Kevin Hart Makes First Public Appearance Since Car Crash

Kevin Hart was among the celebrities and other public figures who had gathered for E!’s People’s Choice Awards ceremony Sunday night. It marked the actor and comedian’s first public appearance since a horrific crash in September that left him with major back injuries.

He was awarded the trophy for comedy movie star the year and received a standing ovation as he accepted this award from presenter Robert Downey, Jr.

“First and foremost thank God because I definitely don’t have to be here,” he began “Being that I am, it makes me appreciate life even more — appreciate the things that really matter, family. I wanna thank my wife and my kids. They really stepped up for me.”

He would go on to add his appreciation for the fans: “I want to thank you all for being there for me during my difficult time.”

September 1st marked the date that Hart, along with producer and friend Jared Black, was involved in a single-car crash when Black lost control Hart’s 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and crashed into a wooden fence.

Hart, who had to undergo emergency back surgery, has since been recovering fairly quickly with a source crediting his “determination” as a driving factor in such a speedy recovery.

“He works very hard,” the source told PEOPLE magazine. “It’s obvious that his determination has helped him tremendously.” “He doesn’t drive himself yet though and instead has a driver,” the source continued.

"Terminator: Dark Fate" Fails To Meet Expectations At The Box Office

While Terminator: Dark Fate was able to land the top spot at the box fice this weekend, that information only tells half the story. Having only reached $29 million in North America, according to Variety, the sixth film in the Terminator franchise fell far below expectations. 

Given that the movie had a budget  $185 million, earning a mere $29 million on opening weekend is a major let down. Expectations for the film sat around $40 million for opening weekend. Critically, it’s been receiving fairly positive reviews, currently holding a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.6 on IMDb. Owen Gleiberman Variety writes, “a lean, tough, and absorbing sequel that taps back into the enthralling surface the “Terminator” series’ comic-book kinetics as well as the sinister sweet spot its grandiose pulp mythology.”

Luckily, the overseas numbers are still strong. Terminator: Dark Fate earned $72.9 million internationally. 

Dark Fate is the first Terminator film since 1991 and stars original cast members Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tim Miller directed the film but James Cameron, who directed the original Terminator, joined on as a producer. 

In other box fice news, Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn” was only able to squeeze into the top 10, generating $3.6 million in North America. Norton directed, produced and stars in the film which follows a private detective with Tourette’s syndrome attempting to solve a murder mystery. The film’s budget was set at $26 million.

NCAA Will Now Allow Players To Make Money Off Of Their Name, Twitter Reacts

Over the last few years, the NCAA has been under increasing pressure to allow athletes to get paid for their likeness and their fame. The student-athletes governing body has had very strict rules as to what players can and can’t do, which has led to a lot dissension and criticism. For instance, many these players are superstars before they even step on the field in a pressional setting. A good amount players are in need cash to support their families but are restricted because the laws in place, despite their earning potential for the school.

Well, it looks like the NCAA has turned a new leaf as it was reported that the Board Governors has ruled in favor allowing athletes to prit f their name, according to the Associated Press

This has been a long time coming and with states like California passing bills to make it legal, the NCAA had no choice but to acquiesce and adapt to the changing times ahead. It’s clear that the majority people want to see athletes get paid, especially when you look at how much the coaches are getting. 

Hopefully, the NCAA will be able to get these new changes implemented sooner than later.

"Joker" Officially One Of The Most Profitable Comic Book Movies

This weekend, Joker pulled in $106.2 million at the global box fice, bringing its total tally to $737.5 million.

According to Forbes, this makes the film one the most pritable “big” comic book films ever, joining the ranks flicks such as Man Of Steel, Ant-Man and The Wasp and Justice League. This pritability is measured in matching budget in comparison with global gross.

"Joker" Officially One Of The Most Pritable Comic Book Movies

 Rich Fury/Getty s

“It’s already in territory that nobody thought it would get to. It’s achieved a box fice that is above the wildest expectations the studio and analysts,” Paul Dergarabedian Comscore tells the Associated Press. “Even if the box fice stopped right now it’s an absolute, unqualified success.”

Currently, the film is on track to becoming the highest-grossing R-Rated film all time, trailing only behind The Matrix Reloaded, Deadpool and Deadpool 2 in global sales. Once it reaches the $758 million mark, it will also become the year’s biggest non-Disney/Marvel; release, beating out Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.

While it continues to rack up major numbers, the film still fell out its top spot as Angelina jolie’s maleficent: Mistress Evil debuted at No.1 despite subpar domestic sales. Projected to make $45 million,t he film only did $36 million while bringing in $117 million overseas.

