YouTube star ordered to stay offline
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago federal judge has freed a YouTube singer with millions of teenage followers as he awaits trial on two counts of producing child pornography for allegedly asking underage fans via social media to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves.
The judge at Thursday’s hearing also ordered 24-year-old Austin Jones to stay off the internet and to remain in his mother’s suburban Chicago home.
Fans know Jones for his coiffed blond hair and cheerful persona. But he sounded somber telling the court he understood his release conditions.
Jones has covered Justin Bieber songs and had started to parlay his online popularity into tours. He faces a minimum 15-year prison term if convicted. He allegedly instructed one 14-year-old girl to be more sexually explicit in videos to prove she was his “biggest fan.”
King praises grads for inclusion
CHICAGO (AP) — Tennis great Billie Jean King had some good things to say about millennials in a speech to Northwestern University graduates.
King on Friday told the graduates they are “the best generation so far” when it comes to inclusion.
King was the first prominent female athlete to confirm she was gay in 1981, after her partner filed a palimony lawsuit. She also blazed a trail for gender equality by defeating Bobby Riggs in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis match.
However, pay equality was a major part of her message. Although all four of the grand slam tennis tournaments have offered equal prize money for a decade, women still make less on the pro tour than men. She called on men to do their part to change that.
King was given an honorary doctorate recognizing her work on behalf of the LGBT community.
Queen celebrates 91st birthday
LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II and senior royals have marked her official birthday in the annual Trooping the Color celebration.
The 91-year-old monarch was greeted Saturday by hundreds of well-wishers on a sunny day in the heart of ceremonial London. She rode with her husband Prince Philip in an open carriage in the procession along Horse Guards Parade.
Prince William and Prince Charles were on horseback. William’s wife Kate and Charles’ wife Camilla were in a carriage with Prince Harry.
The queen traditionally celebrates her official birthday in June when the weather can be balmy rather than in April, the month of her actual birth.
The day began on a somber note when Elizabeth and Philip observed a minute of silence in honor of the victims of the horrific London apartment tower fire.
Phelps to dive into ‘Shark Week’
(AP) — “Shark Week” has a new star attraction: Michael Phelps.
Discovery Channel’s list of “Shark Week” programming next month includes a July 23 show titled “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White.” Discovery Channel billed it as “an event so monumental that no one has ever attempted it before” and added that “the world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark — the race is on!”
Whether that means the winner of 23 Olympic gold medals is actually racing a shark remains uncertain. The release announcing this event didn’t offer many details or specifics aside from saying that Phelps “has one competition left to win.”
Discovery Channel officials didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking additional information.
De Blasio creates ‘nightlife’ job
NEW YORK (AP) — The Mayor’s Office of New York City is highlighting a newly created job in its administration — a “nightlife ambassador” to serve as a liaison between the city government and nightclubs.
Julie Menin, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, says the position was created in response to the tremendous growth of New York’s music industry. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) says he was inspired to create the position by the implementation of a “night mayor” in international cities like London.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan created the position in 2016 in order to manage the economy of late-night-oriented business, along with balancing the needs of the nighttime economy and city residents. Several other cities — such as San Francisco and Amsterdam — have similar positions.