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An excited, energetic Taylor Swift brings tour to MetLife

Taylor Swift brought her explosive Reputation Tour to the MetLife Stadium on Friday and will make history as the first female artist to play three consecutive shows at the venue when she performs Saturday and Sunday.

Swift was energetic and excited during her two-hour-plus show at the stadium, home to the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

She kicked the show in a glittery black number, changing outfits multiple times and performing across three stages at the venue holding 80,000 seats.

She sang a number of songs from her recent album, "reputation," including the hits "Gorgeous," ''Delicate," ''...Ready for It?" and "Look What You Made Me Do," which featured a large snake in the background.

"There's so many things you could be doing on your Friday night, so thank you for hanging out with us," Swift said to the feverish audience.

Ticket mix-up put family on ill-fated Missouri tourist boat

More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she recalled the family members waiting in line. After they stopped for a picture, she said, a ticket taker realized they should have boarded at a different location and reassigned them.

The grief-stricken community, known for its country shows and entertainment, hosted two vigils Friday night. About 300 people gathered in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks of Branson and others mourned at a church, singing "Amazing Grace" at both locations.

At the rally at the duck boat business, the Rev. Zachary Klein said he had no words of comfort to offer the families of victims "because there simply are no words to comfort them."

Divers found the final four bodies Friday in Table Rock Lake near Branson after the deadliest accident of its kind in nearly two decades. State and federal investigators were trying to determine what went sent the vessel known as a duck boat to its demise. An initial assessment blamed thunderstorms and winds that approached hurricane strength, but it wasn't clear why the amphibious vehicle even ventured out into the water.

Mayor Karen Best said Branson is typically a city "full of smiles ... But today we are grieving and crying."

Officials haven't released names of the victims, but the sad details emerged throughout the day. Among them: A popular duck boat driver, a father and son visiting from Arkansas, and the nine Indiana relatives, many of them children.

The risk of heavy weather was apparent hours before the boat left shore.

The National Weather Service in Springfield, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Branson, issued a severe thunderstorm watch for its immediate area Thursday, saying conditions were ripe for winds of 70 mph. It followed up at 6:32 p.m. with a severe thunderstorm warning for three counties that included Branson and the lake. The warning mentioned both locations. The boat went down about 40 minutes later, shortly after 7 p.m.

"When we issue a warning, it means take action," meteorologist Kelsey Angle said.

A full investigation was underway, with help from the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader urged anyone with video or photos of the accident to contact authorities.

The agencies were briefing Missouri's two senators on the accident. Democrat Claire McCaskill said she would look into possible "legislative solutions," while Republican Roy Blunt called it a "tragedy that never should have happened."

Suzanne Smagala with Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said the company was assisting authorities. She said this was the company's only accident in more than 40 years of operation.

Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were aboard for a pleasure cruise. Seven of the 14 survivors were hurt when the vessel went down. At least two children and two adults were still hospitalized Friday afternoon. The captain survived, authorities said.

Among the injured was 14-year-old Loren Smith of Osceola, Arkansas. Her father, 53-year-old retired math teacher Steve, Smith, and her 15-year-old brother, Lance, died in the accident. Loren suffered a concussion but survived.

"It's a hard thing," Steve Smith's father, Carroll Smith, said of losing his only child and his only grandson. "It's a very difficult day."

Brayden Malaske, of Harrah, Oklahoma, boarded a replica 19th-century paddle-wheeler known as the Branson Belle on the same lake just before the storm hit.

At the time, he said, the water seemed calm, and no one was worried about the weather.

"But it suddenly got very dark," he recalled.

In a short video taken by Malaske from the deck of the Belle, the duck boat can be seen wallowing through the choppy, wind-whipped lake, with water only inches from its windows. Dark, rolling waves crash over its front end. The footage ends before the boat capsizes.

Later, people on Malaske's boat saw a duck boat passenger "hanging on for dear life" to the paddle wheel of the Belle, he said.

The mayor identified the crew member operating the boat as Bob Williams, known informally as "Captain Bob."

"He was a great ambassador for Branson," Best said. "He was at every event. He knew everyone. He was always promoting Branson."

A survivor from the family who lost nine relatives said the captain told passengers not to bother grabbing life jackets.

Tia Coleman told Indianapolis television station WXIN that she and a nephew were the only survivors among 11 relatives aboard the boat. She said she lost all her children, but she did not say how many.

Coleman said the captain told passengers that they would not need life jackets. By the time of the accident, "it was too late."

An email message seeking comment from Ripley Entertainment about Coleman's comment was not immediately returned.

Named for their ability to travel on land and in water, duck boats have been involved in other serious accidents in the past, including the deaths of more than 40 people since 1999.

Five college students were killed in 2015 in Seattle when a duck boat collided with a bus. Thirteen people died in 1999 when a boat sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas.

"Duck boats are death traps," said Andrew Duffy, an attorney whose Philadelphia law firm handled litigation related to two fatal duck boat accidents there. "They're not fit for water or land because they are half car and half boat."

Safety advocates have sought improvements and complained that too many agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements.

The boats were originally designed for the military, specifically to transport troops and supplies in World War II. They were later modified for use as sightseeing vehicles.

