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by MediaExpert

John Havlicek, Boston Celtics Great, Dies at 79

John Havlicek, the Boston Celtics great whose steal of Hal Green’s inbounds pass in the final seconds of the 1965 Eastern Conference final against the Philadelphia 76ers remains one of the most famous plays in NBA history, has died. He was 79.

The Celtics said the Hall of Famer died Thursday in Jupiter, Florida. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available. The Boston Globe said he had Parkinson’s disease. 

Gravel-voiced Johnny Most’s radio call of the 1965 steal – “Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!” – helped make the play one of the most enduring moments in NBA history.

“John Havlicek is one of the most accomplished players in Boston Celtics history, and the face of many of the franchise’s signature moments,” the Celtics said in a statement. “He was a champion in every sense, and as we join his family, friends, and fans in mourning his loss, we are thankful for all the joy and inspiration he brought to us.”

Nicknamed “Hondo” for his resemblance to John Wayne, Havlicek was drafted in the first round in 1962 out of Ohio State by a Celtics team stocked with stars Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, Tom Sanders, Tom Heinsohn and Frank Ramsey.

Boston won NBA championships in his first six years with the team.

Then, as the veteran players gradually moved on, Havlicek became the team’s elder statesman and moved up to become a starter. The team won championships in 1973-74 and 1975-76 with Havlicek leading teams that included Dave Cowens and Jo Jo White. 

Havlicek went on to win eight NBA championships and an NBA Finals MVP award, setting Celtics career records for points and games. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. At Ohio State, he helped lead the Buckeyes to the 1960 national championship.

As much as his deadly jump shot or his heroics in Boston’s triple-overtime NBA finals victory over Phoenix in 1976, Havlicek was known for his durability. He played at least 81 games in each of his 15 seasons with the Celtics and he didn’t just play: He was on the run constantly and was perpetually in motion. 

In his NBA career he scored 26,395 points in 1,270 games. He seldom rested. 

“The Boston Celtics are not a team, they are a way of life,” Red Auerbach once said. And no one personified the Celtic way more than Havlicek. 

His No.17 was raised to the rafters in old Boston Garden and now resides in TD Garden, retired soon after he retired in 1978. 

Born April 8, 1940, in Martins Ferry, Ohio, Havlicek became a standout athlete at Bridgeport High School in a small coal-mining town of 2,500 near Wheeling, West Virginia. 

The 6-foot-5 Havlicek was also an outstanding football and baseball player in high school and was given a tryout by the Cleveland Browns after graduating from college. 

As a sophomore at Ohio State, he scored 12.2 points a game as the Buckeyes won the national championship, beating California 75-55 in the final. His junior and senior years, Ohio State again won the Big Ten titles and made it to the NCAA title game but lost to Cincinnati each time. During Havlicek’s three years at Ohio State, the Buckeyes went 78-6, dominating most games unlike any team up to that time. 

All five starters from Ohio State’s title team in 1960 – which included Jerry Lucas and future Celtic teammate Larry Siegfried – played in the NBA. Backup Bob Knight went to a Hall of Fame coaching career.

Havlicek remained in Boston after his retirement, managing investments. He later split time between New England and Florida. He occasionally returned to Ohio State for reunions of the championship team and Celtics events. His Ohio State number was retired during ceremonies in the 2004-2005 season. 

by MediaExpert

400-year-old Bible Stolen from US Found in Netherlands

A 17th century Geneva Bible, one of the hundreds of rare books authorities said were stolen from a Pittsburgh library as part of a 20-year-long theft scheme, is back home.

The Bible, published in 1615, was traced to the American Pilgrim Museum in Leiden, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, said FBI agent Robert Jones.

It was among more than 300 rare books, maps, plate books, atlases and more that were discovered missing from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh last year. A former archivist at the library and a rare book dealer are accused of stealing books valued at more than $8 million.

The Bible “is more than a piece of evidence” Jones said Thursday at a news conference in Pittsburgh. “I am happy to say it has finally made its way back to its rightful owner here in Pittsburgh.”

There are several similar Bibles, Jones said afterward. “From a dollar-figure sense, it is not priceless,” he said. “From a history perspective, it is priceless.”

The Dutch museum had paid $1,200 for the Bible, District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. said.

The first edition of the Geneva Bible was published in 1560. This particular edition, published in London four years after the first King James version, is similar to a Bible known to have been brought over by the Pilgrims in 1620, Jones said.

The FBI will hand over the Bible to Allegheny County prosecutors, who will return it to the library, Zappala Jr. said.