 

Pascal Siakam Agrees To $130 Million Extension With Toronto Raptors: Report

Pascal Siakam just got paid. The Toronto Raptors forward has just agreed to a four-year, $130 million maximum rookie contract extension, agents Todd Ramasar and Jaafar Choufani told ESPN.

Siakam and the Raptors had until Monday at 6 PM ET to come to an agreement on an extension, otherwise he would have hit restricted free agency next summer. Now, the deal will keep the rising star in Toronto until the 2024 season.

Siakam is coming f a breakout season, during which he won Most Improved Player after averaging 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and shooting 36.9 percent from 3. His much-improved fensive attack, along with his usual strong work on the defensive end were major reasons why the Raptors won their first title in franchise history last season.

For what its worth, this marks the third time a player in the 2016 NBA draft class has agreed to a maximum contract, following along with the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons and Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray. I think dinner is on Pascal tonight.

 

California Passes Bill That Will Make HIV Prevention Drugs Available Without Prescription

California has made major moves in the right direction since Gov. Gavin Newsom authorized all pharmacists to fer HIV prevention drugs without a prescription. The new law will begin next year and means individuals who are at risk contracting HIV will be able to acquire pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and those who may have already been exposed can get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). 

The new bill, Senate Bill 159, was challenged by some physicians who argued that individuals may take the pill too ten without proper medical attention. An amendment was then proposed that only allows individuals to use the drugs for 60 days. After the time frame, they must go to a doctor to get consultation for further use. The new bill also means citizens can purchase the medicine without authorization from their insurance companies. 

“Recent breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment HIV can save lives,” Gov. Newsom said after signing the new bill. “All Californians deserve access to PrEP and PEP, two treatments that have transformed our fight against HIV and AIDS. I applaud the Legislature for taking action to expand access to these treatments and getting us closer to ending HIV and AIDS for good.”

Johnson & Johnson Must Pay $8B In Case Involving Male Breast Growth

Johnson & Johnson is one the most common brands when it comes to everyday regular household items such as band-aids, baby powder, and more. However, a jury has ordered the company to cough up $8B to Nicholas Murray who sued the company for not warning him that he could grow breasts from using Risperdal. Murray previously won $680K in the case in a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. He claimed he began to take Risperdal in 2003 after he was diagnosed with autism. 

Johnson & Johnson Must Pay $8B In Case Involving Male Breast Growth
 Mario Tama/Getty s

“This jury, as have other juries in other litigations, once again imposed punitive damages on a corporation that valued prits over safety and prits over patients,” Murray’s lawyers said in a joint statement to Reuters. “Johnson & Johnson and (subsidiary) Janssen chose billions over children.”

Despite the verdict in the case, J&J said that the judgment is “grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award in this case, and the Company is confident it will be overturned.” Adding, “the jury did not hear evidence as to how the label for RISPERDAL® clearly and appropriately outlined the risks associated with the medicine, or the benefits RISPERDAL® provides to patients with serious mental illness.”

Even with the major award, Pressor Carl Tobias the University Richmond School Law said he predicts that the punitive damages to be lowered when J&J appeal. 

 

Spotify Has Paid Out Over $142K To Helpful Hackers

Spotify has paid out over $142,000 to helpful hackers to help keep its app and site secure. 

With over 232 million monthly active users, Spotify has a lot of data to keep safe. The HackerOne bug bounty program reveals Spotify has paid out over $142,000 since May 2017. Before that, the platform relied on reports to a security email inbox for external security tips. 

Spotify accepts from hackers the platform. The issue can then be checked and added to Spotify’s own internal bug tracker based on severity. Spotify’s bug resolution time is now around 24 days from disclosure to fix deployment. After the fix is deployed, hackers are paid a bounty whose value is based on the severity of the issue reported. 

Severity scoring for Spotify’s bug bounty uses the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. Spotify has resolved over 416 reports since switching to the HackerOne platform in 2017. The average bounty payout is $300, but stop of the top bounty payouts range from $875-$3,000. 

Spotify encourages responsible disclosure of bugs and security vulnerabilities of its platform. But it does ask hackers to be respectful of its end users. On the bug bounty page, there’s a list of things the company asks hackers explicitly not to do. These include:

  • Do not attack accounts belonging to an end-user.
  • Don’t run automated scans without checking first.
  • Do not test the physical security of Spotify offices.
  • Don’t test using social engineering techniques like phishing.
  • Do not perform DDoS attacks.
  • Don’t engage in trade of stolen user credentials. 

One interesting note buried in recent reporting is that Spotify admits the majority of vulnerability reports relate to sites that have been contracted out for development. The company is now working on a global Preferred Production Partner Program that uses security-focused standards for its partners. Spotify says the program also includes a set of expectations for vendors to respond to bug bounty program vulnerabilities. 

