Associated Press

2 charged for deadly Oakland warehouse blaze that killed 36

File – In this Dec. 3, 2016 file image from video provided by KGO-TV shows the Ghost Ship Warehouse after a fire swept through the Oakland, Calif., building. A source close to the investigation tells The Associated Press Monday, June 5, 2017, that two men have been arrested and will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 partygoers. (KGO-TV via AP, File) (Associated Press)

OAKLAND, Calif. — A man who authorities say illegally rented out space in an Oakland warehouse that caught fire, killing 36 partygoers, and another man who organized the event were each charged Monday with three dozen counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Derick Almena and Max Harris “knowingly created a fire trap with inadequate means of escape” when they hosted the dance party Dec. 2 in the Ghost Ship warehouse, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said.

Authorities say the site contained flammable materials, faulty wiring and a blocked exit.

“Their actions amount to disregard for human life,” O’Malley said.

Both men were arrested earlier in the day.

Prosecutors also said Monday that the cause of the deadly blaze will likely never be known because so much evidence was destroyed.

Court documents show Almena was the primary tenant and rented space to as many as 25 people to live and work in the building licensed only as a warehouse.

Almena allowed Harris to live there, calling him the “creative director,” who was in charge of collecting rent,…

Rep: Brandy released from hospital after collapse

FILE - In this April 1, 2016 file photo, singer Brandy Norwood performs at 2016 Black Girls Rock! at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J. The singer has been released from the hospital and is resting after passing out at a Los Angeles airport. Her publicist said in a statement to The Associated Press on Friday, June 2, 2017, that Brandy’s rigorous schedule, including concert dates and recording new music, had taken a toll on the singer. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)
FILE – In this April 1, 2016 file photo, singer Brandy Norwood performs at 2016 Black Girls Rock! at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J. The singer has been released from the hospital and is resting after passing out at a Los Angeles airport. Her publicist said in a statement to The Associated Press on Friday, June 2, 2017, that Brandy’s rigorous schedule, including concert dates and recording new music, had taken a toll on the singer. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Brandy has been released from a hospital after passing out at a Los…

Donald Trump Asks World Leaders To Call Him On His Cell Phone. That Can Only Mean 1 Thing.

President Donald Trump is being gleefully mocked over his latest reported request to world leaders.

On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that Trump was encouraging his global counterparts to call him directly on his cell phone if they wanted to talk to him.

Twitter users were initially keen to point out the problems it could pose:

He doesn’t want transcripts or records of his conversations. He wants to hide his words even from his own administration. https://t.co/H5n869L7mY

— Rachel Joy Larris (@RachelLarris)

A fan remembers Gregg Allman’s life-affirming sound

In this May 16, 2016 photo, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman performs during Mercer University’s Commencement Saturday at Hawkins Arena in Macon, Ga. Allman received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, his manager said the musician has died. He was 69. (Jason Vorhees/The Macon Telegraph via AP) (Associated Press)

NEW YORK — The stage remains dark in the moments before the final show. It’s the Allman Brothers’ annual New York City Beacon Theater run, in March 2011.

Across the twilight, the first clear notes of “Hot ‘Lanta” rise from Gregg Allman’s Hammond B3 keyboard. Stage lights come up as the organ’s tremolo fills the hall. Drums, percussion and bass join in, twin lead guitars launch over the top and an enormous driving rhythm floods the room, penetrating me to the bone.

For myself and so many others who followed the band over the years, going to an Allman Brothers concert was a full-throttle, life-affirming experience. The muscular, bluesy jam-anthems — “Midnight Rider,” ‘’Statesboro Blues,” ‘’Stormy Monday” — lit up packed houses in torrential, soulful sound.

The death of founding member Gregg Allman on Saturday at 69 brought back to me countless memories of dozens of their shows I attended over 25 years.

___

It’s a Sunday morning in late April, at the 1994 Jazz Fest in New Orleans. My Louisiana friends invited me down and skipped Mass so we could arrive early for the set.

We’re close enough to the stage to see that Gregg Allman and guitarist Dickey Betts are showing the wear of years of Rock-n-Roll — “The High Cost of Low Living,” as one of their songs is titled.

Nonetheless, the band loves The Big Easy, and when they launch into “Blue Sky,” they are as tight and hard-driving as ever and the big sound transports the crowd. I shout to my buddy over the musical onslaught, “you’re not missing anything — this is just like going to church!”

___

Gregg…

Brad Pitt Says His Kids Are ‘Taking All the Focus’ Amid Angelina Jolie Divorce

Brad Pitt is ready to get back to work. While promoting his upcoming film War Machine during a candid new interview with the Associated Press, the actor opened up about his children, his much-publicized divorce from Angelina Jolie and his return to the spotlight.

