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A royal wedding bridges the Atlantic and breaks old molds

The son of British royalty and the daughter of middle-class Americans wed Saturday in a service that reflected Prince Harry's royal heritage, Meghan Markle's biracial roots and the pair's shared commitment to putting a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.

British reserve crisscrossed with American verve in a service that broke molds and created new ones. Choirboys and a gospel choir; the archbishop of Canterbury and the African-American leader of the Episcopal church; a horse-drawn carriage and flowers hand-picked by the groom.

The wedding was a global event, thanks to Harry's status as a senior British royal and Markle's celebrity after starring on the U.S. television series "Suits" for seven years. Yet it seemed somehow so personal — and they both beamed like a couple who couldn't take their eyes off each other.

In a rousing sermon that highlighted a bit of a culture gap between outgoing Americans and reserved Brits, the Most. Rev. Michael Curry of the U.S. stirred the congregation from its fairy-tale reverie, quoting Martin Luther King in in a sermon that had some reaching for hankies and others shifting in their chairs.

"There's power in love," Curry said, his voice rising. "Love can help and heal when nothing else can. There's power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will."

He also quoted from the Song of Solomon in the Bible: "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it."

Joining the couple were a phalanx of celebrities, many of whom shared their wish to change the world. Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, Elton John, George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, James Corden and David and Victoria Beckham all watched from rows of seats in the Gothic masterpiece that is St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The British weather was — gasp! — sunny and balmy, bathing the ancient stones of Windsor Castle in a beautiful spring light.

Many in the throng who waited outside also embraced the trans-Atlantic symbolism of the moment. Sheraton Jones, 22, who is from California but studying in Britain, described it as a melding of cultures.

"It was very touching, it's two different cultures kind of coming together, it was just so surreal," she said.

In the United States, this royal wedding was embraced for its diversity and inclusivity.

"This was black history," said Joy Widgeon, who attended a house party in Burlington, New Jersey, with her 6- and 8-year-old daughters. "African-Americans were front and center at the royal wedding. This was the first time, and hopefully it won't be the last. I am here for it."

Harry also invited buddies from his 10 years of military service — which included two tours of duty in Afghanistan — and from many of the charities he supports, which have focused on helping wounded veterans and encouraging a more open discussion of mental health issues.

To kick off the festivities, Queen Elizabeth II honored her red-headed, 33-year-old grandson with a new title: the Duke of Sussex, making the 36-year-old Markle the Duchess of Sussex.

The American actress drew raves for her sleek white silk boat-necked dress by U.K. designer Clare Waight Keller of the French fashion house Givenchy. Her sheer veil — down to her waist in front and billowing for what seemed like miles behind her — carried floral references to all 53 countries in the Commonwealth, countries drawn mostly from the former British Empire, headed by Markle's new grandmother-in-law, the queen.

Caroline Burstein, owner of Browns Bride, a top London bridal boutique, called the bridal gown "a nod to Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and every iconic wedding we have witnessed throughout the 20th and 21st century. It's perfect for her and for the occasion they are celebrating."

The palace said Markle also selected two other plant designs to be on the veil: Wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace, where the royal couple will live, and the California poppy, in a nod to the bride's birthplace.

Harry and best man Prince William wore white gloves and the frock coat uniforms of the Blues and Royals army regiment, in which Harry was once an officer. Harry also kept his full red beard — a style decision that had sparked British betting earlier.

Markle at first walked down the aisle with 10 young page boys and bridesmaids, then was accompanied by Prince Charles to the altar. As his father and bride drew close, Harry said: "Thank you, Pa."

To Markle, Harry said: "You look amazing."

Markle seemed poised and confident as she delivered her vows without so much as a quiver in her voice. She smiled broadly as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby declared the couple husband and wife. Harry seemed a bit nervous, but happy.

Other relatives in the ceremony included 4-year-old Prince George and 3-year-old Princess Charlotte, the oldest children of William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

The 92-year-old queen and her 96-year-old husband, Prince Philip, Harry's grandparents, looked on with pride, as did Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, who has spent the last few days getting to know her daughter's new family.

