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Polish-US writer Janusz Glowacki dies at 78

The wife of renowned Polish-U.S. playwright and screenwriter Janusz Glowacki says he has died at 78.

Popular in New York and Polish artistic and intellectual circles, Glowacki was the author of award-winning plays "Antigone in New York" and "The Fourth Sister," which set classic themes in the contemporary world.

Born in 1938 in Poznan, western Poland, he made a name for himself in the 1960s with short stories and screenplays, including for Poland's leading filmmaker Andrzej Wajda.

He settled in New York in the early 1980s, choosing not to return to Poland after its communist authorities imposed martial law. He did return to Warsaw after the 1989 ouster of communist rule.

Actress Olena Leonenko-Glowacka said Glowacki died Saturday.

The Latest: Kennedy Center awards to go on without Trump

The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision not to participate in the Kennedy Center arts awards (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

The Kennedy Center arts awards program will go on.

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah Rutter say in a statement that they respect President Donald Trump's decision to cancel a traditional White House reception for the five honorees. The White House reception had been scheduled for Dec. 3.

Rubenstein and Rutter say a State Department reception and awards dinner on Dec. 2 and the Honors Gala on Dec. 3 will continue as planned.

They say the five honorees — Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL COOL J, Norman Lear and Lionel Richie — are expected to attend both events. Several of the honorees had said they would not attend a White House reception presided over by Trump.

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8 a.m.

The White House has announced that President Donald Trump and the first lady have decided not to participate in events honoring recipients of this year's Kennedy Center arts awards.

The statement says the decision to break with tradition was made to "allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction."

Past presidents and first ladies have hosted a reception for honorees at the White House before the Kennedy Center gala and sat with them at the televised event.

The decision comes a day after the entire membership of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned to protest Trump's comments about last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But Trump has long had a contentious relationship with the arts world and some of the Kennedy Center honorees already had said they would not attend the White House reception in December.

Trump to skip Kennedy Center Honors

The White House announced in a statement Saturday that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will not attend this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

The statement said that the president made the decision to not participate to “allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.” The statement said the president and first lady “extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”

>> Read more trending news

The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual tradition. Past presidents and first ladies host a reception for honorees at the White House before the Kennedy Center gala and attend the televised event. 

One of this year's honorees, television writer and producer Norman Lear, had announced he was skipping the White House reception due to Trump, and other honorees also planned to boycott the reception, the Washington Post reported.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump to skip Kennedy Center arts awards

In a break with tradition, President Donald Trump and the first lady have decided not to participate in events honoring recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors arts awards to "allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction," the White House announced Saturday.

The Kennedy Center said it respected Trump's decision and that the show will go on.

Past presidents and first ladies have hosted a White House reception in the hours before the Kennedy Center gala, which they would then watch from seats high above the stage.

The decision came a day after the entire membership of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned to protest Trump's comments about last weekend's demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president blamed "many sides" for the violence that left an anti-racism activist dead.

Trump has also had a long and contentious relationship with the arts world and some of the Kennedy Center honorees already had said they would not attend the White House reception hosted by him in December.

One of the honorees, television writer and producer Norman Lear, also had questioned whether Trump would want to attend the gala, "given his indifference or worse regarding the arts and humanities."

On Thursday, dancer Carmen de Lavallade said in a statement on her website that she was honored to receive the award, but would not join Trump at the White House.

"In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House," she said.

The other honorees are hip-hop artist LL Cool J and singers Gloria Estefan and Lionel Richie. It's the 40th year of the awards, which honor people who have influenced American culture through the arts.

The White House said Trump and first lady Melania Trump "extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year's award recipients for their many accomplishments."

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter said in a joint statement that they respect Trump's decision.

"In choosing not to participate in this year's Honors activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees. We are grateful for this gesture" they said.

The honorees will be celebrated at a Kennedy Center gala on Dec. 3, featuring performances and tributes from top entertainers. A State Department reception and awards dinner on Dec. 2 will also be held as planned.

Rubenstein and Rutter said all five honorees were expected to attend both events.

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

New biography about David Bowie reveals details of his wild life

An upcoming biography of David Bowie reveals new details about the singer’s life, including some strange propositions, NME reported.

>> Read more trending news

“David Bowie: A Life” will be released Sept. 12. Written by Dylan Jones, the biography is described as “intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn” about Bowie, who died Jan. 11, 2016, after an 18-month battle with cancer.

In the book, groupie Josette Caruso describes the time Bowie was offered a “warm, deady body” to have sex with while on tour in Philadelphia in September 1972, NME reported.

