Jay-Z’s Team Roc calls for fast action in Arbery case

ATLANTA — The social justice arm of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation entertainment company on Sunday called on Georgia officials to take quick action in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who authorities say was killed by two white men as he ran through a Georgia neighborhood.

Musicians Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Alicia Keys, Mario “Yo Gotti” Mims, Robert “Meek Mill” Williams and two attorneys signed Team Roc’s open letter published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and directed at state officials.

The letter said District Attorney Tom Durden should be recused from the case due for a conflict of interest since Gregory McMichael, one of the two men charged with murder, was a former police officer. The letter urges state Attorney General Christopher Carr to instead appoint a special prosecutor to help achieve a fair trial. It also says a neighbor should be charged as an armed accomplice.

“We are all Ahmaud Arbery,” rapper Yo Gotti said in a statement. “Everyday activities should not end in death sentences. We must hold people responsible for their actions. Ahmaud Arbery was unarmed and innocent and his killers must be brought to justice.”

Alaska school board postpones decision on banned books

PALMER, Alaska — An Alaska school board postponed a vote over rescinding a ban on selected English course books after taking public testimony on the issue that attracted national attention when a Grammy-winning rock group pledged to purchase the banned books for students.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District board heard three hours of testimony Wednesday on a proposal to rescind last month’s vote to remove five American literature classics from high school English elective courses.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal May 20.

The list of books includes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” and Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.”

Members of the band Portugal. The Man stepped into the controversy in their Alaska hometown by offering to buy copies of the books for students and families.

CBS reimagines ‘Equalizer’ and ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

NEW YORK — Queen Latifah, Rebecca Breeds and Thomas Middleditch are set to star in three new CBS shows for the 2020-21 season as the network adds a reimagined “Equalizer,” a show based on “The Silence of the Lambs” and a comedy about organ donation.

Queen Latifah steps into the role of a retired special-ops agent who fiercely believes in justice in “Equalizer,” playing a character previously portrayed on TV and film by Edward Woodward and Denzel Washington.

Breeds, of “Pretty Little Liars” fame, will play FBI Agent Clarice Starling in “Clarice” as she returns to the field in 1993, six months after the events of “The Silence of the Lambs.” Chris Noth and Lorraine Toussaint also star.

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