After charges were filed last year, Zappala said, the director of the Dutch museum contacted police in The Hague and the Carnegie Library, which in turn contacted the FBI in Pittsburgh. 

The FBI in The Hague worked with the museum and then shipped the Bible to FBI offices in Pittsburgh, said FBI agent Shawn Brokos.

Wearing blue latex gloves, she displayed the Bible, carefully opening its weathered pages.

The FBI hopes news of the recovery of this Bible will prompt others to look at their collections for any possible items stolen from the Pittsburgh library. “Some probably are in private collections,” he said.

Prosecutors in Pittsburgh have so far recovered 18 of the books stolen from the library, Zappala said. They have been found in the U.S. and abroad.

One copy of Isaac Newton’s “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica,” a watershed of science valued at $900,000, and John Adams’ “A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America,” valued at $20,000, are among the items prosecutors have recovered, Zappala’s spokesman said.

One of the books not yet recovered is “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” the magnum opus by philosopher Adam Smith, valued at $180,000.

The room at the Carnegie Library where the stolen items were on display remains closed. Zappala said he will discuss with the Carnegie Library on displaying this Bible to the public. 

by MediaExpert

Eighteenth Tribeca Film Festival Opens in Harlem With ‘The Apollo’

The 18th Tribeca Film Festival moved uptown on Wednesday for an opening night that honored an elder New York institution: the Apollo Theater.

Roger Ross Williams’ “The Apollo” premiered at the iconic Harlem music hall whose 85-year history is chronicled in Williams’ documentary. The movie and setting added up to a gala tribute to the 125th Street mecca of African American culture, where everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to James Brown to Chris Rock has come to forge their legacies.

“The story of black people in America is the story of the Apollo,” Williams said in an interview ahead of the premiere.

Tribeca isn’t the first New York film festival to uproot to the Apollo for a special event. Lincoln Center’s New York Film Festival came there last year to debut Barry Jenkins’ James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

But Tribeca, the festival founded by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, has made a habit of celebrating the city’s cultural institutions on opening night through documentaries about “Saturday Night Live” and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“In these disturbing times, when the administration is promoting divisiveness and racism, we’re making a statement by being here tonight that we reject it,” said De Niro, a well-known critic of President Donald Trump, introducing the film on the Apollo stage. “No, you don’t! Not in this house, not on this stage!”

“The Apollo,” which HBO will air in the fall, survey’s the theater’s expansive history but also its vibrant present. It follows the production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me,” a production that Apollo president Jonelle Procope says perfectly reflects the theater’s mission for the future.

“We want to develop this new 21st century performing arts canon that focuses on telling the African American and African diaspora stories,” said Procope. “We are really the only performing arts organization in the country that is from a performing arts standpoint focused on the African American narrative. Our legacy is to create opportunities for emerging talent and nurture their talent and let them push the envelope.”

Opened in 1914 as a burlesque theater, the Apollo began catering to the black community in the 1930s. Its famed Amateur Night, begun in 1934, has been the first introduction of countless stars, including Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder (introduced as a 12-year-old “genius”) and the Supremes.

Amateur night remains the signature Apollo show: a crucible through which endless performers have had to pass to confirm their talent. Anyone lacking will hear it from the audience. In Williams’ film, Dave Chappelle is seen saying his Apollo experience was the best thing that ever happened to him. “After that, I was fearless,” says Chappelle.

“I grew up in the black church and there’s a very similar dialogue that happens, the call and the response,” said Williams. “The Apollo, in a sense, is church. It’s a sacred space and a gathering of community in Harlem.”

The Apollo’s history can be staggering. Through its doors have come Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson and Richard Pryor. James Brown recorded one of the most revered live albums at the Apollo.

“When we first watched the film, I had this gut-wrenching emotional reaction. I was just crying like a baby,” said Williams. “The journey that black people have taken in America is a painful and difficult journey and our music is one of the tools we use to talk about that pain, to talk about that oppression, to escape from that pain. Our musical journey is a powerful one.”

With such an overwhelming legacy, the Apollo has striven to be more than a museum. After falling on hard times in the 1970s, it was named a state and city landmark in 1983. It was purchased by New York State in 1991 and turned into a nonprofit theater. Its long-running variety show “Showtime at the Apollo” was most recently rebooted on Fox last year.

Now, for the first time in its history, it’s plotting an expansion. The Apollo Performing Arts Center plans to in the fall of 2020 open two adjacent theaters, two doors down from the Apollo. One will seat 99, the other 199 — much smaller spaces than the 1,506 capacity Apollo.