According to the Daily Mail, Caruso told how Bowie’s bodyguard answered the door and then called for the singer, looking “white as a sheet.”

“He obviously looked like such a freak that some sick people thought he might be into necrophilia,” Caruso said.

“Who on earth do they think I am? Why would they think I’d be interested in something like that?” Bowie reportedly said.

Other details from the book, according to the Daily Mail:

  • Bowie’s sex addiction drove him to sleep with 13-year-old groupies, engage in orgies and declare he was bisexual.

  • Because of his brother's schizophrenia, he did not like LSD but developed a cocaine habit.

  • Born David Jones, he changed his last name to Bowie -- like the Bowie Knife -- after British media nicknamed Mick Jagger, 'Jagger Dagger' 

The book also gives a detailed insight into the singer’s life from his childhood in Brixton, through his wild and successful music career, to his relatively calm last few years with wife Iman, NME reported.by

“David Bowie was his very own creation, his very own work of art,” Dylan Jones writes.“This was the boy from postwar Brixton with his sights set on the world.”

 

Taylor Swift wipes social media accounts; website goes dark

Taylor Swift has wiped her social media accounts clean, and fans of the singer are trying to figure out why, Billboard reported.

>> Read more trending news

On average, Swift has put out a new album every two years since her debut in 2006. Her last album, however -- “1989” -- was released in October 2014.

Friday morning, fans noticed that Swift had deleted her Twitter avatar and header, along with blanking out her Facebook page. All of her posts on Tumblr also were deleted, Billboard reported.

Swift has more than 102 million followers on Instagram, but that site also has been wiped clean, Billboard reported. Her official website is blacked out.

What does it all mean? Have her sites been hacked, or is she gearing up for a comeback. Several Twitter followers speculated about both scenarios. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the singer could not be reached for comment, Billboard reported.

On Monday, a jury ruled in favor of Swift in her countersuit against former radio host David Mueller for alleged assault and battery.

Former Yankees star Derek Jeter, wife welcome first child 

Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was called “The Captain” during his major-league career.

>> Read more trending news

Now he can be called a dad.

Jeter’s wife Hannah gave birth to a girl, Bella Raine Jeter, on Thursday, according to the verified Twitter account of The Players’ Tribune, which was founded by Jeter in 2014.

The Jeters were married in July 2016, and Hannah Jeter announced her pregnancy via a February essay in The Players’ Tribune, Newsday reported.

Jeter, 43, retired from the Yankees in 2014 after a 20-year career. He finished with a franchise-record 3,465 hits and a .310 batting average while leading the Yankees to seven World Series and five titles.

Venezuelan president blasts maestro Dudamel for speaking out

President Nicolas Maduro has angrily blasted Venezuela's classical music maestro Gustavo Dudamel, accusing his one-time supporter of being duped into criticizing the government that has for years been one of his biggest promoters.

"I hope God forgives you," Maduro said in a televised appearance on Friday, swiping at the Venezuelan-born conductor for roving around Madrid and Los Angeles while his compatriots build a revolution that he once helped glamorize.

"Welcome to politics, Gustavo Dudamel. But act with ethics, and don't let yourself be deceived into attacking the architects of this beautiful movement of young boys and girls," the socialist leader said.

Maduro was referring to Dudamel's longtime association with Venezuela's world-famous El Sistema musical education program. Dudamel, 36, began studying music as a child in El Sistema and has continued to tour with its ensembles the world over even after becoming the Los Angeles Philharmonic's musical director a decade ago.

But he joined a growing cadre of internationally-known Venezuelan athletes and celebrities and publicly broke with the government in May after a member of El Sistema was killed amid a wave of protests that went on to kill more than 120 people.

In an online essay titled "I Raise My Voice," Dudamel urged Maduro to reduce political tensions by listening to instead of cracking down on youth protesters. In July, he went further, calling on Maduro to scrap his plans to rewrite the constitution, a move condemned by dozens of foreign governments as an illegitimate power grab

"Our country urgently needs to lay the foundation for a democratic order that guarantees social peace, security and a prosperous future for our sons and daughters," he wrote in a column published in the New York Times.

Maduro's rebuke comes as Dudamel is scheduled next month to conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela in a four-city U.S. tour — concerts that may now be in doubt as his relations with the Maduro government sour. Last month, on the eve of the elections for the questioned constitutional assembly, Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra abruptly canceled a series of shows in Colombia's capital, citing unspecified logistical problems.

