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Turkey bans all LGBTI events in Ankara, citing security

Turkish officials have banned all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights groups in the country's capital, in a move LGBTI organizations call illegal and discriminatory.

The ban took effect Saturday for an "indefinite" period and applies to all LGBTI film screenings, theaters, panels and exhibitions.

The Ankara governor's office announced Sunday that the ban was imposed to protect "public security." It said the events may cause animosity between different groups and endanger "health and morality" as well as the rights and freedoms of others.

The governor's office warned that some groups may be provoked by LGBTI events and take action against participants because of "certain social sensitivities."

Although homosexuality isn't banned in Turkey and numerous LGBTI associations are legally registered with the state, rights activists say LGBTI individuals face discrimination and stigma.

Two Ankara-based LGBTI associations slammed the "arbitrary" ban in a statement late Sunday, saying it violates domestic and international laws.

Kaos GL and Pink Life organizations argued the vagueness and wide scope of the decision would legitimize rights violations against LGBTI individuals and turn them into targets.

The organizations said the decision would cripple their work to combat discrimination and hate crimes, calling on officials to withdraw the ban.

ILGA, a global organization for LGBTI rights, called the ban "a disgraceful breach of fundamental rights and freedoms" and warned that it constituted an example of the "shrinking space" for LGBTI civil society in Turkey.

Photos: Notable deaths 2017

'Project Runway' contestant Wendy Pepper dead at 53

Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, known as Wendy Pepper, has died at the age of 53, Page Six reports.

The “Project Runway” first season contestant “died peacefully" Nov. 12 while "surrounded by her loving family," according to her obituary. The news comes just one month after the death of fellow contestant Mychael Knight, who appeared on Season 3 of the fashion competition series, at age 39. In addition to Pepper coming in third place on the series, she “designed and hand-sewed exceptionally beautiful clothes for children and adults," her obituary said.

>> Designer Mychael Knight, ‘Project Runway’ alum, dead at 39

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of another member of the 'Project Runway' family, designer Wendy Pepper, this year,” a spokesperson for Lifetime, which began airing “Project Runway” after the show left Bravo, said on Friday. “Wendy was one of the original designers that sent creations down the catwalk, paving the way for other designers to come. We wish her family and friends peace during this difficult time.”

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

“She was an artist who proudly forged her own path in life,” her family wrote of her in her obituary. “She was a chef, a writer and a lifelong entrepreneur. Her wit and humor were unmatched, as was her generosity of spirit.”

Pepper, of Washington, D.C., is survived by her daughter, Finley M. Stewart, as well as her parents, three brothers, one sister and many nieces and nephews. Her cause of death is currently unclear. A funeral service will be held for her on Dec. 1 in Georgetown.

>> Read more trending news

Following her passing, many fans took to social media to share their condolences, with one appearing to quote “Project Runway,” writing, “If you really want to succeed, you’ve gotta be willing to throw yourself into the arena. #wendypepper you will be remembered for being a talented designer and a witty and humorous lady and mother.”

AP PHOTOS: British royals to celebrate 70th anniversary

When Britain's 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth married 26-year-old Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in 1947, the wedding sparked joy and celebration in a country just recovering from World War II.

Seven decades on, the couple who would become Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip — now 91 and 96, respectively — are still going strong, their marriage a bedrock in British public life amid a world of change.

On Monday, they mark their 70th wedding anniversary, though officials say the milestone will be celebrated privately and no public events are planned. The royal family is reportedly marking the date with a gathering at Windsor Castle.

The queen is the first monarch in British history to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary.

At their 50th wedding anniversary, Elizabeth praised her husband as "quite simply... my strength and stay all these years."

Elizabeth first met Philip, a naval officer and the son of Prince Andrew of Greece, as they attended the wedding of Philip's cousin in 1934.

The pair wed at Westminster Abbey in London on Nov. 20, 1947. It would be nearly another six years before Elizabeth would be crowned as monarch, also at Westminster Abbey.

In the decades that followed, Philip, who also holds the title Duke of Edinburgh, spent almost the entire duration of their marriage supporting his wife in her role as head of state. Both have cut back on their public engagements in recent years, and Philip retired from official duties earlier this year.