Procope said the new theaters will allow the Apollo to program more expansively, add master artist residencies, host more speaking series, delve deeper into dance and create new streaming and podcasting possibilities.

“I think people understand where we’ve been,” said Procope. Soon, she says, they will see where the Apollo is going.

by MediaExpert

‘You Call This Jazz?’ Jazz Fest Celebrates 50 Eclectic Years

If your tastes are eclectic, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival poses a problem: Which of a dozen acts do you want to hear? Earth, Wind & Fire, Alanis Morissette, or Taj Mahal & the Phantom Blues Band? Van Morrison, Al Green, Johnny Rivers, or all five Marsalis jazzmen playing together?

The festival’s first producer recently contemplated the 50th anniversary lineup for the eight-day festival, which begins Thursday. “I think what I want to see is the Marsalis family together, because I haven’t seen them together for a long time,” George Wein, 93, said in a telephone interview.

Pianist Ellis Marsalis and his sons — trumpeter Wynton, saxophone player Branford, trombonist Delfeayo and percussionist Jason Marsalis — close out the festival’s first weekend at the Jazz Tent. It’s among 10 music stages and tents, along with the Kids’ Tent, an interview stage and a cultural exchange pavilion.

Other first-weekend acts include Katy Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs and Santana.

There’s also a juried arts and crafts show, an African marketplace, a Louisiana heritage marketplace and enough food to leave you in a two-week-long stupor.

About 450,000 fans came last year, across seven days. Wein said he always knew the festival would grow, but not to the current extent.

The first Heritage Fair had more performers than audience members, as lesser-known locals performed at the daytime fair. Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain and other top acts played at nighttime indoor Jazz Festival concerts.

The next year brought four night concerts and three afternoons in Congo Square, with four stages: blues, Cajun, gospel and street music. That first day was “a ragged little carnival of sound” with 25 acts sometimes clashing, The Associated Press wrote. The enclosure also held “two beer counters, a souvenir store, a cotton candy machine and a food tent where tourists tried red beans and rice but seldom braved the crimson boiled crawfish.”

One fan who had paid $2 demanded, “We drove all the way over here from Galveston to hear some jazz. Where is it?” Patty Mouton told Wein his Newport Jazz Festival was great, but “You call this jazz? That old woman singing hymns over there?”

“Sure that’s jazz,” he replied. “Those hymns are jazz and so is the guy beating on those oil drums. This is the grassroots jazz.”

The Heritage Fair moved in 1972 to the New Orleans Fair Grounds racetrack infield, where the New Orleans Jazz Festival and Heritage Fair is still held, adding a second weekend in 1976 .

New Orleans “Queen of Soul” Irma Thomas, who began playing Jazz Fest in 1974, said it gave local artists like herself a chance to be seen by national and international audiences.

“A lot of us worked for years without having agents, and Jazz Fest has been sort of the agent for the locals who have been around since mud and have not been recognized,” she said.

Gospel and Zydeco performers also began getting invitations to perform at other festivals and events worldwide after being heard at Jazz Fest, producer Quint Davis said.

By 1976, when about 175,000 people attended over six days, some people said the outdoor fair had grown too big, calling it Son of Mardi Gras.

The record crowd was an estimated 650,000 over seven days in 2001. That festival’s lineup included B.B. King, Dr. John, Widespread Panic, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Allen Toussaint and the Neville Brothers.

Widespread Panic is back this year because health problems knocked the Rolling Stones and replacement Fleetwood Mac out of the lineup. Jerry Lee Lewis, 83, also had to send regrets after a stroke in March.

Wein’s favorite memory over the festival’s first 49 years is hearing Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder together.

It was in 1977. Wonder, at the height of his career, joined Fitzgerald on stage at the city’s Municipal Auditorium. They sang his 1973 hit, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.”

“Stevie’s still a star,” Wein said.

by MediaExpert

Women’s Voting Rights Activists Highlighted in New Exhibit

Feminist author and activist Gloria Steinem once said, “Women have always been an equal part of the past. We just haven’t been a part of history.”

But American women became an important part of history when they gained the right to vote in 1920.

Making waves

Reaching that groundbreaking milestone was the culmination of decades of struggle by women working at the state and national levels for political empowerment. Women such as social reformer Susan B. Anthony, abolitionists Sojourner Truth and Lucy Stone, and activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who helped organize the first women’s rights convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.