The sheriff said Thursday that two duck boats were on the water at the time of the storm. Both were headed back to land. One returned safely. The other did not.

Divers quickly located the sunken vessel, which came to rest on its wheels on the lakebed. Authorities planned to recover it at some point in the next few days.

The boat sank in 40 feet (12 meters) of water and then rolled on its wheels into a deeper area with 80 feet (25 meters) of water.

The Ride the Ducks tour begins in downtown Branson, where the vehicles take passengers on a tour while the captain cracks jokes and points out landmarks. Eventually, the boats pull up to the lake and slowly enter the water with a small splash.

After a few minutes on the water, the vehicles return to land and to their home base, which features a store selling candy and souvenirs.

Table Rock Lake, east of Branson, was created in the late 1950s when the Corps of Army Engineers built a dam across the White River to provide hydroelectric power to the Ozarks.

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Associated Press writers Hannah Grabenstein in Branson; Jim Salter in St. Louis; Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Missouri; and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

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For the latest updates on this story: https://bit.ly/2NwoQVz.

Comic-Con gets a look at gritty Spider-Man spinoff 'Venom'

Director Ruben Fleischer says that there aren't really any heroes in the superhero movie "Venom," who is a grittier, more violent and more complicated character than his Marvel brethren.

Comic-Con attendees got a look at footage from the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff Friday and heard from stars Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed as well.

Hardy plays Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote Venom. The actor says he thinks Venom is the coolest superhero.

Fleischer also teased the possibility of an eventual face-off between Spider-Man and Venom. The film hits theaters in October.

Sony Pictures also showed an extended trailer for the animated "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," out in December, which focuses on Miles Morales learning the spidey ropes from a middle-aged Peter Parker.

Migos' Offset arrested on felony gun charges in Georgia

Offset of the hip-hop group Migos is facing two felony gun charges after he and his bodyguard were pulled over outside of Atlanta.

Clayton County Police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury tells WXIA-TV that an officer pulled over a Porsche 911 Friday afternoon for failing to maintain its lane.

Police say Offset, whose real name is Kiari Kendrell Cephus, was behind the wheel.

Police say the vehicle smelled of marijuana, prompting authorities to search the car and find three guns and less than an ounce of marijuana.

The 26-year-old is on probation for a 2015 arrest on drugs and weapons charges. He is now charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a weapon during a crime. He also faces misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession and making an improper lane change.

It's unclear whether he has an attorney.

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Information from: WXIA-TV, http://www.11alive.com/

Jamie Lee Curtis hugs an emotional 'Halloween' fan

In Comic-Con's Hall H, the massive room that holds the highest profile presentations and hosts the biggest movie and television stars, there is still a strict division between the actors on stage and those in the audience. But Jamie Lee Curtis changed that Friday, walking off-stage during the presentation for the new "Halloween" to embrace an emotional fan.

Wiping tears away, the man used his moment at the Q&A microphone to tell a story about a home invasion he experienced. He said that her character saved his life and inspired him to use knitting needles in defense. He said he was a victor not a victim because of her, and that she was the reason he attended the convention.

A stunned audience watched as Curtis, without warning, left her seat on the big stage and walked down to share a quiet moment with the man.

His comments echoed what Curtis had said just moments earlier about how this new iteration of "Halloween" is so important because it allows her character to reclaim her narrative 40 years after the traumatic events with Michael Myers in John Carpenter's movie.

"This is a woman who has been waiting 40 years to face the person she knows is coming back," Curtis said. "40 years later Laurie had no real support, had no real help. PTSD is real. Trauma is real."

She says her character in this new film gets the chance to "take back the legacy" of her life.

"That weirdly enough seems to be a bit of a thing in the world today," Curtis added to cheers.

Curtis got a wildly enthusiastic reception from the crowd in the 6,500-seat Hall H throughout the presentation, which also featured some horrifying and bloody footage from the upcoming.

"Halloween," directed by David Gordon Green, hits theaters on Oct. 19.

M. Night Shyamalan debuts 'Glass' trailer at Comic-Con

Director M. Night Shyamalan says he could have launched the trailer for "Glass" in front of the summer's biggest movies in theaters, but that he wanted to hold it for Comic-Con.

The filmmaker said Friday at the annual comic book convention that he felt strongly that the Hall H audience should be the first to see it.

"It was always meant for you guys," he said.

The kind of people who turn out for Comic-Con and wait in the massive and sometimes overnight line to get into Hall H are the same kind who once helped turn "Unbreakable" into an enduring film even after it got lukewarm reviews from critics.

"I've been dreaming about being in this hall forever," Shyamalan said. "This is the mecca right here."

"Glass" melds the worlds of "Unbreakable" and "Split," two very different films about three very different superhumans, Samuel L. Jackson's fragile but brilliant Mr. Glass, Bruce Willis' strong and "unbreakable" David Dunn and James McAvoy's Kevin Wendell Crumb, who has 24 personalities. The three actors reprise their roles in "Glass."

The trailer showed the three in an asylum being interviewed by a psychiatrist played by Sarah Paulson who believes that their powers are merely delusions of grandeur.