The royal couple has four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

AMAs reflect year in pop music, where male acts dominated

The performers at the 2017 American Music Awards are evenly split between men and women, but the nominees? Not so much.

In categories like artist of the year and favorite pop/rock album, where men and women compete, no female acts are in contention. Other categories where male acts dominate include video of the year, tour of the year, favorite country album and favorite soul/R&B song.

Halsey is the only female act nominated for favorite pop/rock song and collaboration of the year, both for the Chainsmokers' No. 1 hit, "Closer." Halsey is the song's featured guest.

Singer-songwriter Julia Michaels is the only woman up for new artist of the year.

Sunday's AMAs are a reflection of the year in pop music - no woman hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2017 until Taylor Swift and Cardi B did so in September. This year's pop charts have been dominated by rap, a field where women are a rarity.

Rock and country songs also have performed well this year and are genres where male acts have outperformed female acts.

Bruno Mars is the top contender at the AMAs with eight nominations, while Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Drake, the Chainsmokers and the Weeknd all earned five nominations apiece. All of those acts aside from the Weeknd are nominated for artist of the year.

Mars' No. 1 hit, "That's What I Like," earned him nominations for favorite soul/R&B song and video of the year. His album, "24K Magic," is nominated in both the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories. He will also compete for favorite male artist in both genres.

Mars won't attend the show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles because he's on tour in South America. But the room will be filled with other big stars: Lady Gaga, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez and Diana Ross will perform.

Ross will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the show, hosted by her daughter, Golden Globe-winning "black-ish" actress Tracee Ellis Ross.

Christina Aguilera will perform a medley of Whitney Houston's hits to mark the 25th anniversary of Houston's film "The Bodyguard." Imagine Dragons, Demi Lovato, BTS, Nick Jonas, Niall Horan, Khalid and Portgual. The Man will also hit the stage. Collaborative performances include Alessia Cara and Zedd, and Alesso with Hailee Steinfeld, Florida Georgia Line and watt.

Nominees for favorite female pop/rock artist include Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Cara. Rihanna is also nominated for favorite female soul/R&B artist, where she will compete with Beyonce and Kehlani. Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert, who was snubbed in the country album category, are up for favorite female country artist.

___

Online: https://www.theamas.com/

Venus Williams' Florida home burglarized, $400,000 in goods stolen during U.S. Open

The Florida residence tennis star Venus Williams calls home was burglarized as she played in the U.S. Open in September, according to a Palm Beach Gardens police report released Thursday.

>> Watch the news report here

Though what was taken from the home at BallenIsles Country Club is redacted from the report, police indicate more than $400,000 worth of items were taken from the residence.

>> Serena Williams shares wedding photos in new interview

Palm Beach Gardens police indicate in the report that the last time the items were known to be in the home was Sept. 1, the day Williams’s sister, Serena, gave birth to her first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

That was the same day Williams beat Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari in the U.S. Open in New York. Williams made it to the semifinals where she lost to U.S. player Sloane Stephens in three sets on Sept. 7.

The burglary was reported on Sept. 5, according to the report.

>> Read more trending news 

This is not the first time this year Williams has been part of a Palm Beach Gardens police report. On June 9, Williams collided with Linda and Jerome Barson at an intersection near her home. Jerome Barson died weeks later from complication of blunt traumatic injuries.

Williams was not charged in the crash, but Barson’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against her.

J. Crew apologizes after photo of black model with messy hair sparks controversy

J. Crew is facing criticism after a photo of one of its models and her seemingly unkempt hair surfaced online.

>> On MyAJC.com: Bad makeover of black woman's hair on Today Show points to bigger issues in haircare industry

The black woman, dressed in a Madewell dress, was photographed with her natural hair messily pulled back in a ponytail. But everyone wasn’t impressed with the look.

>> Read more trending news

One Twitter user took to the platform to express her disapproval. She uploaded the picture of the model with the caption, “J. Crew..... girl.... y’all wrong.”

Many seemed to agree with her sentiment, because the post soon went viral, racking up more than 11,000 retweets and 20,000 likes. 

>> See the tweet here

Several chimed in, accusing the fashion brand of prepping the model for the shoot without using the proper practices needed to style African-American hair. 