“I’ve got no secrets,” Pitt, 53, told the outlet. “We’re human and I find the human condition very interesting. If we’re not talking about it, then we’re not getting better.”

Since Jolie, 41, filed for divorce from her husband of two years and partner of 12 last September, the estranged couple…

Miss District of Columbia crowned as Miss USA

Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The District of Columbia has won back-to-back Miss USA titles.

Kara McCullough, a 25-year-old scientist working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was crowned Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the Las Vegas Strip. She will go on to compete on the Miss Universe contest.

Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough, center, reacts with fellow contestants after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough, center, reacts with fellow contestants after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity,” she said after the event. “I just want to encourage so many women nationwide to find their passion in any subject possible and understand that nothing is difficult if you really, truly put the work in for it.”

Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough, center, reacts with fellow contestants after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough, center, reacts with fellow contestants after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Fifty-one women representing each state and the nation’s capital participated in the decades-old competition. The runner-up of the night was Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg, a marketing and Spanish student at Rutgers University, while the second runner-up was Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould, who is studying apparel retail merchandising at the University of Minnesota.

Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts after she was crowned the new Miss USA during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

McCullough was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She said she wants to inspire children to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Miss District of Columbia USA and new Miss USA Kara McCullough, right, embraces first runner up Miss New Jersey USA Chhavi Verg during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA and new Miss USA Kara McCullough, right, embraces first runner up Miss New Jersey USA Chhavi Verg during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Last year, District of Columbia resident Deshauna Barber became the first-ever military member to win Miss USA.

Miss Minnesota USA Meridith Gould reacts after she won second runner up during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss Minnesota USA Meridith Gould reacts after she won second runner up during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The top five finalists where asked different questions that touched on the pros and cons of social media, women’s rights and issues affecting teenagers. McCullough was asked whether she thinks that affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege. McCullough said it is a privilege.

Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts as she is crowned the new Miss USA by former Miss USA Deshauna Barber during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts as she is crowned the new Miss USA by former Miss USA Deshauna Barber during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“As a government employee, I’m granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs.”

Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts as she is crowned the new Miss USA by former Miss USA Deshauna Barber during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts as she is crowned the new Miss USA by former Miss USA Deshauna Barber during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

McCullough’s office at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission focuses on emergency preparedness. She said she will be discussing with her work supervisor whether she will take a leave of absence.

Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts as she is crowned the new Miss USA by former Miss USA Deshauna Barber during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts as she is crowned the new Miss USA by former Miss USA Deshauna Barber during the Miss USA contest Sunday, May 14, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Later in the competition, McCullough, Verg and Gould were asked to explain what they consider feminism…

Ballad beats glitz as Portugal’s Sobral wins Eurovision

Salvador Sobral from Portugal celebrates as he holds the trophy after winning the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest with his song “Amar pelos dois”, in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, May 13, 2017. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press)

KIEV, Ukraine — A gentle romantic ballad challenged the Eurovision Song Contest’s decades-long reputation for cheesy, glittery, unbridled excess — and won easily.

Portugal’s Salvador Sobral sang his Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both) in a high, clear tenor accompanied by quiet strings and a piano in Saturday night’s extravaganza, which was watched by millions around the world.

Unlike the 25 other competitors who performed on a wide stage backed by flashing lights, bursts of flames and other special effects, Sobral sang from a small elevated circle in the middle of the crowd, an intimate contrast to others’ bombast.

“Music is not fireworks, music is feeling,” he said while accepting the award.

Sobral won in a landslide, capturing 758 points, 143 more than second place.

Runner-up Kristian Kostov of Bulgaria wasn’t short on feeling — his powerful song “Beautiful Mess” was awash in melodrama, the singer appearing almost wrung out by romantic turmoil.

Moldova’s Sunstroke Project finished a surprising third in the 2017 contest with a bouncy, jazzy song called “Hey Mama” in which the female backup singers hid their microphones in bridal bouquets.

Francesco Gabbani of Italy had led bookmakers’ tallies for many days…

Isn’t it moronic: Morissette manager sad over ‘stupid’ theft

Singer Alanis Morissette, left, arrives with attorney Allen Grodsky at U.S. federal court for the sentencing in the embezzlement case of her former manager Jonathan Todd Schwartz, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. Schwartz pleaded guilty earlier this year after admitting he embezzled more than $7 million from the singer and other celebrities. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Singer Alanis Morissette, left, arrives with attorney Allen Grodsky at U.S. federal court for the sentencing in the embezzlement case of her former manager Jonathan Todd Schwartz, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. Schwartz pleaded guilty earlier this year after admitting he embezzled more than $7 million from the singer and other celebrities. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alanis Morissette’s meteoric rise to fame put her in need of someone who could wisely invest her fortune for her future.

