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FIFA bans Lionel Messi for 4 World Cup qualifying games

Lionel Messi, Emerson Augusto de Carvalho

GENEVA (AP) — Lionel Messi is banned from Argentina’s next four World Cup qualifying games, dealing a blow to a campaign by the 2014 runner-up that has stuttered without him. Messi’s suspension for “having directed insulting words at an assistant referee” during a home qualifier last week against Chile started on Tuesday, shortly before his teammates played Bolivia in La ... Read More »

Trump’s lawyers: ‘Apprentice’ contestant can’t sue president

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican President Donald Trump’s lawyers say he’s immune while president from defamation claims brought by a former contestant on his reality TV show “The Apprentice” who accused him of unwanted sexual contact. The lawyers said in a state Supreme Court filing Monday they’ll formally ask for a dismissal or a suspension of the January claims by ... Read More »

Nielsen’s top programs for March 20-26

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for March 20-26. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership. 1. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 14.7 million. 2. “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 12.09 million. 3. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 11.71 million. 4. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 10.84 million. 5. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 10.74 million. 6. “The Walking Dead,” AMC, 10.54 million. 7. NCAA ... Read More »

O’Reilly apologizes for jest about Maxine Waters’ hair

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly apologized Tuesday for saying he had a hard time concentrating on California Rep. Maxine Waters during a speech because he was distracted by her “James Brown wig.” O’Reilly said that his jest about her hair was dumb. “I apologize,” he said in a statement. He had made his statement during an ... Read More »

Public television chief says Trump budget would hit options

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would most dramatically affect rural and minority communities, eventually forcing some local television and radio stations to close, the corporation’s president and chief executive officer told Congress Tuesday. The president’s budget would eliminate $445 million in federal funds for the non-profit corporation, which supports ... Read More »

Documentarian Ken Burns making film on Muhammad Ali

Ken Burns

NEW YORK (AP) — The late Muhammad Ali is getting the Ken Burns treatment. The PBS documentarian announced Tuesday that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ, who died last June. Burns, his daughter Sarah and David McMahon collaborated for a PBS documentary on Jackie Robinson that debuted last year. The tentative ... Read More »

Not so fast: Phelps participating in Shark Week this summer

Michael Phelps

NEW YORK (AP) — Olympic champ Michael Phelps is participating in Discovery network’s Shark Week this summer, although he won’t be asked to outswim one. It’s not immediately clear what Phelps will be doing, although Discovery President Rich Ross said Tuesday he’s intrigued about seeing the fastest human swimmer interact with nature’s fastest. Perhaps Phelps can be encouraged to go ... Read More »

Abby Lee Miller quits ‘Dance Moms’ before fraud sentencing

“Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller says she has quit the Lifetime reality series ahead of her scheduled May sentencing on federal bankruptcy fraud charges. Miller posted on Instagram on Sunday that she will no longer take part in the show. She says that she has asked for creative credit for her ideas for the show for six years, but ... Read More »

Will Smith, ‘Fresh Prince’ cast enjoy brief reunion

Will Smith has reunited with his “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” cast mates. Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Smith’s Tom Jones-loving cousin Carlton on the 1990s sitcom, posted a picture on Instagram on Monday of the cast getting together. Joined by Smith and Ribeiro were Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Reid and Joseph Marcell. James Avery, who had the role of ... Read More »

Hannity angry at treatment by CBS in interview

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity is calling on CBS News to release the full tape of his interview with Ted Koppel for “Sunday Morning,” in which the veteran “Nightline” anchor answered “yes” when Hannity asked if Koppel thought he was bad for America. The exchange between two different generations of television news personalities continued to resonate ... Read More »