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Canadian women's hockey player apologizes for taking off silver medal

Canadian women’s hockey player Jocelyn Larocque apologized after taking off her silver medal during Thursday’s ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Olympics, saying she meant no disrespect and was caught up in the emotion of a bitter loss.

>> Read more trending news

The United States edged Canada 3-2 Thursday in a shootout victory in the gold medal game. During the postgame medal ceremony, Larocque took off her silver medal almost immediately after it was put around her neck. Her action sparked criticism from media and fans in Canada.

Later Friday, Larocque issued an apology through Team Canada, the National Post reported. Larocque expressed regrets to the International Olympic Committee, the International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada, her teammates and fans.

>> Photos: 2018 Winter Olympics: US women’s hockey team wins gold

“I take seriously being a role model to young girls and representing our country,” Larocque wrote. “My actions did not demonstrate the values our team, myself and my family and for that I am truly sorry.

“In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me.”

Larocque said the action was something she wished she “could take back,” the National Post reported.

“I meant no disrespect — it has been an honor to represent my country and win a medal for Canada,” she wrote. “I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games.

“Being on the podium at the world’s biggest sporting event is a great achievement and one that I’m thankful I was able to experience with my teammates.”

Weinstein apologizes to Streep, Lawrence for lawyers' words

Harvey Weinstein apologized to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence after his lawyers cited them in asking a court to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for the disgraced movie mogul said Thursday that Weinstein has also directed his legal representatives not to use specific names of actors and former associates in the future.

Lawyers for Weinstein argued in a filing, in which they quoted previous remarks made by Streep and Lawrence, that a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six women should be rejected.

Weinstein's attorneys cited Streep as having previously said that Weinstein wasn't inappropriate with her and cited Lawrence as having told Oprah Winfrey that Weinstein "had always been nice" to her.

The actresses immediately snapped back, with Streep calling the citation of her remarks "pathetic and exploitive."

Lawrence said Weinstein's attorneys took her previous remarks out of context and that she stands "behind all the women who have survived his terrible abuse."

The lawsuit against Weinstein claims Weinstein assaulted young women trying to break into Hollywood when they were alone with him and that his former film companies operated like an organized crime group to conceal widespread sexual harassment and assaults. The suit could potentially involve hundreds of other women.

Weinstein's statement Thursday said he "acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologizes."

He went on to say that he "has advised his counsel to not include specific names of former associates; and to avoid whenever possible, even if they are in the public record."

At least 75 women have told the news media that Weinstein harassed, behaved inappropriately toward them or assaulted them. Authorities in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, New York and London are investigating.

NBC hypes figure skating showdown between 2 Russians

Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

FIGHT TO THE FINISH: It was the "showdown everyone's been waiting for," analyst Tanith White said. "Brass knuckles under velvet gloves," Johnny Weir said. NBC practically panted in its effort to make the competition between Russians Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova into the figure skating equivalent of Ali vs. Frazier. It was the expected champion (Medvedeva) against the impatient 15-year-old understudy (Zagitova). After two skates that Weir called "the most heartbreakingly beautiful ladies' competition I have ever seen," even NBC's seemingly inseparable pair was divided. "My bet is on Medvedeva," Weir said. "My bet is on Zagitova," Tara Lipinski answered. Advantage Lipinski . The judging on whether American viewers were as enthralled by the rivalry comes later Friday, when the television ratings come in.

TWEET OF THE DAY : "Am I the only person who watches ice skating with my hands practically covering my eyes? I'm so stressed that they are going to fall and that all their dreams will be crushed that I can hardly watch!" — MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace.

REV IT UP: Nice line by speedskating analyst Apolo Ohno, explaining how the only way to beat Choi Min-Jeong was to get in front of her when she tries to pass on the outside. "That's the only way you stop a Ferrari if you are a Civic," he said. Ultimately, Choi collided with a fellow South Korean skater in the final and finished out of the money .

RATINGS: Olympic fatigue may be setting in. NBC was set up for a big night on Wednesday, with a broadcast full of exciting, medal-winning performance by Americans and an Alpine skiing competition featuring both Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin . Yet the 16.4 million viewers who watched NBC, NBCSN and streaming services in prime time was the second lowest of the Olympics so far, and down 19 percent from the corresponding night in Sochi. For NBC alone, the drop was 30 percent. The skiing competition wasn't decided until after 1:30 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast, and the gripping gold-medal hockey game between the U.S. women and Canada lasted past 2 a.m. NBC estimated 3.7 million people watched the game live.

THAT GAME: Smart move by NBCSN to rebroadcast the hockey game late Thursday afternoon. It's an instant classic, and deserves as many airings as possible. NBC's Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko and Pierre McGuire were sharp and low-key, recognizing the game needed no hype. It was amusing when McGuire quickly corrected himself after saying there were "too many men on the ice." Mleczko forgave him. "I do that myself," she admitted.