She thought she found that person in Jonathan Todd Schwartz, a money manager to the stars, who earned her trust and assured her that her nest egg was secure and growing.

But even as she was repaying the favor by singing her hits at a benefit for a charity Schwartz founded, he was pocketing royalties from her hit 1995 record “Jagged Little Pill” and other albums.

Schwartz was sentenced Wednesday to six years in federal prison for embezzling more than $7 million from Morissette and others after the singer made a pitch for a lengthy and severe sentence saying he stole more than her money — he stole her dreams.

“He did this in a long, systematic, drawn-out and sinister manner,” Morissette said, adding it would have bankrupted her within three years had the thefts continued.

Jonathan Todd Schwartz, right, former business manager for singer Alanis Morissette, looks on as his attorney Nathan Hoffman addresses reporters outside U.S. federal court following sentencing in his embezzlement case, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in Los Angeles. Schwartz was sentenced to six years in federal prison for stealing more than $7 million from the singer and other clients, and was ordered to pay $8.6 million in restitution. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Schwartz, 47, who blamed his gambling addiction for the thefts, wept and apologized at the hearing, saying he took full responsibility for his “stupid” behavior and would live in shame because of it.

“I will spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness,” he said in seeking less than a year in prison.

Prosecutors sought just over five years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said she thought Schwartz deserved more time for the “sheer audaciousness of this conduct.”

Gee noted that she…

Met Gala: Inside, it’s hard not to step on someone’s dress

Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibition on Monday, May 1, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibition on Monday, May 1, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A thunderous drumbeat echoed through the cocktail reception at the Met Gala. Either an earthquake was hitting the Upper East Side of Manhattan, or the glittering assembly of guests was being called in to dinner.

Hasan Minhaj, a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” was standing with the show’s host, Trevor Noah, and marveling about the week he was having. Just two days earlier, he’d made a huge splash with his blistering speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and now he was at one of the most exclusive parties on the planet, rubbing shoulders (literally) with a ridiculous number of A-list celebrities, and getting praise for his performance.

Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibition on Monday, May 1, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibition on Monday, May 1, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

“It’s been an insane week,” he said. “I keep thinking, what if the other night had gone poorly, what would tonight have been like?”

This photo shows part of the exhibit from
This photo shows part of the exhibit from “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons Art on the In-Between” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Monday, May 1, 2017. The exhibit, which begins with the glitzy Met gala and then opens to the public May 4, is situated in a blinding white space, where visitors are encouraged to follow their own route around a series of geometric structures showing highlights of Kawakubo’s work. (AP Photo/Shelley Acoca)

Like everyone, he was somewhat shell-shocked at the number of famous people present. He mentioned Matt Damon and Michael B. Jordan in particular, just two of hundreds of celebrities attending what often feels like a combination of the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys, plus the worlds of fashion and sports.

This photo shows part of the exhibit from

This photo shows part of the exhibit from “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons Art on the In-Between” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Monday, May 1, 2017. The exhibit, which begins with the glitzy Met gala and then opens to the public May 4, is situated in a blinding white space, where visitors are encouraged to follow their own route around a series of geometric structures showing highlights of Kawakubo’s work. (AP Photo/Shelley Acoca)

(The Associated Press)

The stars were packed so tightly together, in fact, that the major hazard of the evening seemed to be potential hem damage, from famous feet stepping inadvertently on long, delicate trains. Halle Berry, wearing a black-and-gold Atelier Versace jumpsuit, was one of those who had to stop and release her train from a stranger’s foot as she glided across the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court during cocktail hour.

Bella Hadid, right, and Alexander Wang attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibition on Monday, May 1, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Bella Hadid, right, and Alexander Wang attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between exhibition on Monday, May 1,…

Hacker Threatens to Release New Episodes of ‘Orange Is the New Black’

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

The hacker who claims to have stolen the upcoming season is demanding that the video-streaming service pay an unspecified ransom to prevent him from leaking the episodes.

A hacker claims to have stolen the upcoming season of Netflix’s hit series Orange Is the New Black and is demanding that the video-streaming service pay an unspecified ransom to prevent all the new episodes from being prematurely released online.

The hacker, operating under the name The Dark Overlord, has already purportedly uploaded the first episode…