing is currently planned for July 22nd, but experts have indicated that it’s unlikely Abedi will be allowed to post bond or bail, given that he is a serious flight risk.

Regardless of his case’s result, Abedi is expected to reveal previously unknown details of the suicide bombing’s planning and precise motive, and police and antiterrorism professionals will then use that knowledge to prevent future attacks.

This suicide bombing was one of several high-profile terrorist attacks that were carried out in England in 2017.  That same year, civilians on the Westminster Bridge and the London Bridge were targeted by terrorists, who used vehicles to ram bystanders before exiting and stabbing individuals.

As a result of the U.K.’s subsequent anti-terrorism efforts, many would-be attackers have been stopped prior to carrying out their plans. Here’s to hoping that all such tragedies can be prevented in the future.

7digital's CEO and CFO Exit as Financial Situation Deteriorates

7digital CEO John Aalbers has stepped down as director and CEO of 7digital. He joined the B2B digital music platform less than four months ago.

CFO Julia Hubbard is also departing the company, effective immediately.  The move was cited as a cost-cutting measure.

In a statement emailed to Digital Music News this morning, Aalbers said his executive team was “immediately challenged with the financial difficulties” 7 digital faced.  DMN first reported last month that 7digital was .

Adding to the depressing diagnosis, Aalbers previously announced that the company would need a massive cash injection to stay afloat.  Since then, executives have been bailing on 7digital left and right.  Just two days ago, 7digital Group announced Tamir Koch and David Lazarus joined as non-executive chairs, with Koch spinning a far-flung blockchain savior plan.

Meanwhile, Mark Foster has also departed. Aalbers said he was happy to welcome the new members to “execute the new company strategy.”

That new strategy includes replacing Aalbers with Chief Operating Officer Paul Langworthy. The CFO of eMusic — Michael Juskiewicz — will assume CFO duties for 7digital, with Hubbard offering a transitionary hand.

Tamir Koch currently serves as president of eMusic.com, so Juskiewicz represents another eMusic addition. Upon announcing his role in joining the board, Koch said he hoped to expand the eMusic Blockchain Project. That project hopes to take a decentralized approach to music distribution and rights management.

Koch believes 7digital’s B2B business might be instrumental in creating “new economic models” between fans and artists.

All of this feels like an eMusic takeover, with 7digital getting a total executive makeover. And what about the looming bankruptcy? On that front, Aalbers says the situation is peachy.

“Three and a half months on, we have largely completed the rescue by securing a new, strategic majority investor, which has stated that it is prepared to invest further funds. The final phase of the fundraising is in progress and we expect an additional £4.5M to be raised in the coming weeks.”

Aalbers says these funds will provide 7digital with the necessary resources to implement the company’s “revised strategy.”

 

WWE Announces “Smackville” WWE Network Event: What To Expect

WWE has today announced a special event dubbed “Smackville” which will air exclusively on the WWE Network just two weeks before the annual SummerSlam PPV. According to WWE, Smackville will take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, July 27 starting at 9pm ET.

The full match card has not been revealed, but WWE is currently advertising a Triple Threat main event for the WWE Championship, featuring Ki Kingston, Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler. 

In addition to the Triple Threat Match, WWE has announced that Finn Balor will challenge Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in a rematch their bout at the Extreme Rules PPV earlier this month. Of course, with Smackville taking place in Nashville, it’s only right that the event will feature a musical performance by Elias as well.

As mentioned, this unexpected WWE Network event comes just as WWE is beginning to shape the card for SummerSlam on August 11, which will take place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

The only matches scheduled for SummerSlam thus far are: Seth Rollins vs Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, Natalya vs Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Ember Moon vs SmackDown Live Women’s Champion Bayley. It is also expected that the new and improved Bray Wyatt will go up against Finn Balor, after he attacked Balor on this week’s episode Monday Night Raw.

Joel Embiid Hailed "Best Center In The NBA" By Tobias Harris

With Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris at the helm, many believe the Philadelphia 76ers can come out the Eastern Conference and go to the NBA Finals. The 76ers were one bounce away from the Eastern Conference Finals last season and had they played the Milwaukee Bucks, they would have had a good chance to get to the NBA Finals. Regardless, the 76ers are set up to succeed for years to come and fans should be very excited about what their team can fer them.

Harris was a staple the team after being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers and recently, he made some interesting comments at a basketball camp. “Joel Embiid is for sure the best center in the NBA,” Harris said.

Embiid is definitely a good player but calling him the “best center in the NBA” is definitely some high praise. Embiid was a monster for the Sixers last season and was able to average 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. If he can keep up that pace next season, the 76ers could propel themselves to a one seed in the conference. Either way, Harris’ comments will certainly create a ton debate.

