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PHOTOS: Michael Jackson through the years

Queen Elizabeth II reported to police for not wearing seat belt

A sharp-eyed observer noticed that Queen Elizabeth II, riding in a car en route to the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday, was not wearing a seat belt. So the person decided to dial 999, which is Great Britain’s emergency telephone line, The Telegraph reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The call was taken by the West Yorkshire Police Customer Contact Centre, according to the Telegraph. While a tape of the call has not been released, police spokesman Tom Donahue said “I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only.”

In the UK, it is mandatory to wear a seat belt -- but the 91-year-old monarch is immune from civil or criminal actions, the Telegraph reported.

A statement on the British Monarchy’s website noted that the Queen “is careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict accordance with the law.”

The West Yorkshire police had fun with Twitter on Thursday, bidding good morning while tweeting “Let’s hope the queen is behaving today.”

Group starts petition to have Dennis Rodman kicked out of Hall of Fame

Dennis Rodman’s recent trip to North Korea did not sit well with a human rights group, which wants the former NBA star kicked out of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

>> Read more trending news

The group Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation began a petition on change.org to have Rodman expelled from the basketball shrine, CNN reported. It comes on the heels of the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who arrived in the United States last week in a coma after being detained for 17 months in North Korea. Warmbier died Monday.

“Otto Warmbier was murdered by the North Korean regime,” Marion Smith, director of the human rights group, told CNN. 

Rodman was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011. He has visited North Korea several times and has praised dictator Kim Jong-un, whom he called “a friend for life.”

Smith accused Rodman of "coddling" Kim.

"Removing Rodman from the Hall of Fame will send a message that all Americans are united against this regime," Smith told CNN.

Billy Joel returning to NY hometown to speak at graduation

Fifty years after he finished short by one English class credit from graduating high school, Billy Joel is returning to his Long Island hometown to speak at this weekend's commencement ceremony.

Newsday reports (http://nwsdy.li/2tTNDc3 ) the 68-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will be among the speakers at Saturday morning's graduation for Hicksville High School's Class of 2017.

The six-time Grammy Award winner didn't graduate with the class of 1967 because he had fallen shy by one English credit. But he returned for the 1992 graduation ceremony and received his diploma, telling the audience, "I can finally pull myself out of this dead-end job I have and start working on a career with a real future."

Joel is in the midst of a tour.

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Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

Johnny Depp: ‘When was the last time an actor assassinated a president’

Johnny Depp knew his comments to his British audience were going to spark controversy, even as he said them. The actor was speaking to an audience in a British theater Thursday when he made a vague reference to John Wilkes Booth assassinating a president, The Telegraph reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Depp was taking questions at the Cinemageddon at the Glastonbury Festival after introducing his 2004 film “The Libertine.” Deciding to discuss American politics, Depp brought up the subject of President Donald Trump.

“Can we bring Trump here?” he asked.

The crowd booed and yelled “No,” CNN reported.

“I’m not insinuating anything -- by the way, this will be in the press and it will horrible,” Depp said. “But when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

Responding to loud cheer, Depp then said, “I want to clarify. I’m not an actor. I lie for a living.”

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by Booth, an actor, in April 1865.

>> PHOTOS: Johnny Depp on Miami set of ‘21 Jump Street’

The Secret Service is aware of Depp’s comments, staff assistant Shawn Holtzclaw told CNN.

“For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities,” CNN reported, citing a statement from the Secret Service.

Depp played Trump last year in a spoof called “Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie,” CNN reported.

Trevor Noah on Philando Castile footage: ‘It broke me’

The “Daily Show” detoured from comedy on Wednesday, as Trevor Noah talked frankly and emotionally about the released dashcam footage in which a Minnesota man was killed by police last year during a traffic stop.

>> Read more trending news

“It broke me,” Noah said, saying he was moved by the final part of the footage showing the death of Philando Castile. In that part of the video, the 4-year-old daughter of Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, is whisked away from the car after witnessing the shooting. 

Noah had addressed the verdict on Monday’s show, Slate reported. Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Castile, was found not guilty of second degree manslaughter Friday.

“‘You shot four bullets into him, sir.” It’s ... mindblowing that Diamond Reynolds has just seen her boyfriend shot in front of her — she still has the presence of mind to be deferential to the policeman. In that moment, the cop has panicked, but clearly black people never forget their training,” Noah said. “Still in that moment the black person is saying sir. “‘I respect you, sir. I understand what I need to do, sir.’” The same thing Philando Castile did.”

It's a girl: Japan zoo's star panda baby gets a checkup

The baby panda who has become an overnight celebrity in Japan is a girl.

Tokyo's Ueno Zoo said Friday the panda, born June 12, was ruled a female by examining experts.

It's difficult to determine the gender of a panda newborn. The zoo had also been careful not to separate the baby from her mother, and the two short periods they took her away were not enough to determine the sex.

The still nameless cub has been doing well, drinking mother ShinShin's milk.

Giant panda cubs gradually get black markings on their ears, eyes and paws, and the spots were starting to show. The zoo released a photo that showed a pinkish mouse-like creature with some dark spots on its body. Earlier video showed the mother gently cradling the cub and apparently giving it breastmilk.

The nearly 18-centimeter (7-inch) panda won't be in public view for months, probably about half a year, according to the zoo. But the zoo is already drawing crowds in this nation that has an acute weakness for "kawaii," or cute, things.

And Japanese media have been feeding practically daily reports on the little panda as well as footage of children getting excited at the zoo. The public is being solicited to give her a name, although details are still sketchy.