Two of Harry's ex-girlfriends were at the chapel — Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas — as was Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew.

As they emerged from the chapel as a married couple, the two kissed — and the crowd roared. It just kept on cheering as Harry helped his wife fold her 5 meter (16½ foot) train into an Ascot Landau carriage for their procession through the streets of Windsor.

Police said more than 100,000 people lined the route. The open-topped carriage was pulled by four Windsor Grey horses and past crowds waving flags and holding cellphones aloft. The newlyweds smiled and waved, smiled at each other, waved and repeated the process for the 25-minute tour of Windsor.

It was the crowds in Windsor that seemed to best capture the joy of the moment. Many had camped or arrived at dawn on packed trains, vying for a good spot along the procession route. They cheered and screamed and sighed as the newlyweds passed by.

"I went to William and Kate's wedding, but this is a completely different vibe," said Arlene Prinsloo, who had flown from South Africa. "It's much more relaxed, and I think that reflects who Harry is."

The queen hosted the first of two royal wedding receptions after the service and procession, an afternoon affair for 600 people where finger foods, wine and champagne were served. On Saturday night, a second, more lively and intimate reception for 200 people was being thrown by Charles.

The newlyweds emerged from Windsor Castle just after 7 p.m. to head for the evening event at Frogmore House, a royal country estate. This time, their wheels came courtesy of a classic Jaguar E-Type convertible instead of a horse-drawn carriage.

Markle traded her wedding dress for a white gown with a high neck and bare shoulders designed by Stella McCartney. Harry was in a tuxedo instead of his military uniform. Both wore big smiles as the groom opened the car door for his bride.

In another break with tradition, Markle was making a speech at the evening event, according to the palace.

The couple planned to spend the night at Windsor Castle and to return to their home in Kensington Palace in London on Sunday.

They are not immediately embarking on a honeymoon and have their first royal engagement as wife and husband scheduled at Buckingham Palace Tuesday.

A honeymoon is expected to happen soon, though. Harry is partial to traveling in Africa, so it's possible their destination may be somewhere there. After only two dates in 2016, he and Markle went camping together in Botswana.

___

Kirka and Lawless reported from London. Errin Haines Whack contributed from Burlington, New Jersey.

___

For complete AP royal wedding coverage, visit https://apnews.com/tag/Royalweddings

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt offers to pay for funerals of Santa Fe victims

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has offered to pay for the funerals of all the victims in Friday morning’s mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, KRIV reported.

>> Read more trending news

“Absolutely horrific,” Watts tweeted Friday in response to the shooting, which left 10 people dead and 10 others injured at the high school located southeast of Houston. 

The Texans confirmed Friday night that Watt will pay for the funerals, KTRK reported.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, a student at the school, was arrested and charged with capital murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer in the shooting in which 10 people were killed and 10 others were injured. 

>> Santa Fe High School shooting: 10 dead, 10 injured

Watt has been honored for his philanthropic efforts. He was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year in 2017, along with Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, for his work in helping Houston recover after Hurricane Harvey. Watt helped raise $37 million through the Houston Flood Relief Fund.

Watt was also given the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award during Super Bowl LII weekend.

On Facebook, Chris Allen of Crowder Funeral Home wrote that Mount Olivet Cemetery was offering free plots for the victims, KHOU reported.

High-tech, sphere-shaped arena coming to Las Vegas Strip

A massive high-tech, sphere-shaped venue that will host concerts and other events while engaging multiple senses will break ground this summer in Las Vegas, officials announced Friday.

The New York-based Madison Square Garden Company revealed details of the 18,000-seat, futuristic-looking facility it is developing in partnership with Las Vegas Sands, which operates two casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip adjacent to the planned arena.

The MSG Sphere Las Vegas, where a massive exterior LED will be capable of making it appear as if is transforming into a globe or a tennis ball or project the event happening inside, is expected to open on New Year's Eve 2020.

"Just sitting there, what would it take to convince you that instead of sitting here in an airplane hangar in Las Vegas, you are sitting in your chair in the polar ice cap or an Amazon rainforest?" said Jim Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of Madison Square Garden Company. "Obviously if you are in the polar ice cap, you have to feel cold; you have to see the glacier. That is essentially what we are building: an attempt to convince you that you are somewhere else."