There was no immediate response by Dudamel to Maduro's criticisms.

The world-famous El Sistema, created more than four decades ago, is one of the rare institutions to have survived — even thriving — under the 17 years of socialist rule. The program connects about 400,000 Venezuelan children, many of them poor, with classical music, and has been emulated by music educators in dozens of countries.

While Maduro seemed betrayed, his opponents and fellow classical music performers appear in no mood to embrace Dudamel, who they've long accused of being too cozy with the increasingly autocratic leader. Still fresh in many people's minds is Dudamel's appearance alongside Maduro during an earlier wave of deafly unrest in 2014 while reviewing architectural plans for a Frank Gehry-designed concert hall to be built in the conductor's name.

Gabriela Montero, a world-renowned Venezuelan pianist, in an essay published this week called Dudamel the "king of silent complicity and equivocation."

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Follow Goodman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjoshgoodman

Judge refuses to end Roman Polanski sex assault case

A Los Angeles judge on Friday denied the impassioned plea of Roman Polanski's victim to end a four-decade-old sexual assault case against the fugitive director.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that Polanski must return to California if he expects to resolve charges of sexually abusing a teen. The Oscar winner fled the country on the eve of sentencing in 1978.

Gordon's ruling follows a fervent request by Samantha Geimer to end a "40-year sentence" she says was imposed on both perpetrator and victim. It was issued on Polanski's 84th birthday and blamed the director for the fact that the case was still alive.

"Her statement is dramatic evidence of the long-lasting and traumatic effect these crimes, and defendant's refusal to obey court orders and appear for sentencing, is having on her life," Gordon wrote.

Harland Braun, Polanski's attorney, said the ruling came after the judge asked for proposals on how to resolve the case. Braun's proposals include several that previously were rejected by the court.

Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with Geimer when she was 13. She has said he drugged, raped and sodomized her.

The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse, but Geimer went public years ago.

After he became a fugitive, his attorneys have failed to persuade judges to sentence him in absentia and credit him for the 42 days he was incarcerated for psychological testing before he fled.

Geimer has long supported Polanski's efforts but made her plea in court for the first time in June. After her statement, the director's lawyers reiterated their request for the case to be dismissed, or Polanski to be sentenced without appearing in court.

Geimer told the judge that she was deeply disappointed Polanski had not been able to resolve the case with prosecutors and implored Gordon to "bring this matter to a close as an act of mercy to myself and my family."

Gordon's ruling Friday noted that a court "may not dismiss the case merely because it would be in the victim's best interest."

Geimer has said she was more traumatized by the legal system and the fallout from the case than she had been by Polanski. In downplaying Polanski's actions, Geimer's position was at odds with many sexual assault victims and an outcry about lenient sentences in sex abuse cases.

Gordon had praised Geimer for her courage and elegant words but also expressed skepticism that Polanski could resolve the case without appearing in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee had insisted that Polanski show up in court to face his fate.

Polanski contends that he fled when the original judge in the case suggested in private remarks that he would renege on a plea agreement. It called for no more time behind bars for the director after he spent 42 days in a prison for tests.

Polanski has tried for years to end the case and lift an international arrest warrant that confined him to his native France, Switzerland and Poland, where he fled the Holocaust.

The warrant prevented him from collecting his Academy Award for best director for his 2002 film "The Pianist." He was also nominated for 1974's "Chinatown" and 1979's "Tess."

Geimer said she didn't excuse what Polanski did but said she felt he had served his sentence and wasn't being treated fairly.

Polanski had been shooting photos of the girl at Jack Nicholson's house when he gave her champagne and part of a sedative pill before raping her in March 1977, according to grand jury transcripts. Nicholson was not home at the time.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in exchange for dropping drug, rape and sodomy charges.

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Associated Press Writer Brian Melley contributed to this report.

Police: Rapper Meek Mill arrested for reckless dirt biking

Police say the rapper Meek Mill has been arrested on a charge of reckless endangerment for riding an illegal dirt bike through New York City streets.

The 30-year-old rapper was arrested late Thursday. His real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams.

The Daily News reports (http://nydn.us/2uNj2SA ) that Mill was seen on Instagram popping wheelies on the dirt bike Wednesday night.

According to Instagram posts by fans, Mill turned on his livestream when police detained him the next day based on the social media posts.

The dirt bike photos could no longer be found on Mill's Instagram account by late Thursday.

Mill's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said Mill was being singled out because of his celebrity.

Tacopina said that if Mill's name had been John Smith, "he wouldn't even have been arrested."

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Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com

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