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Karolyis to NBC: 'No way' they knew about doctor's behavior

Former USA Gymnastics women's national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband Bela tell NBC they were unaware of the abusive behavior by a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison.

Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the 2016 Rio Olympics. She tells Savannah Guthrie in "no way" did she suspect Larry Nassar was sexually abusing athletes.

The Karolyis spoke as part of a Dateline NBC special scheduled to air Sunday. It takes a look at the fallout from revelations about years of abuse by Nassar against hundreds of former athletes, including several members of the U.S. Olympic team.

The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics. Several victims, including two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney, say they were abused at the Karolyi's Ranch near Houston. The ranch served as the training home for USA Gymnastics during most of Martha Karolyi's tenure running the national team.

Nassar spent nearly three decades at USA Gymnastics before being fired in 2015 after complaints about his behavior. He continued to work at Michigan State University through the fall of 2016 before being hit with federal charges. Nassar is now serving decades in prison for molesting women and girls and for possessing child pornography

Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills

On a hot summer day in 1978, as her husband mulled his first presidential run, Barbara Bush headed to Houston's leafy Memorial Park for a jog while she thought about what issues she'd like to focus on should she become first lady.

Bush was concerned about stubborn societal problems like crime, the homeless, drugs and hunger. But as she ran, the then-53-year-old came to the realization that teaching more people to read could help decrease the other major problems, which can grow out of lack of literacy and educational opportunity.

"After much thought, I realized everything I worried about would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend," Bush wrote in her 1994 autobiography, "Barbara Bush: A Memoir."

It would be another decade before Bush became first lady, but, in the interval, she was active in literacy programs. In March 1989, mere weeks into her husband's presidency, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

"We love that story," said Lauren Sproull, the foundation's spokeswoman. "It really shows that, from the very beginning, the moment she even thought that she might become first lady one day, she immediately turned her thoughts to, 'How can I do the most good?' 'How can I help the most people?'"

The foundation has since raised more than $110 million to create or support literacy programs for men, women and children in all 50 states. Its programs include classes to help teenage mothers who left high school earn GED diplomas in Georgia, and teaching non-English speakers in Alabama the language and how to transfer what they learn to their pre-kindergarten-age children before they start school.

One in four American adults can't read above a fifth-grade level, the foundation says. A 2003 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that nearly 15 percent of Americans lacked basic reading and comprehension skills. It took more than a decade to compile, though, and hasn't been repeated.

For years, the foundation offered grants to fund new literacy programs or bolster existing ones, but since 2012 has focused on creating direct models that use technology to reach adults and children, many of whom weren't always able to attend traditional, classroom-style programs.

The foundation says it has helped "easily hundreds of thousands" of people across the country over the years, but doesn't have a full count of everyone enrolled in programs it supported.

Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home at the age of 92. To mark her 90th birthday in June 2015, the foundation launched the $7 million adult literacy XPRIZE, a competition in which teams are tasked with creating mobile apps that can improve adult literacy within 12 months. The foundation has announced eight semifinalists whose apps are being field-tested among about 11,000 people in Dallas, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Bush remained active with the foundation until as recently as two months ago, participating via video chat at one of its reading events. Her daughter, Doro Bush Koch, is now the foundation's honorary chairwoman, and it is based in Tallahassee, where her son, Jeb, lived as Florida governor from 1999 until 2007.

Bush also wrote two books about her dogs' lives, 1984's "C. Fred's Story" and "Millie's Book," in 1990, and donated the proceeds to family literacy programs. In 2013, her son Neil, and his wife Maria, created the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, which promotes literacy among people of all ages in the country's fourth-largest city.

Laura Bush, who was first lady while Barbara's son George W. was president, told Fox Business Network on Wednesday that her mother-in-law believed "if everyone could read and write, a lot of problems would be solved."

Bake off star recounts being detained for taking baggies of powder through airport security

She looks like the grandma who has to cook for everyone, but Mary Berry, star of “The Great British Bake Off,” has a dark past.

Berry recently recounted the time that airport security detained her for taking bags of powder through airport security, Metro reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Berry told Graham Norton, “I was arrested 25 years ago. I was going to the US to do some cookery demonstrations and was worried that there might be problems so I weighed out all the ingredients - flour, sugar - and put them all in little plastic bags.”