OxyContin Maker, Purdue Pharma, Files For Bankruptcy To Clear 2K Lawsuits

North America, specifically, has been trying to combat a major opioid crisis that we’re facing. Big Pharma companies are mainly to be blamed for it. According to NBC, Purdue Pharma, the maker Oxycontin, has filed for bankruptcy as part their settlement deal with local and state governments over the opioid crisis.

OxyContin Maker, Purdue Pharma, Files For Bankruptcy To Clear 2K Lawsuits
Joe Raedle/Getty s

The announcement comes just days after the company and the Sackler family fered $10-$12 billion to settle lawsuits pertaining to the opioid crisis. The company was accused by states, cities, and counties fuelling the opioid epidemic. The lawsuits claim Purdue and the Sacklers misled the public and fed false information to hike up sales products such as Oxycontin.

The worst part about the bankruptcy filing is that they’ll likely be removed from the first opioid trial that was set to begin on Oct. 21. This means that anyone who wants to get money from the company for the opioid crisis will have to take it up with the bankruptcy court. 

The Sackler family agreed they’d pay $3B in the settlement, at the very least, but some states haven’t accepted that. Many them plan to shut contest the settlement in bankruptcy court and continue to litigation with the Sackler family.

Even with allegations falsely marketing the product and aggressively pushing its marketing, the Sackler family said they have “deep compassion for the victims the opioid crisis,” adding that the lawsuit “is an historic step toward providing critical resources that address a tragic public health situation.”

Michael Jackson’s Estate Made Nearly $2 Billion Since His Death: Report

According to The Blast, Michael Jackson’s estate has made nearly $2 billion since his death. Accounting documents that were filed to the L.A. County Court revealed that the singer’s estate has brought in $1.7B as Dec. 31, 2018.

Documents revealed that people within his estate, as in his executor and lawyers, have been diligently working over the years to rebuild the Jackson brand and make his finances stable, once again.

“With the assistance their counsel, the Executors have successfully rebuilt and enhanced Michael Jackson’s image, solidified the MJJ business as a significant entity in the entertainment industry, entered into and continue to enter into unprecedented business deals that have produced, and will in the future produce, significant revenues for the Estate,” it reads on the filing.

Michael Jackson's Estate Made Nearly $2 Billion Since His Death: Report
George Rose/Getty s

Included in the posthumous Michael Jackson branded ventures is the “Cirque Du Soleil” show in Las Vegas. Some MJ’s other holdings that the estate controls are his major holdings in the music industry. 

What’s truly miraculous about the revenue they’ve earned is the fact that Michael Jackson was in serious debt at the time his death. “Among other issues, at the time Michael Jackson‘s ‘ death, Michael Jackson’s most significant assets were subject to more than $500 million debt… some debt in default (the mortgage, and utilities on Havenhurst had been unpaid for several months),” it reads in the doc.

Michael Jackson clearly left his estate in the right hands. 

WWE Announces Draft Details For Raw, SmackDown Live Superstars

The WWE is making some major changes in the coming days and weeks, starting with NXT’s move to a live, two-hour format airing on the USA Network starting Wednesday, September 18. A few weeks thereafter, SmackDown Live will make it’s debut on Fox, as the show switches to Friday nights beginning October 4.

Once those new television deals are ficially f and running, the WWE will shake things up with a two-night draft, splitting up the roster superstars between Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live.

The company is planning to kickf the draft on the October 11 edition SmackDown Live, which will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The draft will then continue on the October 14 edition Monday Night Raw taking place at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

On both nights, Superstars from both the red and blue brands will appear along with personalities from FOX and NBCUniversal, who will announce select picks from each brand. 

The rosters are still split up from the last draft but the introduction the “Wild Card Rule,” permitting select superstars to float between Raw and SmackDown, has drastically blurred the lines which brand each wrestler represents. Things should return to form sometime in October with the announcement the upcoming draft.

Air Jordan 1 “Obsidian/UNC” Releasing Today: Early Purchase Links

Jordan Brand’s latest UNC-themed Air Jordan 1, this time featuring a Sail and Obsidian Blue combination, will be available today, August 31, at 10am ET.

The kicks, priced at $160, will be available at all major retailers such as Footaction, Foot Locker, Finish Line, Eastbay and Champs Sports. Check out the early purchase links in the tweet embedded below.

UNC blue handles a portion the ankle collar, heel and “Nike Air” branding on the tongue the upcoming “Obsidian” Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG, while the sneaker’s namesake color takes on the Nike swoosh, as well as the trim around the sail-colored silhouette.

Scroll down for ficial images the “Obsidian” Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG.

