Michigan State announced Thursday that the NCAA has cleared them of any rules violations in relation to sexual abuse committed by former gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar, and of allegations raised in a February ESPN report accusing the athletic department of mishandling sexual assault complaints made against football players and basketball assistant. In a news release, Michigan State said it recently had received a letter from Jonathan F. Duncan, NCAA vice president for enforcement, informing the school the NCAA was closing both inquiries. The NCAA opened its inquiry in January; two Michigan State officials have been charged with crimes in connection with their handling of prior complaints (including, most recently, the school’s former longtime gymnastics coach, Kathie Klages) and legal experts questioned whether mishandling allegations of sexual abuse fell under the jurisdiction of the NCAA, which traditionally polices athletic departments for competitive violations. The ESPN report accused Michigan State officials of “a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression” relating to sexual assault claims involving the basketball and football teams. While the NCAA found no rules violations, Michigan State’s Title IX office, which handles allegations of gender discrimination and sex crimes on campus, has drawn criticism for its handling of several cases over the last few years — most notably a 2014 complaint by a Nassar accuser that ultimately exonerated him.
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President Trump announced Thursday that he was canceling a pay raise due to most civilian federal employees in January, citing budgetary reasons. In a letter to congressional leaders, the president wrote that locality pay increases would cost $25 billion. Those increases would come on top of a 2.1 percent across-the-board increase for most civilian employees. “We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump wrote before announcing that for 2019, “both across-the-board pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero. Trump’s letter added: “these alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well‑qualified Federal workforce.”
Golden State Warriors’ forward David West announced his retirement on Thursday. “I have been fortunate enough to live out my childhood dream of playing in the NBA,” West wrote on Twitter. “After 15 seasons I have decided to retire from the game of basketball. “I am humbled and thankful for the support of my family, friends, coaches, teammates, organizations, and fans throughout this experience.” West was a two-time All-Star with New Orleans, where he played his first eight seasons. He joined the Pacers in 2011-12, but shocked many in 2015 by rejecting a $12.6 million option to stay in Indiana and instead signed a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Spurs. When he didn’t win a title with San Antonio, he joined the Warriors the following season. West won the championship with the Warriors in his 14th season, and again this year. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in a statement, “the consistency that he displayed at a high level on the court for 15 years was amazing and a testament to his hard work and dedication. He is a true champion in every sense of the word.”
The New York Jets are trading quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a sixth-round pick to the Saints in exchange for a third-round pick. Bridgewater joined the Jets this past offseason. In March, he signed a one-year, $6 million deal that included $9 million in incentives after being released by the Minnesota Vikings at the end of last season. Earlier this month, it was reported that at least two teams had expressed interest in acquiring Bridgewater. The Jets close their preseason schedule against the Eagles on Thursday and they start their regular season on Monday, Sept. 10 on the road versus the Lions. New York head coach Todd Bowles said he would not name a starter until after New York’s final preseason game.
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Walker Hayes just released a brand new single on Thursday, 8/30, and he’s singing us through the years with his song called “90’s Country.” The song cites 22 tracks that moved him during that era which were all top hits for the genre. Hayes’ new medley is the follow up to his debut album, Boom., which was released last year. When listening to “90’s Country,” you’ll hear everything from the Dixie Chicks”Cowboy Take Me Away” to Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” and many more 90’s country hits Walker Hayes co-wrote “90’s Country” along with Shane McAnally and LYRX. Take a listen to the new single in the link below.
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Luke Bryan has announced the lineup for his 10th annual Farm Tour, which kicks off Sept. 27 in Irwin, Ohio. Bryan will bring his annual tour to six rural venues this fall, setting up concert stages in the fields of local farms. Chase Rice, Jon Langston, the Peach Pickers and DJ Rock will join Bryan on tour in 2018. Bryan is continuing his tradition of giving back to farmers by awarding college scholarships to students from farming families who are attending a local college or university near his Farm Tour stops in 2018. He has awarded more than 50 scholarships since launching the Farm Tour in 2009, and more than 100,000 fans have attended the special rural shows each year. Tickets for the Farm Tour 2018 are on sale at Bryan’s website, as well as through his official app. For more details, visit CID Entertainment’s website. The tour is sponsored by Bayer, and they’re continuing their #HeresToTheFarmer campaign in 2018. For every online share using that hashtag, Bayer will donate a meal to someone in need through Feeding America.
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Rapper Lil Pump has been arrested in Florida for driving without a valid license. He was pulled over by police officers on Wednesday, August 29, while driving his Rolls-Royce around Miami, according to TMZ, who have obtained shots of the teenager in handcuffs during the bust. According to the police report, officers pulled Lil Pump over after discovering the license plate on his luxury car belonged to a Mini Cooper. When cops asked Pump for his driver’s license, he allegedly told them he’d never had one. He was taken into custody and booked at Miami-Dade County Jail.
On Wednesday, Kanye West retracted his earlier statement saying “slavery was a choice.” Said West, “I don’t know if I properly apologized for how that slave comment made people feel. I want to take this moment right now to say that I’m sorry for hurting, I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment and I’m sorry for people who felt let down by the moment.” Recognizing the repercussions of his words, West elaborated further, adding: “I appreciate you guys giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the way I was thinking, what I was going through and what led me to that. I just appreciate you guys holding onto me as a family.”
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33-year-old plus-sized model Tess Holliday, who appears on the cover of Cosmopolitan U.K. magazine’s October 2018 issue, is responding to comments by Piers Morgan in which he seems to be body-shaming Holliday. Morgan wrote on his Instagram page on Thursday morning: “As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo. Apparently we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity.’ What a load of old baloney. This cover is just as dangerous & misguided as celebrating size zero models.” Tess fired back, tweeting, “to everyone saying I’m a burden to the British health care system, I’m American so you don’t have to worry about my fat ass. Worry about what horrible people you are by whining about how me being on the cover of a glossy magazine impacts your small minded life.” Holliday says she is currently a size 22. She was a U.S. size 16 to 18 before she gave birth to her first son Rylee, and also shares son Bowie Juniper Holliday, 2, with husband Nick Holliday. “I look back on those photos now and I don’t wish I was that size, but what I wish is that I loved myself 120 pounds ago,” she said. “I’m at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life now and it took me being the heaviest to finally love myself.” ‘The October 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan U.K., featuring Holliday on the cover, will be on sale today.
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A woman has accused French actor Gerard Depardieu of rape and sexual assault, a judicial official told one of the nation’s national news networks on Thursday. The actor’s lawyer denied the accusations in several interviews. According to the French official, a woman filed a complaint on Monday near Aix-en-Provence in southern France; on Wednesday, the case was handed over to prosecutors in Paris. Reports said the incidents occurred on August 7 and 13 at Depardieu’s home, and that his accuser was a dancer and actress seeking professional advice. Known for roles in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “The Man in the Iron Mask” and recently the Netflix global original series “Marseille,” the actor’s attorney said he “absolutely denies any rape, any sexual assault, any crime.”
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