You can imagine what came next.

The K-9’s zeroed in on her bags, Independent reported.

“Suddenly I was surrounded by uniformed people and my assistant and I were put in separate cells. It was alarming. When I was asked if I was going to make money from the stuff, I said, ‘I do and my fee has already been agreed,’” Berry told Norton.

Berry was on “The Graham Norton Show” to promote her new BBC series, “Britain’s Best Home Cook.”

Nobel body: 'unacceptable behavior' not widely known

An investigation into sexual misconduct allegations at the Swedish body that hands out the coveted Nobel Prize in Literature found Friday that "unacceptable behavior in the form of unwanted intimacy" has taken place within the ranks of the prestigious institution.

The secretive 18-member board has in recent weeks been embroiled in a sex-abuse scandal that investigators concluded was "not generally known." It has led to the departure of six of members of the Academy and tarnished the prize's reputation.

Sweden's prime minister, the king and the Nobel board have all expressed their concerns over a scandal that has sparked all around outrage in the Scandinavian nation that is known for its promotion of gender equality. On Thursday, thousands gathered outside the Swedish Academy to demand that all of its remaining members resign.

The academy commissioned lawyers to investigate sexual misconduct claims from 18 women against Jean-Claude Arnault, a major cultural figure in Sweden who is married to Katarina Frostenson, a poet who is a member of the academy.

Frostenson stepped down last week at the same time as another woman — the academy's permanent secretary Sara Danius.

The case has exposed bitter divisions within the academy, whose members are appointed for life, and given rise to accusations of patriarchal leanings among some members.

The protest has grown out of what began as Sweden's own #MeToo moment in November when the country saw thousands of sexual misconduct allegations surfacing from all walks of life. It hit the academy when 18 women came forward in a Swedish newspaper with accusations against Arnault.

He was banned in December by the academy from attending a Nobel banquet after Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden's largest, published the allegations.

He has denied the alleged assaults, which reportedly occurred between 1996 and 2017. Swedish prosecutors said last month that an investigation into reported rape and sexual abuse by Arnault from 2013 to 2015 had been dropped, but a probe into other criminal acts would continue.

On the sidelines of the probe, the academy said Friday it found a letter it had received in December 1996, in which the sender drew attention to suspected sexual assault at Arnault's cultural center that had received funding from the academy.

It added it "deeply regrets that the letter was put aside, which meant that no action was taken to investigate," and distanced itself from sexual harassment and sexual violence "wherever it occurs."

Arnault who was not named in the academy's press statement, has also been suspected of violating century-old Nobel rules by leaking names of winners of the prestigious award — including 2016 recipient Bob Dylan. He has allegedly leaked winners' names seven times, starting in 1996. It was not clear who the names were disclosed to.

The investigators noted "violations of the academy's secrecy rules have been noted regarding the work of the Nobel Prize in Literature." It didn't elaborate.

The academy said that following what it called "a serious crisis," it had decided to hand over the report to relevant judicial authorities.

Judge forces David Copperfield to reveal 'Lucky #13' magic trick

David Copperfield was forced to shatter his most famous illusion.

>> Read more trending news

The famed magician was ordered in court Tuesday to break the Magicians Oath in court Tuesday, the BBC reported. A judge ordered Copperfield to explain one of his most famous tricks -- the Lucky #13 -- during a trial involving a man who claimed he was injured during the stunt.

British tourist Gavin Cox, 58, filed a negligence lawsuit against the illusionist, Time reported. Cox claimed he fell while participating in the Lucky #13 trick at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in 2013, the BBC reported. In the trick, Copperfield makes 13 audience members, chosen at random, disappear on stage and then reappear at the back of the room, the BBC reported. 

Cox told NBC News that he has suffered chronic pain and brain injury and has spent more than $400,000 on medical bills.

Copperfield’s attorney argued that revealing the secret would be financially detrimental, but a Las Vegas district court ruled against the magician

A Las Vegas district court rejected Copperfield’s defense, which argued that disclosing the secret behind the trick would be financially detrimental to him. He was ordered to explain how the trick was done.