Air Jordan 1 “Obsidian/UNC” Releasing Today: Early Purchase Links

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Obsidian/J23 App

Air Jordan 1 “Obsidian/UNC” Releasing Today: Early Purchase Links

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Obsidian/J23 App

Air Jordan 1 “Obsidian/UNC” Releasing Today: Early Purchase Links

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Obsidian/J23 App

Air Jordan 1 “Obsidian/UNC” Releasing Today: Early Purchase Links

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Obsidian/J23 App

Air Jordan 1 “Obsidian/UNC” Releasing Today: Early Purchase Links

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Obsidian/J23 App

Tyler Skaggs’ Autopsy Reveals Fentanyl, Oxycodone & Alcohol Were In His System

It appears Angles pitcher Tyler Skaggs had a deadly mix booze, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system when he tragically died in a Texas hotel room back on July 1. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner released the toxicology report on Friday, which lists “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration gastric contents.” In other words, he choked on his own vomit while under the influence the mix drugs & booze.

The report says his death has been ruled an accident.

Tests showed 38 nanograms per milliliter oxycodone and 3.8 nanograms per milliliter fentanyl, a painkiller that is significantly stronger than oxycodone. It also showed a blood-alcohol level 0.122%; a 0.08% limit is considered legally impaired.

Skaggs’ family released a statement to the Los Angeles Times on Friday, which read:

“We are heartbroken to learn that the passing our beloved Tyler was the result a combination dangerous drugs and alcohol,” the statement said. “That is completely out character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much.”

“We are grateful for the work the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death. We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee the Los Angeles Angels. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.”

U.S. Department of Justice Urged by Senators to Investigate Live Nation, Ticketmaster

Two Democratic U.S. Senators are asking the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division to investigate online ticket markets, which they insist “are not working for American consumers.”

The two specifically targeted Live Nation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster.

Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who runs the DOJ’s antitrust division, asking him to not only investigate anti-competitive practices in online ticketing but to also potentially extend the consent decree that allowed Live Nation to merge with Ticketmaster pending completion of a probationary period.

The merger occurred in 2010, and under the consent decree Live Nation, which is a major concert promoter, cannot refrain from doing with business with those who do not contract ticketing services from Ticketmaster. Nor can Live Nation retaliate against those who sign with Ticketmaster competitors.

The consent decree is set to expire in July of 2020.

The two senators further criticized the effectiveness of the consent decree.  In their letter to the DOJ, they insinuated that Live Nation had “flouted its conditions.” They also said that the deal had left the company’s “dominance virtually unchallenged.”

While the DOJ has never accused Live Nation of any type of wrongdoing in regards to the consent decree, they have reportedly investigated the company in response to a number of complaints that have been made by the company’s competitors.

Unless the DOJ formally charges Live Nation with being in violation of the consent decree, it’s unclear if the decree will be extended.

It’s also unclear at the moment how much weight the letter from the senators will have, as the two are not exactly beloved by the Trump Administration. But many have applauded their efforts. This includes Ticketmaster competitor StubHub as well as NetChoice, which is a trade association that promotes free enterprise on the Internet.

So far, Live Nation has refused to issue a comment in response to the letter.

Major Labels Blast Cox for 'Obstruction, Delay and Gamesmanship'

The legal battle between Cox Communications and major labels UMG, Sony Music, and WMG isn’t ending anytime soon.

The ongoing lawsuit, which centers on Cox’s liability (or lack thereof) for its users’ illegal downloads of copyrighted music, .  The major label plaintiffs were initially , though this ruling was subsequently overturned by an appeals court.

However, this initial success prompted the record labels’ lawyers to continue fighting, and now, the long and expensive dispute has spanned nearly half a decade.

Last week, it seemed that the matter would finally be put to rest. Cox had a settlement meeting arranged with the record labels, but Cox attorneys decided to cancel negotiations at the last second. The plaintiffs’ legal team, which had long been preparing for this meeting, was predictably upset, and their court filings indicated as much. The RIAA, which represents the big three labels, blasted Cox for “a consistent pattern of obstruction, delay, and gamesmanship”.

With this latest development, it seems unlikely that any sort of agreement will be made in the near future.

Cox Communications is a Georgia-based broadband provider and subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Cox Enterprises, a privately owned conglomerate, reported earnings of more than $20 billion in 2018. The company employs over 55,000 individuals, and based upon these points, it can be stated with confidence that the company possesses the resources to take on leading record companies — even if the battle proceeds for another five years.

Legal experts have indicated that this seemingly complex and detailed case boils down to a single, all-important question: Is Cox liable for the downloading habits of its users?

Needless to say, opinions that support each side of the argument have been voiced, with both parties are insisting they’re right.  It appears that the fight will continue to drag on, but perhaps agreeing to a settlement meeting, even if the meeting did fall through, is a step in the right direction.