The 170,000-square-foot LED screen will wrap around its interior bowl. The average movie theater screen is 1,000 square feet and an IMAX screen is about 4,000 square feet.

It will also have an adaptive acoustics system that will enable audio to be directed to specific locations at a near-constant volume. Patrons will be able to smell different scents and feel certain movements, depending on the experience.

"We are going to employ a haptic flooring system that will create vibrations that when you are riding atop a Harley, you'll feel the pistons pumping," Dolan said.

Dolan said they have nothing for the sense of taste, "other than popcorn."

The venue comes as Las Vegas visitors continue to cut their gambling budgets but spend more on entertainment and dining.

An annual report from the agency responsible from promoting Las Vegas shows says nearly six in 10 visitors last year attended a show during their trip, an increase from the previous year.

The report from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority also showed that more than one in four people saw a Broadway or production-style show and more than one in five saw big-name headliner shows.

Dolan said the company is soliciting storytellers, artists and performers to create content.

In addition to concerts, the venue will be capable of hosting events like product launches, educational demonstrations and e-sports tournaments, in which all patrons could potentially participate thanks to the planned connectivity system.

"Imagine instead of having five players play five players, we can have 9,000 versus 9,000 or 1 versus 17,999," said Dolan.

___

Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNO

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.

The Met fired Levine as its music director emeritus on March 12, citing evidence of misconduct, but it did not make public any details. Levine sued the Met three days later for breach of contract and defamation, which the opera company denies.

The Met filed its reply and counterclaims on Friday in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan. It is seeking $5.86 million in damages for what it called breach of loyalty.

Levine, who turns 75 next month, was the Met's music director and/or artistic director from 1976 to 2016 before the shift to an emeritus position. He was suspended on Dec. 3 after allegations of misconduct in reports by the New York Post and The New York Times. He has not been charged with any crime.

In its court filing, the Met claimed it learned during its investigation of improper conduct by Levine from 1975 to 2000. The Met identified the individuals only by number but described them as including a musician, an opera singer, an artist, two people who were 16 years old and a member of its Young Artists Program.

Levine's lawyers filed an answer to the Met's papers saying the company "has chosen to create sensationalized allegations ... all of which have no legal or factual basis whatsoever."

The Met said it found evidence of conduct that included discussion of pornography, groping, kissing and mutual masturbation.

In one instance, the Met accused Levine of inappropriately touching a musician starting in 1979 and six more times until 1991. In another 1985 incident, Levine is accused of groping and kissing an opera singer he was giving a ride home in his car against that person's will. Levine later placed the person in what prestigious program at the Met, the filings stated.

In 1986, Levine sexually abused a 16-year-old and arranged an estimated $50,000 in payments to the person through his brother, the filings stated.

The last incident described in the filings occurred in 1999 when Levine inappropriately touched a member of the Met's Young Artists Program "on his knees, legs and hands" and then the following year invited the musician to his dressing room to engage in sexual activity, according to Friday's court filings.

Levine's lawyers called them "only vague and unsubstantiated accusations of sexual misconduct supposedly engaged in by Levine decades ago, made by unidentified individuals, all in an attempt intentionally to smear Levine's name, reputation, and legacy, while at the same time making it difficult for Levine to defend himself with any specificity against anonymous accusations."

The conductor's lawyers said "Levine did not commit any acts of sexual misconduct against any individuals, much less the unnamed individuals." They added "the Met had no basis whatsoever for suspending and ultimately terminating Levine. The Met's so-called 'investigation' of Levine's conduct was nothing more than a pretext for the Met to suspend, fire and defame him."

Levine conducted 2,552 performances at the Met from 1971 through Dec. 2.

Prosecutors in Lake County, Illinois, said in December they had investigated a 1980s sexual abuse allegation but concluded that they could not bring charges, citing factors including the age of consent — 16 — at the time.

Meghan Markle, mother check in to hotel night before royal wedding

Meghan Markle has checked in to the Cliveden House Hotel at the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry.