Now, a major new exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., explores that complex period in American history.  “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” offers a rich visual presentation of the women’s suffrage movement over a span of 130 years, ahead of the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment.

Portraits of persistence

“As a historian, I was really interested to look at the 19th Amendment and what that meant in 1920, and how its legacy unfolded,” said historian and exhibit curator Kate Clarke Lemay.

She explained that the suffrage movement didn’t just appear out of nowhere.

“They had these abolitionist foundations. They had partnerships with the temperance movement. And that is really how they built momentum across the country in the very early stages.”

The seven-room exhibit features more than 120 objects from 1832 to 1965. Photographic portraits and paintings, videos depicting historical footage, and books, banners and posters, provide an in-depth look at the people and events that helped shape American history.

It highlights well-known and lesser-known figures associated with the women’s movement.

How many people know, for example, that Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president, on a third party ticket in 1872? Or that activist Lucy Burns served six different prison sentences for picketing the White House? Or that a group of American women, while studying abroad in England, were inspired by the British suffragette movement to organize at home? Led by suffragist Alice Paul, they staged the first major nonviolent march on Washington on March 3, 1913, which attracted between 5,000 and 8,000 women.

Silent sentinels

“It’s really important for the Smithsonian, and certainly the National Portrait Gallery, to put faces to the women who really marched toward getting the vote and the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920,” said Kim Sajet, National Portrait Gallery director.

“This exhibition is really about that journey, and about the women who really agitated for the vote, but also for the women who were left out of the history books,” she said. About a third of the collection includes representations of women of color, she said, “because they’ve really been erased from history in many ways.”

That includes African American women, who were often excluded by white women from the main suffrage organizations.

That is particularly relevant, given that “black women were organizing just as much as white women,” Lemay said.

“So this exhibition works to show a more complete history of the women’s suffrage movement by looking at biographies of African Americans, Native Americans, and other women of color, to complement the better-known story that we have in our textbooks.”

The exhibit includes abolitionist Sarah Parker Remond, who filed one of the earliest lawsuits protesting race segregation; Ida B. Wells, who advocated for federal laws against lynching; and Mary Church Terrell, who established the National Association of Colored Women.

Women today

American women have immense political power today, Lemay observed. They make up a huge voting bloc, more than 120 women now serve in Congress, and many others are in major leadership roles.

“If you start from where the exhibition starts in the 1830s … and then trace that thread with the suffrage movement up to this very day when women are actually leading our country, you can see the great continuum and the grand narrative journey that these women had to undergo to achieve that,” Lemay said. “And I’m really excited to see what happens from here on.”

“Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence” is part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story,” and one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document, display and share the compelling story and history of American women. 

The museum hopes the exhibit, which runs through January 5, 2020, will deepen people’s understanding of women’s contributions to the nation and the world.

by MediaExpert

Disney’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Sets Opening-Day Record in China

Marvel superhero movie “Avengers: Endgame” set an opening-day record in China with an estimated $107.2 million in ticket sales, distributor Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday.

“Endgame” is the final chapter of a story told across 22 Marvel films featuring popular characters such as Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow.

The movie earned rave reviews from critics and is expected to draw huge crowds as it debuts in the rest of the world this week.

As of Wednesday morning, 97 percent of “Endgame” reviews collected by the Rotten Tomatoes website were positive.

The film picks up after last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” when many of Marvel’s big-screen superheroes appeared to turn to dust. In “Endgame,” the survivors plot to kill the supervillain Thanos.

by MediaExpert

Jennifer Garner Leads People Magazine’s Beautiful List

Actress, businesswoman and children’s advocate Jennifer Garner is featured on the cover of People magazine’s annual beautiful issue, the magazine said on Tuesday.

People said it chose the 47-year-old “Alias” actress for balancing her career and charitable work with the raising of her three children with ex-husband Ben Affleck.

In addition to film and TV roles, Garner co-founded organic baby food company Once Upon a Farm and works as an ambassador for advocacy group Save the Children.

Garner told People that she never considered herself “one of the pretty girls” when she was growing up in West Virginia. She described her style at the time as “band geek-chic.”

Her current “uniform” more often than not is workout clothes, or jeans, a sweater and sneakers, if she is not dressed up for a red carpet or photo shoot.

When she does get glammed up, Garner said her kids will ask “‘Can you wash your face? Can you put your hair in a ponytail and put your glasses and sweats on?'”

“And I see the compliment in that,” she said. “They just want me to look like Mom.”