Do you agree with what Harris has to say here or is he way f?

Glasses Malone Recreates Tupac’s Murder From His Killer’s Perspective: Watch

Nobody has ever been charged for the murder Tupac Shakur. One the most tragic moments in hip-hop history took place in 1996 when the rapper was murdered in Las Vegas, getting gunned down in a drive-by shooting. There has been a lot written about that fateful night and while many assume that Orlando Anderson is responsible for firing the fatal blow, it’s impossible to confirm that fact. Glasses Malone took it upon himself to recreate Tupac’s final night on the planet in his latest song, going through the events September 7, 1996 and explaining the story as if he were Anderson.

Glasses Malone Recreates Tupac's Murder From His Killer's Perspective: Watch
Angela Weiss/Getty s

In a new video titled “2Pac Must Die,” 39-year-old Los Angeles rapper Glasses Malone takes on the role Tupac’s murderer. The clip starts out with a gunshot, showing a man lying lifeless with blood on his hands before being transported to the hospital. We’re then brought to Orlando Anderson’s place residence where he hops in a car, smokes a Swisher with his friends, and heads to the Mike Tyson fight. To get the full backstory, we then see Anderson six weeks before the fight inside a Foot Locker snatching away somebody’s Death Row Records chain. Finally, Anderson gets jumped in a Las Vegas casino and plans his retaliation, which ends in the drive-by that ended Tupac’s life.

Watch Glasses Malone’s recreation the story below and let us know how you like the song.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Believes Younger Brother Alex Can Surpass Him

Giannis Antetokounmpo just came f an incredible season with the Milwaukee Bucks where he won NBA MVP and also led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Greek Freak is a generational talent who is set up to dominate the league for years to come. His Bucks are considered favorites in the Eastern Conference and it doesn’t look like they are showing any signs slowing down. The team recently signed his brother Thanasis to a contract and today, Bleacher Report released a prile on his 17-year-old brother, Alex.

In the prile, Giannis claims that Alex is poised to make the NBA and even has the potential to surpass him as a superstar player.

“I definitely think Alex can be better than me,” Antetokounmpo said. “He stays motivated. He wants this. That’s what makes him special. He’s not satisfied.”

Giannis explained in a recent interview that he’s only reached 60 percent his potential which means the league should be on high alert. As for Alex Antetokounmpo, he’s not interested in trying to be better than his big brother. 

“My end goal is not to be better than Giannis,” Alex said. “My end goal is to be the best version my own self. I just happen to think that the best version my own self could possibly surpass what my brother’s doing right now, which — I don’t even think that’s the best version him.”

Josh Norman Responds To Criticism After Viral Bull-Jumping Video

Josh Norman caught quite a bit flack last week after he was caught on video in Pamplona jumping over bulls. The clips which focused on Norman ended up going viral and showed him executing some serious hops that will have Washington Redskins fans salivating. While his skills are impressive, it’s quite concerning when you see your star cornerback at risk getting gored just weeks before training camp. Many felt as though he was disrespecting his team and putting himself in a position to be injured.

Today, Norman appeared on the Rich Eisen show where he talked about his experience with the bulls and the fallout from it all. As Norman explained, he wants to live life the fullest and not have to worry about anything else.

“For me, though, it’s literally like, would you rather live and die … or would you rather die and never lived?” Norman said. “You go out there to run out there with the bulls, you’re gonna get the horns if you’re not athletic enough to move out the way.”

As for the Redskins, Norman says the team is well aware his personality and weren’t upset about the video. Norman says as long as he doesn’t put himself in jeopardy, they’re fine with whatever he does.

Netflix Quietly Settles Its Fyre Festival Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Court documents filed yesterday reveal that Netflix has reached a settlement to end a lingering copyright dispute.

The lawsuit alleged that the Fyre Festival documentary used video footage without permission.

Clarissa Cardenas — who filmed the footage — sued Netflix and producer Jerry Media in February.  Cardenas alleged the documentary .

A settlement appears to have been reached last month and yesterday, Cardenas voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit.

Court papers on the withdrawal did not offer any details of the agreement.  Neither attorneys for Netflix nor Cardenas returned requests for comment.

The lawsuit was also settled quietly out of court, despite being filed by a noted copyright troll.

Apparently, Cardenas’ lawsuit did not specify which pieces in the Netflix documentary were hers.  The complaint alleges that “Cardenas took a video of the Fyre Festival” and that the “defendants ran the video in the film.”  The filing included a blurry still of the video, which appeared to have been shot on a smartphone.

When the case was filed in February, many people took note of the lawyer.  Richard Liebowitz is a New York attorney who has been called a “copyright troll” by at least one federal judge. He was hit with a new round of sanctions last week.