FIVE MINUTES: NBC loves to use the large Olympic audience to promote other shows, which is why "Today" is in Pyeongchang and you've seen about a thousand promos for the upcoming comedy "Good Girls." The ability to show live competition late night in the U.S. made it difficult to keep Jimmy Fallon on the air, however, but NBC needs to keep him visible. So NBC hit on the amusing idea of a five-minute "Tonight" show, which has included such stunts as a one-minute interview with actor Paul Rudd where Fallon cut off every answer. We'll avoid the obvious joke of networks trying it with more shows.

___

More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

Forgot about that joint? Vegas airport lets people dump pot

What happens in Vegas really can stay in Vegas.

Tourists catching a flight out of Sin City can now dump their leftover legal marijuana in metal containers set up at the airport.

The 10 green bins dubbed "amnesty boxes" prevent federal transportation agents from finding pot on passengers during security screenings. The drug is legal in Nevada but still banned by the U.S. government.

The containers were installed last week following a county ban on marijuana possession and advertising at McCarran International Airport, aiming to keep it in compliance with federal law. They are bolted to the ground and designed so marijuana and prescription drugs can only be dropped in, not taken out.

"The amnesty boxes are offered as a way to help people comply with this ordinance," airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said in an email.

Transportation Security Administration agents normally hand over marijuana-related cases to local law enforcement. Las Vegas police Officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez said no citations have been issued stemming from the airport's ban on marijuana possession and advertising, passed in September.

The boxes are something travelers may have seen before — at least two airports in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is also legal, offer amnesty boxes.

But they're likely to be a bigger draw at the Las Vegas airport, which saw 48.5 million passengers last year. Legal sales of recreational marijuana began in the state on July 1, and they have exceeded expectations.

That's despite a ban on consuming it in public, including the Las Vegas Strip, hotels and casinos. Those 21 and older with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot and use it only in private homes.

The airport boxes display Clark County's ordinance and are clearly marked, with a black, bold font stating: "Disposal for Prescription and Recreational Drugs." They contrast sharply with nearby trash cans.

A contractor, not police, will initially empty the boxes multiple times per week and then adjust the schedule as usage patterns develop.

Crews said the county aviation department plans to install 20 bins but could add more. In addition to the boxes placed Friday outside the airport, three were set up at the nearby car rental facility.

The remaining seven bins will be installed at smaller area airports and other department-owned properties.

___

Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNO

NPR adopts new measures after sex harassment investigation

National Public Radio has adopted a series of measures to improve its workplace culture, following an independent investigation into sex harassment issues stemming from the ouster of a top executive.

The new measures, adopted unanimously by NPR's board, include changes in management structure, a diversity and inclusion committee, and pay audits to assess fairness. The investigators found, among other things, that NPR staffers often distrusted management, and that female staffers felt the company's culture favored men, in areas like opportunity, promotions and compensation.

The measures, described in a post Wednesday evening on NPR's website, were a response to a report earlier this week by independent investigators into the circumstances surrounding the ouster of Michael Oreskes, the former leader of NPR's newsroom, who resigned in November amid accusations of sexual harassment. The investigators found that Oreskes' superiors had attempted to counsel him about his behavior with women — including inappropriate emails and conversations over expense-account dinners and drinks — and issued multiple warnings, but failed to curtail the offending behavior. Oreskes was ousted only after accusations against him became public.

The new measures, posted on NPR's website Wednesday evening, include changes in its management structure to have its HR head report directly to the CEO; instituting continuous board review of HR matters including diversity and inclusion as well as harassment and bullying; improving HR management and processes; creating a diversity and inclusion committee; instituting an annual culture survey, and instituting pay audits to assess fairness.

Those measures come on top of other steps announced last week, including creating an anti-harassment support group and instituting mandatory sexual harassment training, among other things.

Oreskes was a vice president and senior managing editor at The Associated Press from 2008 until he joined NPR in 2015. Previously, he spent two decades in various positions at the New York Times, including Washington bureau chief.

The AP had one complaint of "unwelcome and inappropriate verbal communication" while Oreskes was at the news organization.

Contacted for comment Thursday, Oreskes pointed to the statement he released the day he tendered his resignation, calling his behavior "wrong and inexcusable" and accepting "full responsibility."

Man who admitted Hawaii concert scam wants plea change

A North Carolina man who admitted defrauding the University of Hawaii of $200,000 by lying about being able to produce a Stevie Wonder fundraiser concert wants to take back his guilty plea, but a prosecutor said Thursday he could risk more jail time if he succeeds and is eventually convicted.

Marc Hubbard had been scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Honolulu Thursday but filed a motion to withdraw his plea a day earlier.

He pleaded guilty in 2016 to wire fraud, saying he lied about his ability to secure Wonder for a concert. In 2012, the university paid a $200,000 deposit, began selling tickets and then learned neither Wonder nor his representatives had authorized a show.

Thousands of tickets were refunded, embarrassing the school.

Details about why Hubbard wants to withdraw his guilty plea were not clear because his motion was sealed. Defense attorney William Harrison in a court hearing alluded to a "coercive nature" of Hubbard's plea deal with authorities but did not provide details.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein argued that Hubbard should not be allowed to take back his plea because nothing changed in the year and four months since he accepted the plea deal.

Wallenstein said a decision by Hubbard to plead not guilty could mean the end of the sentencing deal, which called for him to have his Hawaii sentence served at the same time as a six-and-a-half year sentence he received for a similar conviction in Pennsylvania.

Hubbard under the plea deal would likely be released after serving the Pennsylvania sentence, Wallenstein said, but faces an additional sentence of about six years without the deal.

"I hope Mr. Hubbard sees the folly of what he's doing," Wallenstein said.

Harrison had asked the judge to close Thursday's hearing to the public, but U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi refused — saying there was no compelling reason to block courtroom access. She said portions of Hubbard's plea request could be made public in the future but instructed Wallenstein not to discuss details.

Harrison said Hubbard believes he now has new evidence, which Kobayashi said he can submit in a fresh court filing.

Kobayashi postponed Hubbard's sentencing and set a hearing for March to discuss whether he will be allowed to withdraw his plea.

Doing so will be an "uphill battle," she said.

67-year-old Jane Seymour poses for ‘Playboy,’ ‘I feel much sexier now’ 

Elegant actress Jane Seymour is about to grace the pages of “Playboy” magazine at 67-years-old.

>> Read more trending news 

The former Bond girl took to social media Wednesday to share a modest photograph from her upcoming spread in the iconic men’s magazine.

“I’m thrilled to finally share this with you! I was recently photographed and interviewed in my home by Playboy,” Seymour captioned the image on Instagram.

“I open up about my career, my family, feeling better-than-ever at 67 and so much more,” she wrote.

This is the “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” star’s third spread in “Playboy.”

The legendary actress told the magazine that her age hasn’t diminished her confidence.

“I feel much sexier now than I ever did when I was younger” she said.

“Then I was like, ‘Oh gosh, I’m supposed to be sexy. What is that?!’ There’s an enormous freedom in having lived as long as I have,” she added. “Like my father used to say, I’m comfortable in my own skin.”

And there’s no doubt that she’s all natural.

“I haven’t done any surgeries or injections or anything. I haven’t done any of it,” she explained.

>> Related: Tennis champ Serena Williams reveals she ‘almost died’ in childbirth

“So I still look like ‘me.’ Everyday I’m kind of tempted, but then I look at people I know and I don’t [recognize] them. I’m authentically being me. That’s important to me.”

Snap Inc.’s stock falls after Kylie Jenner tweet about Snapchat redesign

Kylie Jenner may be one of many Snapchat users who isn’t happy about the app’s redesign.

The 20-year-old new mom asked her followers on Tuesday if anyone else no longer uses the app.

>> Read more trending news 

“So does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me,” she wrote. “Ugh this is so sad.”

Bloomberg reported that the timing of the tweet may have caused a drop in stock for Snap Inc., the company that owns Snapchat.

“Shares sank as much as 7.2 percent Thursday, wiping out $1.3 billion in market value, on the heels of a tweet from Kylie Jenner,” the publication said.

According to a Wednesday tweet from Reuters, the drop in Snap’s stock adds up to about $1.5 billion lost in market value.

Related: ‘Change it back’: Snapchat users not happy about latest update

Ten minutes after the first tweet, Jenner said she still has love for the app.

“Still love you tho snap,” she tweeted. “My first love.”

Jenner, who welcomed her first child, daughter Stormi Webster, Feb. 1, may have not opened the app because she’s busy with her little one and boyfriend Travis Scott.

Related: Kylie Jenner gives birth to baby girl

“Still staring at her all day,” Jenner told a fan of her newborn. “She looks just like me when I was a baby.”

Janney thought film acclaim eluded her _ then came 'I Tonya'

The Academy Awards seem like formality when it comes to the best supporting actress category this year.

Since the world devoured Allison Janney's brilliantly acidic performance as Tonya Harding's abusive mother in "I, Tonya," she has won nearly every major award she's been up for, including a BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild award, a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice prize.

Perhaps the only surprising fact is that this is the first Oscar nomination ever for the 58-year-old actress, who has seven Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards to her name (and two Tony nominations). Though she has been in Oscar-winning movies such as "Juno" and "The Help," the attention for those films did not revolve around her.

"I kind of thought maybe this moment had eluded me in my career, that I just wasn't getting the kind of roles in films that were giving me, getting me recognition," Janney reflected recently at the Oscars nominees' luncheon.

And it's all thanks to her longtime friend, screenwriter Steven Rogers, who had the idea to seek out the life rights to Tonya Harding's story. He had two demands for whoever was going to help get the movie made: First, no one was allowed to rewrite him. Second, Janney was to play LaVona Golden. He'd known Janney for decades, since he met her at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater when he was only 17 (she's just a few years older than him), and had written parts for her before. But it hadn't worked out yet.

"I said, 'I want it in writing or it's a deal breaker.' I said it before she had even read the script or even said she would do it," Rogers said. "But I knew. I was like, 'This time I'm finally going to get her.'"

It might not seem like the most flattering thing to have your good friend think of you as the chain-smoking, bitter, abusive and overall controversial matriarch to the most infamous figure skater in history, who tells her young daughter to "skate wet" after she pees her pants on the ice, and regularly hits her. But Janney was thrilled.

"I've played a lot of mothers in my life," Janney, who stars as a recovering alcoholic on the CBS sitcom "Mom," said late last year. "But never anyone to the degree that this one was messed up."

Rogers, who used accounts of Tonya Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly to inform the screenplay and story, never actually met LaVona Golden while he was writing the script. Harding told him that she didn't know if her mother was dead or alive (she is alive and continues to deny abuse allegations).

Thus the character in "I, Tonya" is based on an amalgamation of interviews, documentary footage from 1986 (in which LaVona conducts her interview with a bird on her shoulder), stories from Harding and Gillooly and some artistic license.

"It's a pretty hard character and I hope the reason he wanted me to play her was because I would try my hardest ... to find her humanity," Janney said. "A lot of that was written in what Steven wrote in the direct address to the camera. That gave me a lot of clues as to who she was. She's a woman who gave her whole life to her daughter. Every penny she made went to her daughter's skating. She sees herself as a woman who tried her hardest to give her daughter a better life than she had. Those scenes helped me find her humanity, helped me find what made her a human being, not just an on the page monster."

For Janney, the experience of disappearing behind this woman who never smiles and never apologizes was liberating. And she found the nuance behind the steely exterior.

"My heart broke a little for her watching all these interviews because I could see under her denial, the hurt that's there," Janney said. When someone says 'I don't care, I could care less that we don't talk on the phone,' it's like, 'of course you do.'"

She even enjoyed the test of acting while trying to ignore the bird perched on her shoulder for the scenes where she's talking directly to the camera, in what she describes as the "Defending Your Life" sequence.

"It's like the bird heard me and said, 'Oh yeah?' Let's see if you can ignore me when I'm putting my head in your ear,'" Janney said. "I thought this is exactly the kind of humor that is perfect for this movie. I kind of loved it; as much as it was irritating me, it was also fueling me as I was trying to get my side of the story across."

Janney was distraught about not being able to have met her subject. She had a laundry list of questions she would have wanted to ask. What kind of upbringing did she have? What were her mother and father like? What happened with each of her four husbands? And, perhaps most importantly: What did she want to do when she was growing up? Did she have her own dreams?

"That would have been great to know," Janney said last year. So she used Rogers' script as her guide, and so far it has served her well on the road to the Oscars.

No matter what happens at the Academy Awards on March 4, where she's up against Laurie Metcalf ("Lady Bird"), Lesley Manville ("Phantom Thread"), Octavia Spencer ("The Shape of Water") and Mary J. Blige ("Mudbound"), Janney is just hopeful for what this might mean for her future in film.

She said she is "grateful" for this moment.

"Maybe this will break open my personal ceiling in the film world, that I might get more kinds of roles like these: interesting, challenging, important roles," Janney said.

____

AP writer Mike Cidoni Lennox contributed from Beverly Hills, Calif.

Report: Actress Rachel McAdams pregnant with first child

Congratulations are in order for actress Rachel McAdams, who is reportedly expecting her first child.

E! News, citing several unnamed sources, reported that the 39-year-old actress is pregnant.

>> Read more trending news 

In 2016, Us Weekly reported that the private star was seen holding hands with screenwriter Jamie Linden, which prompted speculation that they were dating.

McAdams has not commented on the report, but she has been vocal about becoming a mother in the past.

“Having a few (kids) would be great,” she told People in 2009. “My mom is a great inspiration to me. She’s a nurse and very nurturing and gentle. She lets me be who I am. Hopefully I can take on those qualities and be as great as her.”

Adams, who has a starring role in the movie “Game Night,” was not at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie Wednesday. According to E! News, the Canadian actress was last photographed in Toronto wearing a baggy jacket. 

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