Markle and her mom, Doria Ragland, arrived at the hotel Friday.

>> Read more trending news 

When asked how she was feeling, Markle said, “wonderful, thank you,” People magazine reports.

Judge rejects lawsuit against Fox by ex-host Andrea Tantaros

A judge threw out a New York lawsuit Friday against Fox News by former host Andrea Tantaros, citing her "vague, speculative and conclusory allegations."

The lawsuit U.S. District Judge George Daniels dismissed had alleged Fox tried to torment Tantaros after she complained about sexual harassment.

The lawsuit claimed Tantaros was viewed as a threat by Fox executives after she declined an offer of more than $1 million to remain silent. The suit said Tantaros suspected her emails and telephone conversations were being monitored after she revealed personal information in calls or emails that were then referenced by others in cruel social media posts.

She sought unspecified damages.

Fox News Channel had urged the lawsuit be rejected, saying the claims were a paranoid fantasy or a deliberate hoax.

In his written ruling, Daniels recounted her claims at length but repeatedly cited instances in which her accusations lacked the kind of specifics and proof necessary to put them before a jury.

For example, he rejected a wiretap claim, saying she had "failed to allege a basic element of this cause of action: an actual interception of her wire, oral, or electronic communications."

In another instance, he struck down a malware claim, citing her "vague, speculative, and conclusory allegations."

In an email response to a request for comment, Tantaros said, "Not one part of this lawsuit was based on speculation and conjecture — it was based on first hand testimony, cold, hard facts, and independently verified computer forensics.

"The Judge made the wrong call, and I absolutely plan on appealing," she wrote. "Fox News will be held accountable, just as they have for their sickening past, rife with sexual harassment, discrimination and destroying the careers of dozens of women for having the courage to come forward with the truth."

Asked for comment, a Fox News spokesman said the decision speaks for itself.

In August 2016, Tantaros sued the network, its ousted chairman and other top executives in a separate lawsuit, saying they retaliated after she detailed unwanted sexual advances made by her onetime boss Roger Ailes. A state judge ruled those claims were subject to closed-door arbitration.

Tantaros worked as a host and political analyst for Fox News from 2011 to 2016.

Ailes died last year.

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.

The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead.

Despite the canceled premiere red carpet and party, the entire Season 2 is available on Netflix.

The first season of "13 Reasons Why" drew criticism for its graphic depiction of a teenager's suicide. The second season focuses on the aftermath of the girl's death, and it includes a storyline about a student's thwarted plans to shoot up a school dance. The student, who is heavily armed with a rifle and handguns, is talked out of the shooting by a classmate who helps him escape before police arrive.

The show's launch party in West Hollywood was expected to feature appearances by show stars Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette, Kate Walsh and others, and producer Selena Gomez.

Video: Gayle King shares that Oprah has ‘smoked a little marijuana’ before

Gayle King had a conversation about marijuana on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

 Read more.

Meek Mill cancels White House visit

TMZ is reporting that Meek Mill decided to cancel the visit after talking to several people including Jay-Z.

After his release, Meek Mill joined Pennsylvania’s governor on Thursday to discuss prison reform. Meek was also scheduled to be a part of President Trump’s Prison reform Summit at the White House. Meek told TMZ the focus seemed to turn to the President Trump and him, so he decided to cancel the visit. Read the full story.

RELATED: Meek Mill, Gov. Wolf urge criminal justice reforms

Dismissal upheld in suit over Viacom payments to Redstone

Delaware's Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit challenging Viacom Inc.'s payment of more than $13 million in compensation to company founder and former chairman Sumner Redstone.

The court on Friday affirmed a judge's dismissal of a suit alleging that Viacom's directors approved payments to Redstone from 2014 to 2016 when the ailing billionaire media mogul was incapacitated and incapable of doing his job.

The judge said the claims were released as part of a 2016 settlement resolving three other lawsuits involving control of Viacom and the composition of its board.

The same judge is currently presiding over a CBS Corp. lawsuit against National Amusements Inc., which is the controlling shareholder of both CBS and Viacom and has been pressing for a merger of the two companies.

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