The failed Fyre Festival was a planned “” in the Bahamas by Billy McFarland.

McFarland was convicted of fraud over his promotion of the Fyre Festival, which bordered on the pathological and resulted in stranded attendees, zero performers, and a lack of necessities on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma.

McFarland received a sentence of six years in prison, though he’s now writing a book about his Fyre Festival experience while behind bars.

Both Netflix and Hulu released documentaries detailing the failed festival in January.

Netflix’s documentary, called Fyre, immediately drew criticism for being produced by Jerry Media.  Jerry Media was a partner agency who helped promote the failed festival through , which might explain the gentle treatment afforded the agency through the doc.

 

APA Hits Back at Sexual Abuse Allegations, Calling Them 'A Shakedown'

APA, a prominent talent agency that has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Toronto, and London, has vehemently denied allegations of sexual misconduct.

APA officials stated, in no unclear terms, that the claims set forth by the individual are false.

The company has flatly claimed that the purported victim fabricated the allegations as part of a scheme to extort money from APA.

The former employee, who is a female and remains unidentified, claims that she was sexually harassed for the entirety of her APA tenure, which spanned from 2015 to 2018. The woman stated that APA’s workplace culture and top-to-bottom corporate cooperation made it possible for female employees to be harassed and propositioned.

The employee also said that she departed the company after refusing to engage in sexual activity with a higher-up.

In firing back and denying the allegations, APA said that the former employee fabricated evidence of sexual harassment during her time with the organization. The woman was accused of launching the accusations in an unsuccessful effort to secure a pay raise.

In response to her lawyers’ claims that she possesses damning emails and texts sent by APA execs, APA has stated that the former employee has a history of falsifying images and text message logs,

APA, in a testament to their apparent belief that the former employee’s claims are without merit, has pushed to have the lawsuit tried in a court. From there, APA believes that they will be able to swiftly disprove the allegations.

Workplace sexual harassment is clearly unacceptable, but at the same time, so is making false allegations of harassment. As arbitration approaches, additional information and facts will undoubtedly come to light. Perhaps an informed and objective conclusion can then be reached by musicians, talent agency professionals, and fans.

James Harden Subtly Announces His Next Business Venture: Watch

Now that James Harden has been in Houston for a while as a member the Rockets, it’s clear that he is invested in the city and everything it has to fer. Over the past couple weeks, Harden has been showing us just how much he loves soccer which is a good thing because Houston boasts two pressional soccer teams in the Houston Dynamo and the Dash. Today, Harden took to Twitter with an interesting video which showed his name on the back a Dynamo jersey. It was then revealed by Houston radio station KBXX 97.9 The Box, that Harden is now part the ownership group for both the Dynamo and the Dash.

Harden is beloved in Houston thanks to everything he has done with the Rockets so it only makes sense for him to give back in such a way. Major League Soccer is on the rise in the United States and moving forward, Harden could stand to make a lot money. It’s unclear how much money he has invested at the moment but either way, it’s cool to see an NBA player involved in another sport like this.

LeBron James made a similar move except on a grander scale as he owns a part Liverpool FC.

Martin Shkreli Will Stay Locked Up After Losing Sentence Appeal In Federal Court

Martin Shkreli got under everyone’s skin in hip-hop after acquiring Wu-Tang one–one album and the then-unreleased version Lil Wayne‘s Tha Carter IV. That aggravated people but even before that, he was under fire for hiking the price on HIV medication by 5,000%. Karma did end up coming for him after he was locked up on security guard charges and it looks like he’ll remain there for the rest his seven-year sentence.

Martin Shkreli Will Stay Locked Up After Losing Sentence Appeal In Federal Court
Drew Angerer/Getty s

The federal appeals court unanimously denied Martin Shkreli’s to overturn his conviction for fraud charges. In addition to remaining in prison, a judge reminded him that he still needed to cough up $7.3M as well as a $75K fine and a restitution  $388,336. In his appeal, his attorneys accused the judge confusing the jury with their instruction, claiming the jury was given, “the same instruction was given two different ways, as to two separate frauds with two disparate results, based on the same conduct.”

Alixandra Smith the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern New York District said that the instruction wasn’t confusing at all. In fact, Smith said the instructions provided more clarity. “It is hard to see how a more precise instruction could be somehow prejudicial or problematic than sort a more general instruction,” Smith said.

Looks like it’ll be a while until Shkreli ends up free. 

Roddy Ricch Recalls Trapping Out His Granny’s House In His Freshman Freestyle

Roddy Ricch has a gift. He’s easily one the most melodically-superior rappers to have emerged in the last few years, proving that he has the ear and the voice to deliver endless hits. Time will tell where Roddy’s career takes him but all the 2019 XXL Freshman Class members, he’s being scouted extremely favourably. Industry insiders seem to believe that the Compton spitter has what it takes to be the next big thing in the rap game and so far, he’s done everything in his power to prove them right. The journey continues through his stand-out appearance as part the XXL Freshman Freestyles.