>> Shea Moisture commercial: Ad receives backlash from black women

Others, including the model, Marihenny Pasible, thought the look was in line with J. Crew’s relaxed and natural campaign.

Some challenged the critics, asking them to embrace the care-free look for all cultures.

>> On AJC.com: #BlackHairChallenge: A celebration of black hair on Twitter

After the barrage of comments, J. Crew released a statement on Twitter.

“J.Crew strives to represent every race, gender, and background. We sincerely apologize for the styling of this model and the offense that was caused,” the company wrote. 

>> Read the full response here

Ann Wedgeworth, known for 'Three's Company' role, dies at 83

Actress Ann Wedgeworth, who gained fame on film and Broadway before taking on the role of a flirty divorcee on "Three's Company," has died at age 83.

Wedgeworth died Thursday in the New York area after a long illness, her daughter Dianna Martin said.

Wedgeworth landed her first Broadway role in the 1958 comedy "Make a Million" and continued to take on stage roles for decades. She won the 1978 Tony award for best featured actress in a play for her performance in Neil Simon's "Chapter Two."

She acted in several soap operas and also found success in Hollywood with roles alongside Gene Hackman in the 1973 film "Scarecrow" and Robert De Niro in "Bang the Drum Slowly" the same year.

But she's perhaps best known for her brief tenure on the TV sitcom "Three's Comedy," where she played Lana Shields, an older woman with her eyes set on her young neighbor Jack, played by John Ritter.

She appeared on only nine episodes of the show before her character was written out, which she said took her by surprise. In a 1980 interview with People, Wedgeworth said she "had no warning or explanation. Suddenly everyone was very cold to me."

Wedgeworth continued to tally TV and film credits for decades, including appearing in "Steel Magnolias" in 1989 and starring on the CBS series "Evening Shade" with Burt Reynolds from 1990 to 1994.

She was born in Abilene, Texas, in 1934. Her father was the superintendent of a local school and her mother died when Ann was 2 years old. After getting a drama degree from Southern Methodist University, she moved to New York City in the 1950s to pursue a theater career.

She married actor Rip Torn and the couple had a daughter, Danae Torn, before ending their five-year marriage in 1961. Wedgeworth later married acting teacher Ernest Martin and had her second daughter, Dianna Martin.

Wedgeworth is survived by her husband, her two daughters and stepsons Michael Martin and Greg Martin.

Spokeswoman: David Cassidy in hospital with organ failure

"Partridge Family" star David Cassidy has been hospitalized in Florida with multiple organ failure.

Publicist JoAnn Geffen tells The Associated Press that Cassidy is in a Fort Lauderdale-area hospital with liver and kidney failure. She says he's in a private room, conscious and surrounded by family. Geffen says there is nothing "imminent" about his condition, and doctors are hoping to "keep him as well as they can until they can find another liver."

Earlier, his rep said Cassidy was in pain and taken to the hospital on Wednesday.

The 67-year-old former teen idol, who lives in the Fort Lauderdale area, said earlier this year that he was struggling with memory loss and that he was ending his 50-year career. Cassidy has had numerous personal problems in the decades following his initial success, ranging from substance abuse to bankruptcy.

He's the stepson of actress and fellow "Partridge Family" star Shirley Jones.

Reports of Cassidy's hospitalization prompted a flood of supportive comments on social media.

His half-brother Shaun Cassidy, also a former actor and singer and now a TV producer, tweeted Wednesday afternoon, "Thank you for all your love and good wishes for David. It means the world to all of us."

Ann Wedgeworth, 'Evening Shade,' 'Three's Company' star, dead at 83

Ann Wedgeworth, a stage and television star best known for her roles on "Evening Shade" and "Three's Company," has died at the age of 83.

Wedgeworth died Wednesday, according to a family post on Twitter.

>> Read more trending news 

Wedgeworth first made her mark on Broadway, where she won a Tony for her role in Neil Simon's "Chapter Two," Extra reported. She is best known for playing the flirty Lana Shields on several episodes of "Three's Company" and for her role as Merleen Elldridge on "Evening Shade."

She was married twice, including one marriage to actor Rip Torn. Wedgeworth is survived by daughters Danae and Dianna.

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