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Archive for Monday, July 16, 2007

People in the news

July 16, 2007

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Rapper Remy Ma pleads not guilty to attempted murder

New York - Grammy-nominated rapper Remy Ma pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other counts Sunday in the shooting of a woman in a trendy Manhattan neighborhood.

At the rapper's arraignment, a judge granted the prosecution's request for bail to be set at $250,000. Remy Ma was jailed while the judge reviewed her bail offer.

Police found a woman with a gunshot wound to her lower torso early Saturday in the Meatpacking District, which is usually crowded with late-night revelers on weekends.

Three blocks away, officers discovered a luxury SUV owned by Remy Ma, whose real name is Remy Smith. The vehicle was involved in a single-car crash and abandoned, police said.

The victim, Makeda Barnes-Joseph, 23, was hospitalized in stable condition Sunday. Prosecutors said she and the rapper knew each other.

Remy Ma, 26, turned herself in Saturday night. She was charged with attempted murder, assault and weapon possession.

"I ask everyone to keep an open mind," said Scott Leemon, her attorney. "Things are not always as they seem."

Dave Matthews Band petitions for troops' mental health care

Washington - The Dave Matthews Band is urging fans to push Congress to do more to ensure that U.S. troops coming home traumatized by combat get the help they need.

A petition on the band's Web site has 23,000 signatures so far, singer Dave Matthews said in an interview aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

The Pentagon and Congress are reviewing possible changes to the military's much-criticized mental health system. A task force last month found that more than one-third of troops and veterans suffer from problems such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and it urged stronger leadership, more money and greater focus on prevention and screening.

"It just struck me as a profound injustice that someone who had given so much of themselves and clearly showed such a quality of personality that the gratitude we're showing them was basically a dishonorable discharge," Matthews said.

The petition asks Congress to investigate reports that some troops' service-related mental health problems have been misdiagnosed by the military as pre-existing personality disorders.

'Harry Potter' works magic with $77.4M opening weekend

Los Angeles - Harry Potter remains a box-office charmer.

The Warner Bros. fantasy sequel "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" conjured up a $77.4 million debut to lead the weekend box office, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That raised the movie's total domestic gross to $140 million since opening Wednesday.

"Order of the Phoenix" also has taken in an additional $190.3 million in 44 other countries where it began rolling out Wednesday.

"Order of the Phoenix" expanded overall business for Hollywood. The top 12 movies took in $171.1 million, up 14 percent from the same weekend last year, when "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" was No. 1 with $62.3 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," $77.4 million.

2. "Transformers," $36 million.

3. "Ratatouille," $18 million.

4. "Live Free or Die Hard," $10.9 million.

5. "License to Wed," $7.4 million.

6. "1408," $5.01 million.

7. "Evan Almighty," $5 million.

8. "Knocked Up," $3.7 million.

9. "Sicko," $2.65 million.

10. "Ocean's Thirteen," $1.9 million.

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