People’s beautiful issue will hit newsstands on Friday.

by MediaExpert

Critics Gush Over Spectacle, Story of ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Film critics unleashed overwhelmingly positive reviews on Tuesday of “Avengers: Endgame,” the highly anticipated final installment in a decade-long superhero story from Walt Disney’s Marvel Studios.

As of Tuesday afternoon, all but one of 56 “Endgame” reviews collected by the Rotten Tomatoes website were rated as positive.

USA Today’s Brian Truitt called the three-hour film “Marvel’s glorious greatest-hits package” with callbacks to previous adventures that will thrill fans who have faithfully followed characters such as Iron Man and Thor.

“It’s also a singular, sprawling and hugely satisfying tale that begins with a brutal, emotional gut punch and takes you on quite the trip with the original Avengers crew,” Truitt said.

Highest-grossing franchise

“Endgame” concludes a story that has unfolded over 21 previous films since 2007 and become the highest-grossing franchise in movie history. It picks up where last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” left fans hanging when several beloved heroes appeared to turn to dust.

CNN’s Brian Lowry said “Endgame” delivered a worthy finale.

“The filmmakers have sought to reward movie-goers with a spectacle that’s epic in every way,” Lowry said.

“The overall journey not only produces several genuine surprises — no small feat in this context — but plenty of humor, with an assortment of lighter moments to augment the stir ring and, yes, emotional ones,” he added.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times said the movie provided the “sense of an ending,” even though many characters are expected to return in future films, and “a chance to appreciate what has been done before the timelines reset and we all get back to work.”

“We’ve lived with these characters and the actors playing them for more than a decade,” Scott wrote. “For the most part, it’s nice to see them again, and a little sad to say goodbye.”

Box office experts say “Endgame” may break the opening weekend record for ticket sales in the United States and Canada, which now stands at $257.7 million for “Infinity War.”

by MediaExpert

Egypt to Turn to Private Sector to Restore Historic Buildings

Egypt’s government is drawing up a plan to turn over as many as 150 crumbling historic buildings to the private sector to refurbish and lease out for profit, the Minister of Public Enterprise said on Tuesday.

The plan could potentially save an eclectic mix of neo-classical, beaux arts, art nouveaux, art deco and early modern styles built mostly in the first half of the 20th century then nationalized in the early 1960s.

It could also revitalize important tourism districts in central Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said on the Suez Canal. The buildings have fallen into various degrees of disrepair for lack of funding and maintenance, with many tenants paying tiny sums for units that have remained rent controlled for more than half a century.

‘Revenue-sharing basis’

Public enterprise minister Hesham Tawfik said the government would follow the model of privately owned Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, which has been slowly renovating 23 historic buildings it has bought in downtown Cairo.

“They take the buildings, they settle with individuals or companies who are renting these apartments, they do the necessary renovations, inside and outside, and they simply rent them to the private sector. And they are making some decent return on their investment,” Tawfik said.

“We intend to do this by offering parcels of buildings, and by parcels I mean four to five buildings per transaction, for the private sector to repeat what Ismaelia did, on a revenue-sharing basis,” he said at business conference.

The plan was being studied at the state Insurance Holding Co. which along with the state insurance company owns 350 buildings, 150 of which are classified as historic.

“Probably they will come up with something very soon to offer to private developers, who we will insist be Ismaelia-style, with the right social background to be able to make sure that the development is done at the right level,” Tawfik said.  

Repaying debts

The government was also preparing to sell about 2 million square meters of unused land owned by state holding companies to help pay back more than 38 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.22 billion) in debts owed to other public entities, he said.

These include the National Investment Bank, the Ministry of Petroleum, the Ministry of Electricity, pension funds and the tax authority.

Once paid, any extra proceeds will be used to finance restructuring plans for companies under the ministry, including 21 billion pounds for textile industry and 5 billion pounds for chemical and metallurgical industries, Tawfik said.


by MediaExpert

Bill Cosby Fighting $1M/Month Legal Bill in Arbitration

A fee dispute between actor Bill Cosby and one in a string of law firms hired to address his legal problems shows the firm was billing Cosby $1 million a month in the run-up to his first sex assault trial.

The imprisoned Cosby is challenging a California arbitration award that trims the $9 million bill from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to below $7 million.

Cosby, 81, accuses the firm of elder abuse and “egregious” billing practices, and of fraud for representing both him and the insurance company he was battling in court, American International Group Inc., over his coverage.