In 2012, the last cub born at the zoo, also ShinShin's, survived only six days.

Kansai University professor Katsuhiro Miyamoto estimates Tokyo's economy will get a 26.7 billion yen ($240 million) lift from the baby, including panda-related goods, zoo admission fees and other spending over the next year.

The zoo said the mother was also doing well, eating bamboo and drinking water. The zoo will continue to monitor both of them 24 hours, although their conditions appear stable, it said.

The fact the baby has survived more than 10 days is a good sign, although it remains fragile for the first few months, according to experts.

The first panda to be born in captivity in Japan was in 1985, at Ueno Zoo, and it lived only 43 hours.

About 420 giant pandas live in captivity, mostly in their native China, while about 1,860 live in the wild. China for decades has gifted friendly nations with its unofficial national mascot in what is known as "panda diplomacy." The country more recently has loaned pandas to zoos on commercial terms.

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Yuri Kageyama can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

Ellen DeGeneres calls out audience member for dishonesty

Ellen DeGeneres tested the honesty of her audience in a recent show, and most of them passed. The one woman who didn’t was embarrassed with a reprimand on national television.

>> Read more trending news 

With “Ellen” in its 14th season, DeGeneres gave her audience members the chance to choose one item from the Ellen Shop, the Huffington Post reported. What the audience didn’t know was that DeGeneres had hidden cameras trained on the table, filming the shoppers as they chose between hats, mugs and other trinkets. A sign at the table reminded the shoppers that they were limited to one free item.

“I just wanted to see how honest my audience was,” DeGeneres said during the show’s segment.

Most of the guests chose one item and one woman offered to pay for a second item, the Huffington Post reported. But a woman named Nancy failed the test.

DeGeneres played back the video to the audience and called out Nancy for taking more than one item. DeGeneres then had the embarrassed woman placed in a special chair on stage and lectured her about the importance of honesty.

It was awkward, but it’s a safe bet that Nancy learned her lesson.

Prosecutors seek to uphold 'Making a Murderer' confession

The confession of a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" was improperly obtained and he should be retried or released from prison, a three-judge federal appeals panel ruled.

Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach's death on Halloween two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard. Avery was sentenced to life in a separate trial.

A federal magistrate judge ruled in August that investigators coerced Dassey, who was 16 years old at the time and suffered from cognitive problems, into confessing and overturned his conviction. The state Justice Department appealed the ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a move that kept Dassey, now 27, behind bars pending the outcome.

A three-judge panel from the Chicago-based 7th Circuit on Thursday upheld the magistrate's decision to overturn his conviction.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said Friday his initial step will be asking the full 7th Circuit to review the decision by the three judges. The state also had the option of going directly to the U.S. Supreme Court or retrying Dassey.

"We need to put an end to this once and for all for Teresa Halbach's family," Schimel said, speaking on WTMJ-AM.

Dassey's lawyers from the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University said they're elated and will take immediate steps to secure his release.

Attorney Laura Nirider said they want to send Dassey home to his mother as soon as possible. She said they did the math and determined that he had been in prison for 4,132 days as of Thursday.

Schimel said the state will fight any attempts for Dassey's release.

"We've been successful in the past in convincing the courts that while various appeals were pending it was necessary to retain him in custody, that what he was convicted of in the state court is such a serious crime that it would be dangerous to have him out," Schimel said.

The center's director, Steven Drizin, said the ruling provides a model for the kind of thorough analysis that courts should always undertake in assessing whether a confession was voluntary, and highlights the importance for teenagers to have parents or trusted adults in the interrogation room.

"While these tactics might not have overwhelmed a seasoned criminal or a 30-year-old with a law degree, they clearly overwhelmed a 16-year-old, socially avoidant, intellectually limited (youth) who had never been interrogated by the police before," he said.

The appellate panel split, with Judges Ilana Rovner and Ann Williams affirming and David Hamilton in dissent. The majority opinion by Rovner said "no reasonable court" could have any confidence that Dassey's confession was voluntary. It cited "the leading, the fact-feeding, the false promises, the manipulation of Dassey's desire to please" as among many factors that cast it in doubt.

Hamilton, in dissent, wrote: "The majority's decision breaks new ground and poses troubling questions for police and prosecutors. It calls into question standard interrogation techniques that courts have routinely found permissible, even in cases involving juveniles."

Avery and Dassey contend they were framed by police angry with Avery for suing Manitowoc County over his wrongful conviction for sexual assault. Avery spent 18 years in prison in that case before DNA tests showed he didn't commit the crime. He's pursuing his own appeal in state court.

Their cases gained national attention in 2015 after Netflix aired "Making a Murderer," a multi-part documentary looking at Halbach's death, the ensuing investigation and trials. The series sparked widespread conjecture about the pair's innocence and has garnered them a massive following on social media pushing for their release.

Authorities who worked on the cases insisted the documentary is biased. Ken Kratz, the prosecutor, wrote in his book "Avery" that Dassey was "a shuffling, mumbling young man with bad skin and broken-bowl haircut" who could have saved Halbach's life but instead involved himself in her rape and murder and Avery is "by any measure of the evidence, stone guilty."

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Karnowski reported from Minneapolis. Associated Press writer Gretchen Ehlke contributed from Milwaukee.

Guns N' Roses Concert Delayed Twice, and Then Angus Young Showed Up

Guns N' Roses' concert in Germany was delayed by fans unable to get into the venue and a storm. But they got to see Angus Young sit in with the band.

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