July 17, 2013 in Nation/World

Wonder takes stand against Florida law

From Wire Reports

(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Stevie Wonder said he won’t perform in Florida and other states with a “stand your ground” law.

In a video posted on YouTube, the 63-year-old singer said at a concert in Quebec City, Canada, on Sunday “that until the ‘stand your ground’ law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again.

“Wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world,” he added.

“Stand your ground” laws allow people to use deadly force if they believe their life is in danger.

George Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a February 2012 confrontation in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman said he fired his gun in self-defense.

A six-member jury acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges Saturday.

Man pleads not guilty in Deen case

A New York man has pleaded not guilty to charges he tried to extort embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen.

Federal court documents show Thomas George Paculis, of Newfield, N.Y., appeared in court Tuesday morning to plead not guilty.

An indictment filed July 10 in U.S. District Court in Savannah charges Paculis with trying to extort Deen of $200,000 in exchange for keeping quiet about allegedly damaging remarks Deen has made in the past.

Harvard University honors rapper Nas

Nas has rapped his way to Harvard University.

The school announced Tuesday that the rapper is being honored with the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at its W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. It’s a joint venture with Harvard’s Hip-Hop Archive.

The fellowship will assist students who excel in the arts “in connection with hip-hop.”

Nas is one of hip-hop’s most celebrated lyricists, best known for his reflective rhymes and deep storytelling. His 11th album, “Life Is Good,” earned four Grammy nominations.

‘Glee’ actor died of overdose

“Glee” actor Cory Monteith, who had struggled for years with substance abuse, died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, the British Columbia coroner’s office said Tuesday.

“There is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most tragic accident,” the office said in a statement.

The 31-year-old was found dead in his Vancouver, B.C., hotel room Saturday after he didn’t check out on time. He was believed to be alone when he died.

The birthday bunch

Actor Donald Sutherland is 78. Actress-singer Diahann Carroll is 78. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is 66. Actress Lucie Arnaz is 62. Actor David Hasselhoff is 61. Television producer Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” “The Apprentice”) is 53. Country singer Luke Bryan is 37.

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