The arbitration panel found that Quinn Emanuel told Cosby’s personal lawyer and “general counsel,” Monique Pressley, of the potential conflict, but not the actor himself, and voided Cosby’s 2015 contract with the law firm that included $1 million retainer. However, the panel found the potential conflict never caused Cosby any harm, and the firm did solid work for Cosby.

The Quinn Emanuel team was led by partner Christopher Tayback, the son of the late actor Vic Tayback. Quinn Emanuel lawyers charged about $500 to $1,000 an hour. Cosby is seeking refunds of the approximately $4.3 million he has paid the firm, while the arbitration panel ordered him to pay an additional $2.4 million, for a total of about $6.7 million.

Cosby said that, given his age and blindness, he did not understand the scope of the work or other parts of the contract when he signed it in October 2015. The firm worked on the case, along with local lawyer Brian McMonagle and others, through Cosby’s arrest two months later and several key pretrial hearings. They parted ways with Cosby less than a year later, long before his first criminal trial in June 2017 or the April 2018 retrial, when he was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.

The Quinn Emanuel team was among more than a dozen lawyers to help Cosby defend a dizzying array of legal problems across the country as dozens of women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct or defamation. The firm was hired to work on civil cases involving just three accusers, but its work grew to include cases involving 10 women, and 40 “same-act” witnesses lodging similar accusations, across the country, according to the arbitration papers.

Over nine months of work, the firm said it racked up more than 11,000 hours of work by lawyers, along with costs including $300,000 in online searches and $48,000 for a lawyer’s work reading two gossip novels and a book about the Playboy Mansion, where one of the alleged Cosby assaults occurred. The retired judges on the arbitration panel rejected those two items.

The law firm did not immediately return a message left late Monday seeking comment. Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said he has not been involved in the fee dispute, which echoes an earlier lawsuit, later settled, that a Philadelphia firm lodged against Cosby over unpaid legal bills.

Cosby is serving a three- to 10-year prison term after he was convicted at a 2018 retrial near Philadelphia. He is appealing the conviction.

by MediaExpert

FC Bayern Opens 1st African Soccer School in Ethiopia

German champion football club Bayern Munich has signed an agreement to open its first soccer school in Africa, locating it in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

FC Bayern Munich told VOA’s Horn of Africa Service that it is inspired by the young football players and fans in Ethiopia, which is ranked 150th worldwide, according to the international soccer governing body, FIFA.

“Two-thirds of the Ethiopian population is younger than 25 years. We will support the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) in terms of young development and coaches education programs,” Holger Quest, team leader of media operations at FC Bayern Munich, told VOA. 

Last week, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder, other state officials and FC Bayern executive board members traveled to Addis Ababa to sign the agreement.

Soeder told Ethiopian media the agreement would bring Bavarian expertise in football to the sports-hungry nation of Ethiopia. 

“That is a good basis for a promising partnership,” he said.

The international FC Bayern Youth Cup tournament took place in Nigeria in 2018 and 2019. The success of the tournament led to the idea to give young athletes around the world a way to showcase their talents, and include those players from disadvantaged areas.

FC Bayern Munich has developed many world-class players in their academy, including Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos Kolgers. 

“We want to share our knowledge to help football grow across all continents and nations,” FC Bayern media head Quest said.

Speaking to VOA Horn by telephone from Addis Ababa, EFF President Esayas Jira said Ethiopia would benefit from the coaching and training to be offered by FC Bayern.

The soccer school would accept 30-40 young athletes ages of 8-10, with their training costs covered by Bayern Munich, Jira said.

“The kids would have a chance to join Bayern Munich youth academy” once they successfully completed school training,” he added. 

In the agreement, Bayern Munich said it would also finance the school training and education. FC Bayern coaches would lead youth coaches to train local players in Addis Ababa starting May 3, Jira told VOA.

FC Bayern’s club mission states their programs help equip children with the tools to play football, and combines FC Bayern strategy of football with the lessons of “our philosophy and mentality, which typifies qualities like ambition, respect, ‘fair play’ and a strong team spirit that are beneficial both on and off the pitch.”

Bayern Munich’s football school provide young athletes three days of weekly training “to give youngsters a sense of what it is like to train like a professional football (player),” Jira said.

The FC Bayern club also hopes the new school increases exposure to the team in Africa.

When Bayern officials and Bavarian Prime Minister Soeder met with Ethiopia’s first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde, to discuss the details of the agreement, they presented her with a Bayern Munich shirt with “Sahle-Work 1” on the back.

FC Bayern has also established football schools in China, Thailand, Japan, Singapore and the United States as well.