Creating a beat out snaps and the clanging  his jewelry, Roddy Ricch may have just delivered the most enjoyable freestyle his class. In fact, we want him to get in the booth right now, find a suitable beat and record this. He’s not spitting anything that pround but his recollection the times he used to trap out his grandmother’s house give us an eye into Roddy’s past. What brought him to this point? How did he become the talented up-and-comer that he is? Learn more in his freestyle.

During his Freshman interview, Roddy spoke about what it was like to work with Nipsey Hussle, his love for Future and his background in Christian rap. Pay attention to Roddy Ricch. He’s doing big things.

Blake Griffin Puts Jimmy Fallon Through Post-Game Interview Test: Watch

Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night, where they discussed the eventful NBA f-season and Blake’s budding stand-up comedy career. 

The 30-year old All Star also shared his opinion about why people seem to think athletes are so stupid, which could certainly be featured as one the bits in his latest stand-up routine.

Griffin explains:

“After the game you have to do media and you have to sit at a press conference and answer questions. I think people always think athletes are like really stupid and it’s not that we’re stupid it’s that we’ve just exercised for two hours and there’s not really enough oxygen in our brains.”

He then proceeded to put Fallon through a little post-game interview test to prove his point.

The two also talked about being heckled on the court and where Griffin was when he found out that Kawhi Leonard was signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. Check out the interview in the video embedded below. The post-game bit comes at the 3:00 mark.

OJ Simpson Brings Out The Conspiracy Theories During Twitter Rant: Watch

Ever since OJ Simpson got his very own Twitter account, the internet has been in a very weird place. Simpson has had a tumultuous life that saw him beat a murder case in the mid-90s, only to have himself locked up for the better a decade due to a different crime. When Simpson was first released from prison, it seemed as though he was content with keeping a low prile but now, he can be seen ranting and raving about numerous topics on his Twitter account. Simpson talks about anything and everything from fantasy football to golf and yesterday, he decided to engage in the political realm.

This latest rant was bizarre in the sense that he didn’t really include any information on the people he was talking about. Instead, Simpson gave the general gist a situation, leaving the viewers to guess who he was talking about. He then ends his video with a bit a conspiracy theory about something that happened in the political realm recently.

Overall, the rant was bizarre, incoherent, and in all honesty, kind worrying. Why is OJ being so coy with what he says? What is he hiding? No one seems to know the answers to these questions but hopefully, someone gets to the bottom it soon. 

When OJ went through his legal troubles back in the day, he was used as a political tool against his will. While he may not have been a political person in the past, he certainly is now.

Controversial Grammys Producer Ken Ehrlich Is Leaving the Recording Academy

The 62nd Grammy ceremony in 2020 will be Ken Ehrlich’s last production.

The Recording Academy officially made the announcement earlier today (Wednesday), while naming Ben Winston as its newest producer.

Next year’s show will be dubbed Ehrlich’s 40th and the end of a reign.  But the Grammys have been under serious pressure to shake things up over the past few years.  Time Magazine dubbed the 2019 show, “an embarrassing night for the Academy,” and a high-profile meltdown surrounding sexist comments by CEO Neil Portnow in 2018 didn’t help matters.

Ehrlich himself has also for ugly clashes with artists like Frank Ocean, Nicki Minaj, Lorde, and Ariana Grande.

, a longtime Ehrlich cohort, had nothing but good things to say about the producer.  Portnow will be leaving his position in August, so a little fluffing of the old guard is no biggie.

“Ken’s imprint on the Grammy Awards and the music industry are well-known and represent the kind of work and vision that legends are made of. Having worked closely with Ken for almost half of his tenure with the show, I have seen first-hand the vision, extraordinary musical knowledge, and passion he brings to every minute of the process, and the spectacular results and memorable Grammy Moments that have been delivered.”

Ehrlich’s successor Ben Winston previously worked on the Late Late Show with James Corden as executive producer.  His connection to Corden is what primed Winston as a potential replacement for Ehrlich.

Corden hosted the Grammys in 2017 and 2018, with Winston credited as a consulting producer. Winston also produced and wrote material for the 70th annual Tony Awards in 2017, also hosted by Corden.

Ehrlich is a nine-time Emmy nominee who first worked on the show in 1980.  He has worked on numerous other live award shows in his career including the Emmys, MTV Movie Awards, and the Latin Grammy Awards.  Ehrlich has also produced TV music specials for many artists including Bob Dylan, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé.