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Kanye West meets Uganda's president, gifts pair of sneakers

Kanye West handed Uganda's president a pair of his autographed sneakers during a visit to the East African nation in which the rapper is said to be recording music in a tent.

The 74-year-old President Yoweri Museveni said he and West held "fruitful discussions" on Monday about promoting tourism and arts. He also gave West and his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, "Ugandan" names, the State House said in a Facebook post.

The couple has been vacationing in a national park while excited tourism officials see the visit as an endorsement of Uganda's tourism potential.

While the presidency released photos of a hoodie-wearing West meeting Museveni at the State House, some Ugandans wryly pointed out that the president cracked down on hoodies earlier this year, saying motorcycle riders could no longer wear them in a bid to fight rising crime.

Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, has been at the center of unrest in recent weeks after a local pop star-turned-opposition lawmaker, Bobi Wine, alleged torture by security forces. The government denies it.

Uganda's large youth population has increasingly expressed frustration over unemployment and accused the president of being out of touch. The government recently imposed a tax on social media and the constitution was changed to remove an age limit on the presidency, leading some to worry that Museveni plans to rule for life.

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Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa

Rembrandt's Night Watch to get restoration in Amsterdam

Rembrandt van Rijn's Golden Age masterpiece The Night Watch is getting a makeover.

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum announced Tuesday that it will restore its most famous painting, starting next year in a project that will be open to the public and viewable online.

Rijksmusem General Director Taco Dibbits said that from July the huge Golden Age masterpiece will be encased in a specially built glass chamber as it first undergoes a thorough varnish-to-canvas examination using a precise microscope and other modern techniques. The findings will guide the subsequent restoration.

"The restoration techniques we now have are so advanced that we will safeguard the painting for future generations," he said.

The painting is ready for a little TLC. The work, which last underwent a restoration 40 years ago, is starting to show blanching in parts of the canvas.

"We want to understand what that change is so that we can restore it as well as possible," Dibbits told reporters at a presentation of the planned restoration.

The painting of a citizens' militia completed in 1642 has suffered in the past.

During the World War II Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, it was hidden along with other valuable artworks in a cave in the southern city of Maastricht. In 1975 a man slashed it with a knife, leaving 12 scars in the canvas, and in 1990 an attacker sprayed acid on the canvas damaging the varnish. It took restorers only a couple of weeks to repair the damage inflicted by the acid.

Dibbits said the painting has been retouched many other times in the past and that the later additions are starting to fade.

The next restoration should change all that.

"I think it will look much better," Dibbits said. "If you stand close to it, it will appear far more detailed. So it will be very special to see, but the restoration process itself will also be very special."

In the past, restorations have often been carried out behind closed doors, but museums now are starting to open up the process to the public.

The Night Watch "belongs to us all," Dibbits said.

"That is why we have decided to conduct the restoration within the museum itself and everyone, wherever they are, will be able to follow the process online."

More than 2 million people each year visit the Rijksmuseum, which has the world's largest collection of Rembrandt works. The Golden Age master is known for his innovative use of light and rebellious compositions.

The restoration project comes in the year that marks the 350th anniversary of the artist's death in 1669 and will be part of a "Year of Rembrandt" at the museum.

Before its restoration, The Night Watch will be part of a major exhibition of all the Rembrandt works owned by the museum — 22 paintings, 60 drawings and 300 of his 1,300 prints.

Photos: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry begin royal tour of Australia

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific with a visit to Sydney’s Opera House and Taronga Zoo.

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels' defamation suit against Trump

A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump on Monday, saying the president made a "hyperbolic statement" against a political adversary when he tweeted about a composite sketch the porn actress' lawyer released.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump in April after he said a composite sketch of a man she said threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with the real estate mogul was a "con job."

Trump tweeted that the man was "nonexistent" and that Daniels was playing the "fake news media for fools." He retweeted a side-by-side photo comparing the sketch with a photo of Daniels' husband.

In an order handed down Monday, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said Trump's statement was protected speech under the First Amendment.

"If this Court were to prevent Mr. Trump from engaging in this type of 'rhetorical hyperbole' against a political adversary, it would significantly hamper the office of the President," the judge wrote. "Any strongly worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation. This would deprive this country of the 'discourse' common to the political process."

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, vowed to appeal the decision and said he was confident it would be reversed.

"There is something really rich in Trump relying on the First Amendment to justify defaming a woman," Avenatti said.

But the president's lawyer immediately hailed the ruling as a "total victory" for Trump.

"No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today's ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels," Trump's attorney, Charles Harder, said in a statement.

The judge's ruling also entitles Trump to collect attorneys' fees from Daniels, but the amount that Daniels would need to pay will be determined later, Harder said.

The defamation claim is separate from another lawsuit that Daniels filed against Trump, which is continuing. Daniels was paid $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement signed days before the 2016 election and is suing to dissolve that contract. Daniels has argued the agreement should be invalidated because Trump's then-personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, signed it, but Trump did not.

Lawyers for Trump and Cohen now say the deal that paid Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet was invalid, and they won't sue her for breaking it. Trump's attorney said the president never considered himself as a party to the agreement and doesn't dispute Daniels' assertion that the contract isn't valid.

While Trump and Cohen want the court to toss out the litigation as moot, Daniels' lawyer wants to keep the case alive, hoping to compel Trump to answer questions under oath about what he may have known about the deal.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance violations alleging he coordinated with Trump on a hush-money scheme to buy the silence of Daniels and a Playboy model who alleged affairs.

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Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died at 65 from cancer

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died from cancer Monday at the age of 65, according to a statement from his family and Microsoft.

>> Read more trending news The Seattle and Portland sports teams owner and billionaire philanthropist died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family confirmed through Allen’s Vulcan Inc.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend,” his sister, Jody Allen, said in a statement

“Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and our community are indispensable,”  Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. 

“As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world,” Nadella said.

Seattle-based Vulcan Inc., Allen’s company for his network of organizations and initiatives, also released a statement on Allen’s passing.

“Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal,” Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf said.

“Paul’s life was diverse and lived with gusto. It reflected his myriad interests in technology, music and the arts, biosciences and artificial intelligence, conservation and in the power of shared experience – in a stadium or a neighborhood – to transform individual lives and whole communities,” Hilf said. 

Allen, in a final social media post, had a message for the world.

“As long as we work together - with both urgency and determination - there are no limits to what we can achieve,” he posted.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet.

Original story: Microsoft co-founder and business entrepreneur Paul Allen’s cancer has returned. 

>> Read more trending news 

Allen announced on social media Monday that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he was diagnosed with in 2009 - and that he beat - has returned.

“I’ve begun treatment and my doctors are optimistic that I will see a good result,” Allen said in a post on Twitter.

Allen, one of the wealthiest people in the U.S., with a fortune estimated at $20 billion, according to his biography, was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1983, which prompted him to resign from Microsoft to battle the disease.

He first met Bill Gates when Gates was 12 and he was 14 when the two went to the same school in Seattle. By 1975, the two college dropouts founded Microsoft together.

>> Related: Study: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or NHL, is a cancer of the white blood cells, which help the body fight off infection, and usually starts in the lymph nodes or other lymph tissue, according to the American Cancer Society. It mostly affects adults, but children can get it, too.

1 year after MeToo, survivors reflect on their disclosures

It was the tweet seen around the world.

On Oct. 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano urged the Twittersphere to join her in sharing a personal story of sexual harassment in the wake of rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

"If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet," she wrote.

The response was immediate and overwhelming, and touched off a cultural movement that has shed light on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, assault and violence against women across all industries.

In the hours, weeks and months that followed the tweet, some recounted their experiences in harrowing detail. Some shared fresh stories, others old memories. Some named their accusers. Others simply said, "#metoo."

The movement has been widely seen as a national reckoning. In the past year, some of the most powerful men in media, entertainment and politics have lost their jobs and reputations over accusations of misconduct.

Still, just weeks before the anniversary, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite multiple allegations of sexual assault. Some advocates and survivors saw his confirmation as an insult to the movement and its gains, others a reminder of how much works still needs to be done to secure gender parity in the United States. All said they're hopeful for what the future holds.

A year later, a look at the movement, where we are now, and where we go from here.

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FINDING COMFORT IN SHARING A SECRET

One day after Milano's tweet Katie Labovitz, a 34-year-old writer living in Queens, shared a story about being sexually assaulted by a Donald Duck mascot at Epcot Theme Park when she was a young teen.

"The person inside the Duck at EPCOT groped me when I was 15," she wrote.

A few days later, she posted eight more stories of harassment on Instagram.

"I'm sorry mom that you're reading this," she wrote.

Labovitz said she didn't talk much about the Donald Duck incident, but it continued to haunt her into adulthood.

"It was kind of expected that you go on with life, because that's what you do." But, she pointed out, "It's been 20 years. It just sticks with you."

She said she decided to share to try to comfort other survivors, something she wished she'd had years ago. She said she was surprised how many friends told stories she hadn't heard before.

"We all just kept it in, it was nice to be able to be public about it," she said. "It's nice to be supported. I wish I could have been more supportive for others but we all kind of kept it to ourselves."

She called the initial tweet storm a "kind of outpouring of love and support even though it was all surrounding this terrible thing."

It's also been vindicating, she said, to see powerful public figures — Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Larry Nasser, to name a few — charged with crimes. But there have been disappointments: Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations is a prime example, she said.

"I think I thought more would have happened in a year," she said. "There's no instant gratification, and I get that. It's not going to happen overnight. We're being seen, and we're being heard. There's still a lot to do."

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"GIRL POWER" IN A HIJAB

Hana Hentzen was just beginning to come to terms with her sexual assault when she saw Milano's tweet and the flood of responses it inspired.

It happened in middle school, at the hands of a teacher. When she went to the administration, Hentzen said she was told to keep quiet. She tried again to report the assault and was again told to keep it to herself.

Two months after Milano's tweet, Hentzen found a way to be heard. An 18-year-old college student at American University in Washington, D.C., she decided to participate in a Reuters photo essay. In the photo, she wore a white T-shirt with "GIRL POWER" emblazoned across the chest in bright red letters, with a rose where the O should be.

Hentzen, who had converted to Islam four years earlier, also wore a hijab.

"I just felt really empowered to tell my story for the first time," she said.

Although she'd seen the statistics Hentzen said she was stunned by the sheer number of women who spoke out about being harmed, assaulted, harassed or objectified.

"Logically, I knew I had friends, I had relatives, I had a lot of survivors in my life but it's just something you never talk about. Something that I really liked was that you could share your whole story, or you could just share those two words."

Hentzen said she wanted to provide support for others who have experienced abuse, particularly Muslim women.

"I wanted her to see a Hijabi, somebody that looks like her," she said.

A year later, Hentzen said Kavanaugh's confirmation shows how much work still needs to be done.

"That has been really difficult and disappointing. What's the point of this movement if we aren't able to hold our elected officials accountable to survivors?" she said.

But Hentzen said the movement, and the sheer act of sharing stories like hers, have forced the topic into the open and inspired a public reckoning that continues to empower her, and help her find her voice.

"A year ago, I wouldn't have felt I could talk about it in person," she said. "It's definitely been validating and it's helped me."

"Survivors are speaking up now and I don't think that's going to change. This movement has sparked a fire in survivors and we aren't going to shut up. ... We've just gotten started."

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THE FACE OF #METOO ON CAPITOL HILL

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, became the face of the #MeToo movement on Capitol Hill when she shared her own story of being sexually harassed as a young congressional aide.

"The chief of staff held my face, kissed me, and stuck his tongue in my mouth," Speier said in a video posted to her YouTube channel last October. "So, I know what it's like to keep these things hidden deep inside."

Speier's story shed light on what she described as "a breeding ground for a hostile work environment."

In the months that followed, more than a half-dozen lawmakers lost their jobs over sexual misconduct allegations. A House committee held hearings over the lack of protections in place for Hill staffers and lawmakers; Speier introduced legislation to overhaul the system.

"It's been a time of highs and lows," she said, speaking just hours after the Senate voted to advance Kavanaugh's nomination. "Our country culturally has not come to grips with the devastation that sexual violence does to people, men and women. And the optimism that we had last fall and into this new year has been dampened by the last few weeks."

Speier said she decided to share her story last year "because I wanted women in Congress to know they can come and talk to me and they would be safe and I would have their backs."

But the story she shared publicly isn't her only MeToo experience, and talking openly about her harassment brought back other painful memories.

"I can tell you the way I've coped with it throughout my life is to compartmentalize it," she said. "That's what victims do, they compartmentalize. They suppress it. And then something will hit them, and it resurrects all the trauma associated with it."

Sharing also helped her understand the roots of her dedication to advocating for women, she said.

"It created an 'a ha!' moment in understanding why I'm so passionate about all these issues."

Speier said she's hopeful the movement won't slow down.

"This is an incredibly long slog," she said. "There is reason to feel very depressed today. But on the other hand, I have to brush myself off and start all over again. It has to be the beginning."

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"I WAS WORRIED ABOUT TELLING MY DAD"

Quianna Taylor never told her parents about the sexual assault that happened in college. After all, her mother had already had to deal with her first assault, which happened when she was 7 and was molested by a neighbor. It wasn't that she was hiding it. The timing just never felt right.

In fact, Taylor, 36, didn't tell anybody about her second assault until about three years ago. She was afraid she'd be blamed.

"We always think girls are old enough to know better," said Taylor of Hyattsville, Maryland.

But when the MeToo hashtag began to take on a life of its own, Taylor decided "enough is enough." She tweeted, not about her assault, but about the aftermath.

"We have to change the culture around consent," she said. "Me just saying my small piece gives somebody the courage to know they can if they want to."

The experience of seeing so many women openly share stories of being abused or violated is liberating. But it's also disheartening, she said.

"So many of us, women and men, have had this happen," she said. But "there's a whole unification that comes in understanding shared trauma."

Taylor credited the #MeToo movement with creating the space she needed to be able to tell her parents about her attack.

She didn't go into detail or tell them everything. She said it happened and she wasn't OK for a long time. But she assured them she's OK now.

"I was worried about telling my dad," she said. "I was worried about how this would make him feel about failing to keep me safe."

That didn't happen, though. Instead, he told her he was sorry, that he wished he could have done something and that he loved her.

She said her mother's response to her disclosure felt familiar; she'd been through her own sexual assault.

"Her hurt was the hurt of a victim with another victim," Taylor said.

Taylor said she's encouraged by the public outcry, and the fact that powerful men are being held accountable. She said she's hopeful that as the movement continues to gain momentum, more survivors will share their stories without shame or the fear of alienation.

"We're at a place where we're starting to examine, why don't we believe women?" she said. "What does justice for these people look like? I don't think we were culturally in a place to do that even 10 years ago."

"We've got to keep forging ahead," she said. "What's the alternative?"

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OVERCOMING FEAR TO SHARE HIS STORY

Kasey Neimeier was terrified when he shared his #MeToo story with the world for the first time.

Along with the hashtag #whyIdidntreport, he told of being groped by a co-worker when he was 18 years old. He was living as a woman at the time_it happened before his transition. Now 31, he'd kept the secret for 13 years, even from his wife of a decade.

He shared his story last month, on Sept. 23. Neimeier said the disclosure brought up painful memories of the episode, as well as other abuse he'd suffered as a child. But hard as it was, he said he doesn't regret the decision to share.

"I was on Facebook and I saw another transman post a #MeToo. And I decided I would post one, too. Because I felt it needed to be said that it's not just women who have gone through this," he said.

"It's a smaller percentage of course, but there are biological men that get abused, there are transmen that get abused, there are transwomen who are abused. So many people are the victims and survivors of abuse and don't tell anybody and if you hold onto this, it just destroys you."

Neimeier said he worried what sharing a #MeToo story would mean for his gender identity.

"I was scared of judgment, that it would make me less of a man," he said, "to publicly come out with a story that is traditionally for biological women."

Despite the pain of revisiting his assault, Neimeier said he's glad he did. The more stories shared, the harder it'll be to ignore the pervasiveness of the issue, he said.

"I felt it was important to say something, even if it was public, to say this is not just a biological women's issue," he said. "I don't think as a society we can change without survivors saying, 'This happened to me and it's wrong," he said.

Ann Curry to host TV show to solve medical mysteries

Ann Curry is getting into the business of medical crowdsourcing on television.

The former "Today" show anchor has agreed to anchor a Turner series that describes people with mysterious medical ailments, in the hope of reaching doctors or patients who have seen something similar and gotten help.

Curry said Monday that she hoped real good can come from the series, tentatively titled "M.D. Live."

TNT will air 10 episodes of the series sometime next year, each of them two hours.

Contestants accuse Mrs. America pageant CEO of racial bias

Four contestants in this year's Mrs. America pageant on Monday called for the pageant's CEO to apologize over accusations he used racial slurs and stereotypes in a conversation at a contest-related event.

The four women, three African-American and one white, spoke at a news conference in Manhattan with lawyer Gloria Allred, accusing David Marmel of using racially biased language in Las Vegas in August.

Allred said that while her clients don't intend to file a lawsuit, but they do want Marmel to apologize and implement an action plan including sensitivity training.

"They have decided that it would be wrong to stay silent about this matter," Allred said. "They feel it is their duty to share what they allege was their experience, because they do not want next year's contestants to be subjected to what they consider to be racially offensive and demeaning comments which have hurt them and caused them so much pain."

The women said at a pre-competition party, Marmel sat down with a group of four African American contestants, including the three who spoke Monday. The white contestant was also in the room but behind Marmel, they said.

They said he began talking about what he had done for black people, including developing a program recognizing African-American achievements. But they said he also made negative comments about NFL players who knelt during the national anthem, as well as statements saying black women need to stop having so many babies with multiple fathers and that those men were drug dealers and in jail.

They said he talked about his time as a baseball player in the 1960s and going to the South where there were signs prohibiting Jews and blacks from entering. In recounting that, he used the N-word, they said.

Crissy Timpson, Mrs. New Jersey, said the party was actually the second time she had heard Marmel's comments, and that he had said them to her a couple of days before when she arrived in Las Vegas for the pageant.

"Originally we weren't going to say anything because we all thought who would believe us," she said. "If we came forward after the pageant, people would think we were just upset about either not winning or placing the way we wanted."

Shawn Marshall, Mrs. America organization vice president, vehemently pushed back against the accusations, saying Marmel used no language that should have been interpreted as offensive, and was speaking to them about his life experiences with the African-American community.

In reference to the comments about the South, Marshall said Marmel was reflecting that the signs referred to him as well, since he is Jewish.

He said the women had asked Marmel to speak to them.

"If there's an apology, they owe Mr. Marmel," he said.

Massachusetts MGM casino earns $27M during 1st month open

MGM has reported nearly $27 million in revenue during the first full month of operation at its Massachusetts casino.

The state Gaming Commission reported Monday that MGM Springfield generated $18 million in gross revenues from slot machines and another $8.8 million from table games like blackjack and roulette.

That generated $6.7 million in state taxes. Massachusetts collects 25 percent of the facility's gross gambling revenues.

The numbers don't reflect revenues from the 14-acre casino complex's hotel, restaurants, bars and other non-gambling entertainment.

MGM Springfield President Michael Mathis says September visitor volume was "solid" and the casino's financial performance is "on track" with company expectations.

Massachusetts regulators also reported Monday that Plainridge Park, a slots parlor and horse racing track in Plainville, generated roughly $14 million from gambling in September.

Chance The Rapper goes undercover to raise money for arts

Chance the Rapper is so serious about raising money for arts education programs in Chicago that he took a second job as a Lyft driver to spread the word.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Chicago-born Grammy-winning hip-hop artist who has given millions of dollars to Chicago Public Schools recently went undercover as a driver for the rideshare service to make a video that encourages riders to donate to the city's public schools arts programs.

The video shows Chance wearing shades and a maroon hat telling riders his name is John. Then he reveals his true identity and encourages riders to use the Lyft app's feature called Round Up and Donate that allows users to support his charity, The New Chance Fund, or others of their choice.

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