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Feds Search Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Properties As Part Of Sex Trafficking Probe

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NEW YORK — Federal Homeland Security Investigations agents and other law enforcement officers searched two properties owned by music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs in Los Angeles and Miami on Monday as part of an ongoing sex trafficking investigation by federal authorities in New York, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

It is unclear whether Combs was the target of the probe. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly about the probe and talked to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

Homeland Security Investigations stated that it “executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners.”

A spokesman for the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

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Feds Search Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Properties As Part Of Sex Trafficking Probe

Lawyers for Combs and other representatives left messages requesting comments, but they did not immediately respond.

A police line was formed around the Los Angeles home in the affluent Holmby Hills district near Beverly Hills. Helicopter footage from KABC-TV showed several agents wearing vests, indicating they were from Homeland Security Investigations, and they were gathered in the backyard near the pool. A command post was set up outside the house, and agents were still coming and going hours after the search began.

Combs has faced many sexual assault lawsuits in recent months.

In February, a music producer filed a lawsuit saying that Combs pushed him into soliciting prostitutes and pressuring him to have sex with them. Shawn Holley, Combs’ attorney, stated of the charges, “We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies.”

Cassie, Combs’ former apprentice and girlfriend, sued him in November, accusing him of sexual abuse, including rape, over several years. The lawsuit claimed he pushed her to have sex with male prostitutes while filming them. The lawsuit was settled the day after it was filed.

Another of Combs’ accusers was a woman who said the rap producer raped her at the age of 17 two decades ago.

The Associated Press normally does not identify persons who claim to have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly as Cassie did.

In a December statement, Combs stated, “I did not do any of the awful things being alleged.”

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Feds Search Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Properties As Part Of Sex Trafficking Probe

According to Douglas Wigdor, an attorney representing Cassie and another woman who sued Combs, “Hopefully, this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr. Combs responsible for his depraved conduct.”

It is unclear whether the search is related to any of the charges in the cases.

Combs is one of the most important hip-hop producers and executives over the last three decades. Formerly known as Puff Daddy, he established one of hip-hop’s most powerful empires, blazing a route with several businesses using his iconic name. He founded Bad Boy Records and is a three-time Grammy winner who has collaborated with several major musicians, including the Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil Kim, Faith Evans, and 112.

Combs founded the fashion clothing company Sean John, developed the music-focused Revolt TV channel, and produced the reality show “Making the Band” for MTV.

His most recent record, “The Love Album – Off the Grid,” came out last year, just days after Combs was recognized at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was nominated for best progressive R&B album at the February Grammy Awards, but the rapper-mogul did not attend.

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Feds Search Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Properties As Part Of Sex Trafficking Probe

The entertainment business has faced a constant stream of career-ending sexual misconduct charges in the years since tales about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement in 2017. Weinstein and “That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson are both serving jail sentences for rape. Dozens of civil cases have been filed against prominent individuals.

The music industry has not faced the same level of reckoning, but singer and producer R. Kelly is serving a prison sentence for sexually abusing young fans, seven women have sued hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, alleging he raped them, and two women have sued Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, alleging sexual assault.

Weinstein, Masterson, and Kelly appeal their convictions, while Simmons denies all of the claims made against him. Tyler has had one lawsuit dismissed and is now contesting the other.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

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Dickey Betts, a guitarist and co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band, has died, according to a family statement released to CNN on Thursday by his longtime manager.

Betts was eighty.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announces the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts,” according to the statement. “The well-known performer, songwriter, bandleader, and family patriarch passed away this morning at his home in Osprey, Florida, with his family by his side. Dickey was larger than life, and his absence will be felt around the world. During this terrible time, the family requests prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be provided at the proper time.”

Betts’ manager, David Spero, told Rolling Stone that the guitarist had cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease.

Betts, who was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, grew up listening to bluegrass, country music, and, subsequently, rock & roll. Betts, bass guitarist Berry Oakley, drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, and brothers Gregg and Duane Allman formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, and are credited with helping create the sound and genre of Southern rock in the 1960s and 1970s.

Betts composed and sung the band’s biggest song, “Ramblin’ Man.” Initially, he created the song with the intention of having another artist sing it.

“I was going to send ‘Ramblin’ Man’ to Johnny Cash,” Betts stated in 2020, later adding that he “thought it was a great song for him.”

