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Demi Lovato's mom says star is 'getting the help she needs'

Demi Lovato's mother says the singer is "doing really well" nearly two months after being hospitalized for a drug overdose.

In an interview aired this week on Newsmax TV , Dianna De La Garza says the pop star is "happy, she's healthy, she's working on her sobriety, and she's getting the help she needs."

She says she found out about the overdose through text messages from people who had heard the news.

She then got confirmation from Lovato's assistant and says, "I was in shock; I didn't know what to say."

De La Garza says she "didn't know for two days if she was going to make it or not."

Lovato was sober for six years before relapsing. De La Garza says her daughter's outlook "encourages me about her future and the future of our family."

National Public Lands Day 2018: Get free admission to national parks Saturday

Want to experience the great outdoors this weekend? You're in luck: Hundreds of parks across the country are offering free admission Saturday, Sept. 22, for National Public Lands Day.

According to the National Park Service, the event, held each year on September's fourth Saturday, "celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation and general health." The event is marking its 25th anniversary this year.

>> See a list of participating parks here

Although participating parks will waive admission fees Saturday, they may still charge for concessions, camping, tours or other services, KGUN reported.

Several parks also will be holding volunteer projects. If you'd like to participate, "you will receive a fee-free day coupon to be used on a future date," the National Park Service said.

>> Read more trending news 

Park-goers are encouraged to share photos on social media with the hashtags #NPLD, #FindYourPark and #NPSVolunteer.

Read more here or here.

Daisy Johnson, Rachel Kushner among Man Booker finalists

A novel in verse and a story about trees and the people who love them are among six finalists announced Thursday for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction.

U.K. poet Robin Robertson's verse novel about violence and social division in contemporary America, "The Long Take," and U.S. novelist Richard Powers' eco-saga "The Overstory" — whose characters are both human and arboreal — are on a list that includes three U.K. authors, two Americans and a Canadian.

"The Long Take" is one of two debut novels on the list, alongside "Everything Under," a story of words and memory by British writer Daisy Johnson. At 27, Johnson is the youngest-ever Booker finalist.

U.S. writer Rachel Kushner's gritty women's prison story "The Mars Room" is also a finalist. "Washington Black," the saga of an escaped slave by Canada's Esi Edugyan, and "Milkman," a story by Northern Ireland writer Anna Burns set during the violent conflict known as the Troubles, round out the list.

The prize, subject to intense speculation and a flurry of betting, usually brings the victor a huge boost in sales and profile.

This year's judges have favored new talent over more established names. Of the six finalists, only Edugyan has been nominated before, and favorites including Canada's Michael Ondaatje didn't make the cut from the 13-novel longlist.

Writer Kwame Anthony Appiah, chairman of the judging panel, said "these books speak very much to our moment but we believe they will endure."

Founded in 1969, the prize was originally open to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers. Americans have been eligible since 2014, and there have been two American winners — Paul Beatty's "The Sellout" in 2016 and George Saunders' "Lincoln in the Bardo" in 2017.

The winner of the 50,000-pound ($66,000) prize will be announced on Oct. 16 during a black-tie dinner at London's Guildhall.

Museum Day 2018: 1,500 museums offering free admission Saturday

Smithsonian magazine would like you to be their guest at a museum this weekend.

Museum Day is an annual “celebration of boundless curiosity,” according to Smithsonian.com. The organization will provide free admission for two people at nearly 1,500 museums across the country on Saturday, Sept. 22. 

>> Read more trending news 

Participating cultural institutions can be found on the website, and participants can download one ticket per email address.

For more information about Smithsonian magazine Museum Day, click here

Fox-Comcast battle to buy Sky to be settled by auction in UK

Comcast and 21st Century Fox will settle their battle for control of broadcaster Sky through a rare auction designed to put an end to months of offers and counteroffers from the American media empires seeking a foothold in the European pay TV market.

The auction will begin after the London stock market's close on Friday and end sometime Saturday evening following a maximum of three rounds of bidding, Britain's Takeover Panel said in a statement.

Fox started the bidding war last December, when it sought to acquire the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own. Comcast has since offered 26 billion pounds ($34.3 billion) for Sky, topping Fox's latest bid of $24.5 billion.

The panel said it called the auction "to provide an orderly framework for the resolution of this competitive situation."

Fox, as the current low bidder, will have the right to make a new offer during the first round of the auction, and Comcast will have the opportunity to counter it during the second round. Both parties will have the chance to make increased offers during the third and final round. All bids must be in cash.

The panel will make an announcement with the results of the auction "as soon as practicable" — a dramatic finish to one of the most tense takeover sagas in recent memory in Britain.

Sky operates in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Italy as well as the U.K. It has 22.5 million customers, attracted by offerings such as English Premier League soccer and "Game of Thrones."

Fox's bid for Sky is the most recent effort by Rupert Murdoch to take full control of the valuable media company.

His last bid foundered amid a 2011 phone-hacking scandal, in which journalists working for Murdoch newspapers were accused of gaining illegal access to the voicemail messages of crime victims, celebrities and members of the royal family.

News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

Fukunaga to direct next James Bond film for release in 2020

American filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga is replacing Danny Boyle as director of the next James Bond movie, producers announced Thursday.

Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and star Daniel Craig said the still-untitled Bond 25 will start filming at London's Pinewood Studios on March 4, and will be released on Feb. 14, 2020.

Release was delayed from the planned November 2019 after "Slumdog Millionaire" director Boyle left the project last month over what producers said were creative differences.

Fukunaga won an Emmy Award for the first season of TV series "True Detective" and wrote and directed gritty war movie "Beasts of No Nation," starring Idris Elba — often named as a potential successor to Craig as the suave superspy.

The new film will be Craig's fifth, and likely last, performance as 007.

Fukunaga, 41, is the first American director in the series, which began in 1962 with "Dr. No."

Wilson and Broccoli said Fukunaga's "versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure."

Giant bong, huggable buds: Marijuana museum opens in Vegas

A glass bong taller than a giraffe. Huggable faux marijuana buds. A pool full of foam weed nuggets.

Las Vegas' newest attraction — and Instagram backdrop — is a museum celebrating all things cannabis.

Nobody will be allowed to light up at Cannabition when it opens Thursday because of a Nevada ban on public consumption of marijuana, but visitors can learn about the drug as they snap photos.

It's a made-for-social-media museum where every exhibit has lights meant to ensure people take selfies worthy of the no-filter hashtag.

The facility — whose founder says has a goal of destigmatizing marijuana use — will likely land among the talking points officials and others use to try to draw gambling-resistant millennials to Sin City.

It will welcome its first visitors almost 15 months after adults in Nevada began buying recreational marijuana legally, with sales far exceeding state projections.

"Our goal when people come out of this is that they don't fear the cannabis industry if they are not believers in the industry," founder J.J. Walker told The Associated Press. "Cannabition is not about just serving people that like marijuana, it's about serving the masses that want to learn about cannabis and or just have fun and go do a cool art experience."

Guests will wander through 12 installations with rooms like "seed," where people can lie down in a bed shaped like a marijuana seed, and "grow," which features artificial plants in sizes ranging from inches to feet tall placed under bright lights to represent an indoor cannabis grow facility.

Photo ops are also available under a glow-in-the-dark tree, next to a giant marijuana leaf meant to represent an edible gummy and by a 24-foot-tall (7-meter-tall) glass bong that's dubbed "Bongzilla" and billed as the world's largest.

There is a space with taller-than-you faux buds representing different strains and another room with gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's famous "Red Shark" Chevrolet Caprice.

This museum in Las Vegas' downtown entertainment district is not the Smithsonian of marijuana, but it has some educational components. Guests get an introduction from museum guides and some graphics on walls explain how concentrates are made and the differences between indica and sativa cannabis strains.

Museums always evolve with the times to remain relevant, and audience engagement is an important goal for the facilities today, said Gwen Chanzit, director of museum studies in art history at the University of Denver. For those who remember very traditional, no-photography-allowed museums, she said, "that ship has sailed."

"Once cellphones became ubiquitous, the culture of museum visiting changed," Chanzit said.

Many of the facility's exhibits are sponsored by cannabis companies, with their logos prominently displayed. It is common for museums to receive the support of corporations and to place their logo on a wall.

Only adults 21 and older will be allowed at Cannabition. The tour is designed to last up to an hour.

Walker, the founder, has invited reality TV stars, models and other influencers to Las Vegas for the weekend with the charge of spreading the word about the facility.

As for those who buy a ticket but their Instagram followers are only in the dozens or hundreds, Walker said, "you're still an influencer to your friends."

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

KISS announces 'End of the Road' farewell tour

We’ve heard this song before, but it seems genuine that KISS’ upcoming “End of the Road World Tour” will be exactly that.

The band announced the decision to pack up the pyro after a performance on Wednesday’s finale of “America’s Got Talent.”

"All that we have built and all that we have conquered over the past four decades could never have happened without the millions of people worldwide who've filled clubs, arenas and stadiums over those years. This will be the ultimate celebration for those who've seen us and a last chance for those who haven't. KISS Army, we're saying goodbye on our final tour with our biggest show yet and we'll go out the same way we came in... Unapologetic and Unstoppable," the band said in a statement.

>> Read more trending news 

KISS hasn’t yet announced dates for this final run, but will update fans in the next few weeks on www.kissonline.com

In 2000-01, KISS embarked on “The Farewell Tour,” which, in fairness, turned out to be the final tour with the original lineup of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. But the band returned in 2003 for a co-headlining tour with Aerosmith and has remained steady road warriors.

The band’s current members are Stanley, Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.

Read more here.

Kiss Announce Farewell Tour on 'America's Got Talent'

Kiss made a surprise announcement during a special appearance on 'America's Got Talent.'

Continue reading…

Judge dismisses harassment charge against Liev Schreiber

A suburban New York judge has dismissed charges against Liev Schreiber for allegedly attacking a local photographer while the actor was filming the popular Showtime series "Ray Donovan."

The 50-year-old has been hit with a harassment violation after photographer Sherwood Martinelli claimed Schreiber damaged his camera when he tried to photograph him on June 7.

The Journal News reports that a Nyack (NEYE'-ak) village judge on Wednesday dismissed the charges.

At an earlier court appearance, Schreiber said he "never touched" the photographer and he that was just very angry.

Martinelli said Wednesday he is "greatly disappointed" in the judge's decision.

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Information from: The Journal News, http://www.lohud.com

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