All but McAvoy, who was sick, turned up in San Diego to promote the film in the convention's largest venue, the 6,500-seat Hall H.

Shyamalan marveled at how different things are for comic book films now versus when he was preparing to promote "Unbreakable" in 2000. He recalled the studio's marketing team explaining then that they were going to avoid using the term "comic book" because it was a fringe genre.

"It's fascinating given what's happened since then," he said.

While little was revealed about what will occur in the film, Shyamalan did tease that his film will likely be on the edge of a PG-13 and R-rating. It will be released in North American theaters in January.

'Guardians of the Galaxy' director James Gunn fired over offensive tweets

The director of the successful “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, James Gunn, has been fired from the franchise’s third installment over offensive tweets about pedophilia and rape.

>> Read more trending news 

The shocking tweets, which had been taken down, aren’t new and Gunn had apologized for them in the past, but conservative media personalities resurfaced the posts from 2008 - 2011 this week, causing a backlash against Gunn, who has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gunn also issued a statement Friday, saying he’s a “very, very different” person than he was a few years ago and that he’s “developed as a person” since he posted the offensive tweets.

"My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative," he said. "I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time."

“I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore,” he said.

>> Related: Disney: ′Star Wars Clone Wars′ will be back, announcement made at San Diego Comic Con

Gunn was fired before a scheduled appearance Friday at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

He was still writing the script for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and was expected to start shooting the movie this fall in Atlanta.

Disney and Marvel Studios saw huge successes with the “Guardian” movies, with the first one making more than $773 million and the second raking in $863, according to THR.

 

Netflix unveils first 8 Shonda Rhimes projects for platform

Shonda Rhimes's first slate of shows for Netflix includes a look at the migration of African-Americans from the Jim Crow South, romance among wealthy 19th century Londoners and a documentary on Debbie Allen's reimagining of "The Nutcracker."

The streaming service on Friday announced eight shows Rhimes and her collaborators at Shondaland are developing.

The show about African-American life will be based on Isabel Wilkerson's award-winning book "The Warmth of Other Sons," while the show about London aristocrats is based on Julia Quinn's best-selling romance novels set in Regency England.

Other projects include a show based on tech investor Ellen Pao's memoir, a series on California on the eve of the Mexican-American War, and a dark comedy about a troop of teenage girls who survive the apocalypse and want humanity to live by their Sunshine Scouts rules.

Pao in 2015 lost a high-profile sex discrimination lawsuit against Silicon Valley venture-capital firm where she had been a partner. Netflix said Pao's experiences "presaged the Time's Up movement."

Rhimes, the creator of hit shows such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," signed a multiyear deal to produce Netflix shows last August.

No release dates were announced Friday.

Milwaukee officials invite Jay-Z to bring festival to city

Milwaukee officials are inviting Jay-Z to bring his Made In America music festival to the city next year because Philadelphia no longer wants the event at a location it has been held since 2012.

Alderman Khalif Rainey says in a letter to Jay-Z's company, Roc Nation, that Milwaukee is known as a city of festivals because it hosts dozens of events annually, including Summerfest. The letter Thursday is signed by four or Rainey's Common Council colleagues.

Made In America is held Labor Day weekend at Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which includes museums, monuments and the famed "Rocky" steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. City officials say the festival can no longer be held at that location after this year. Mayor Jim Kenney says the city is looking for alternative sites.

Director James Gunn fired from 'Guardians 3' over old tweets

James Gunn was fired Friday as director of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" because of old tweets that recently emerged where he joked about subjects like pedophilia and rape.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced the removal.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Horn said in a statement.

Gunn has been writer and director of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise from the start, taking an obscure Marvel Comics title about a group of multicolored misfits and turning it into a space opera decked with comedy and retro music that made Chris Pratt a major movie star. Through two installments the franchise has brought in more than $1.5 billion in global box office.

Gunn apologized for the old tweets Friday after his firing, echoing similar sentiments he expressed on Twitter a day earlier.

"My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time," Gunn said in a statement. "Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then."

Gunn's current Twitter account is heavy on left-leaning politics, and some on the right with whom he'd sparred found and promoted the tweets from 2008 to 2011 that led to his firing.

Disney did not announce a replacement director for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Gunn had been writing the script and it's not clear how far along he was or whether new writers will be brought in. Marvel Studios has not announced a release date, though Gunn had said 2020 was the target.

Marvel has staked a lot on the third "Guardians" movie. Gunn has said the film would end the current iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy and launch another decade, or more, of Marvel films.

In addition to Pratt, the "Guardians" franchise stars Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, and features the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

The characters also were an essential part of this year's Disney and Marvel megahit "Avengers: Infinity War."

Fans at Comic-Con in San Diego said they disapproved of Gunn's tweets, but were mixed on how they felt about his firing.

"It's unfortunate to hear and makes me question whether I would see a movie like that even without his creative involvement," Mario Panighetti of Mountain View, California said.

Joanne Renda of Toronto said, "It's never really funny to joke about that stuff, but copping to it is the first step. Everyone deserves a second chance. It's kind of crazy our culture today, firing people right away."

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AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this story from San Diego.

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Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .

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