“But everyone liked the song. Even my father enjoyed the song before we recorded it or anything. And I’m thinking I’ll email this to Johnny Cash and see if he wants to perform it,” he added. “The producer (Johnny Sandlin) mentioned that we needed another song for the record and asked if I had any. I explained, ‘Well, I got one, but I was going to send it to Nashville for Cash to record.’ He said, ‘Let’s hear it. And then, ‘No! We gotta do it.'”

Betts also wrote the popular Allman Brothers songs “Blue Sky” and “Jessica.”

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971, and Oakley died in a motorcycle crash the following year. Betts and Gregg Allman became the band’s leaders, but creative disputes and substance misuse prompted the group to split up and reform several times.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

Cameron Crowe, then 16, followed the Allman Brothers Band on tour in 1973 for a Rolling Stone cover story that would later serve as the basis for Crowe’s Oscar-winning 2000 film “Almost Famous.” In 2017, Crowe described Billy Crudup’s key rock star character as “a tribute” to Betts.

In an email to CNN later that day, Crowe referred to Betts as “a guitarist for the ages, the musical glue that held together The Allman Brothers Band for many years.”

“Dickey’s quiet warmth, and his timeless contribution to American music was a big inspiration for our film,” said the writer-director.

Betts quit the Allman Brothers Band in a widely publicized separation in 2000. While the band continued to tour for nearly 15 years and issued one more studio album, Betts performed with his Great Southern ensemble, which included his son Duane, and released another studio album of new songs. Betts retired in 2014.

Also on Friday, the Allman Brothers Band issued an official statement, stating that Betts’ “extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.”

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing,” the statement went on to say. “Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.”

When asked what he enjoyed most about music, Betts told the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 2020 that it was the impact it had on his listeners.

“I like the crowds mainly, and what the music did for them,” he went on to say. “They enjoyed the music more than I did. I just love how the crowd can drift off into another universe during a concert.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

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NEW YORK — Could there be a Taylor Swift new album release without any added surprises?

No.

On Friday, the pop star released her 11th album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which is an amalgamation of her previous work and reflects the artist who, at the height of her powers, has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring it, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured considerations.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

But it was midnight. At 2 a.m. Eastern, she released “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology,” which included 15 new songs.

“I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment,” Swift wrote in an Instagram caption. “And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

The songs are a natural continuation of the first half of the album, with many returning to her “evermore” and “folklore” style, aided by her partner Aaron Dessner.

Swift has surprised her fans before, and she has surely done so with a surprise album release. A few months after “folklore” was released in 2020, she revealed that “evermore” will be available at midnight on the same day. Speaking of midnight, she released a “3am” edition of “Midnights” with seven new tracks in 2022, just a few hours after the original release.

Taylor Swift’s album “The Tortured Poets Department” is now available.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

Music Writer Maria Sherman describes it as “an amalgamation of an artist who has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring its material, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured subject matter.”

Swift revealed a surprise two hours after the album’s release: 15 more tracks.

Swift’s first original album since her record-breaking Eras Tour debuted last year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Britain’s Prince Harry Formally Confirms He is Now a US Resident

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LONDON — Prince Harry, King Charles III’s son and fifth in line to the British throne, has publicly certified that he is now a US resident.

Four years after Harry and his American bride, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, moved to a villa in Southern California, a travel firm he owns filed paperwork this week alerting British officials that he has relocated and is now “usually resident” in the United States.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The formal acknowledgment highlights the prince’s growing isolation from Britain, following his and Meghan’s departure from royal duties to chase lucrative media partnerships in America. Since then, Harry has often challenged the royal family, including claims of unconscious racism made in a Netflix series and the prince’s autobiography, “Spare.”

Travalyst Ltd, a company created in 2020 to “promote global awareness of the importance of sustainable tourism,” filed the paperwork. Harry owns at least 75% of the company. Companies House, the government body in charge of overseeing company incorporation in the United Kingdom, received the papers on Monday.

The filing further distinguishes Harry from his status as one of the king’s counselors of state, which are members of the royal family who can be deputized to carry out the monarch’s duties if he is ill or away from the nation.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

While Harry is still a counselor of state, the crown warned Parliament in 2022 that “in practice” only working members of the royal family will be called upon to fill in for the monarch.

Although Harry and Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have established themselves in the rich enclave of Montecito, where they are raising their baby son and daughter, Harry is also under investigation for his US status.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think organization, has questioned the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant Harry a visa to the United States following drug-related admissions in “Spare.”

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The organization, which has petitioned a judge to order the department to release Harry’s immigration records, claims that the prince either lied on his visa application or was given preferential treatment because a history of drug usage would typically preclude an applicant from receiving a visa.

SOURCE – (AP)

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