Spoiler alert: Copperfield’s executive producer testified that when the curtain falls, the 13 volunteers are taken through passageways that circle the MGM building. They exit the building and then re-enter at the back of the theater, Time reported.

“There was a duty by the defendants to provide a safe environment to the audience participants,” Cox’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said in the opening statements.

German theater asks guests to wear swastikas for Hitler play

A theater in southern Germany is proceeding with plans to open a satirical play Friday about Adolf Hitler's youth in which some patrons will be wearing swastika armbands, despite objections and legal complaints.

The Konstanz Theater's production of George Tabori's "Mein Kampf " opens Friday night for a monthlong run.

Though named after Hitler's infamous anti-Semitic manifesto, the play tells a fictional story of how a young Hitler is befriended in Vienna by a Jewish man who takes pity on him for his futile pursuit of a career as an artist and puts him on his political path, as well as helping him with his hairstyle.

Tabori, who was born into a Jewish family in Budapest in 1914, was known for his avant-garde works that confronted anti-Semitism. He died in 2007. Though Tabori was able to flee the Nazis himself, his father and other family members were killed in the Auschwitz death camp.

His dark farce "Mein Kampf" has been performed many times, and was made into a German-language film a decade ago.

But in a twist introduced by the Konstanz Theater, patrons who agree to wear a swastika armband will be given free admittance, while those who purchase tickets will be asked to wear a Jewish Star of David.

Theater manager Christoph Nix says the point is to show how easily corruptible people are, and provoke dialogue about racism.

"The theater is the only place where such a discussion can take place immediately," he told the dpa news agency.

The opening of the play is also on Hitler's birthday, which Nix said was a wish of Tabori's, who was a personal friend.

The display of the swastika is generally prohibited in Germany, though there are exceptions such as when it's clearly part of an anti-Nazi protest, or where artistic freedom is involved.

Multiple people filed complaints with the Konstanz prosecutors over the theater making use of the armbands in its production, but they decided earlier this week that the concept fell under the expression of artistic freedom.

Still, the local German-Israeli Society and the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation have both called for a boycott of the production.

The theatre says about four dozen people have signed up to wear the swastika, meaning there will only be a handful at any of the play's 14 performances.

The theater is also planning strict security checks at the entrance, and also as people exit to ensure that the armbands are returned.

Ariana Grande releases new song, first since 2017 bombing

Ariana Grande has released her first song since a 2017 terrorist attack during her concert in the United Kingdom.

The 24-year-old posted a video of "No Tears Left to Cry" on Instagram on Friday.

The emotional song includes the lyrics: "Right now I'm in a state of mind/ I wanna be in like all the time/ Ain't got no tears left to cry/ So I'm pickin' it up, I'm pickin' up."

Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman Tour after a terrorist bombing killed 22 and injured more than 500 at Manchester Arena in May 2017. She returned for the One Love Manchester charity concert weeks later.

Genesis Prize winner Portman pulls out of Israel ceremony

U.S. actress Natalie Portman, this year's recipient of a prize dubbed the "Jewish Nobel," has pulled out of the June awards ceremony in Israel because of extreme distress over recent events in the country, the Genesis Prize Foundation said.

The foundation said it was informed by Portman's representative that the Jerusalem-born Oscar winner "does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel."

Thursday's statement did not refer to specific events that would have prompted Portman's decision.

Israel has been criticized for its response to mass protests on the Gaza-Israel border, in which 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli fire since March 30. Israel says it is defending its border and accuses Gaza's rulers, the Islamic militant Hamas group, of trying to carry out attacks under the guise of protests.

The Genesis foundation said it was "very saddened" by Portman's decision. "We fear that Ms. Portman's decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid," it said.

The prize was launched in 2013 to recognize Jewish achievement and contributions to humanity. Previous recipients include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor Michael Douglas, violinist Itzhak Perlman and sculptor Anish Kapoor.

When Portman was announced late last year as the 2018 recipient, she said in a statement released by organizers at the time that she was "proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage."

In Thursday's statement, the Genesis foundation quoted a representative for Portman as saying that "recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her" and that "she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony."

Judge to hear arguments about delaying Stormy Daniels case

President Donald Trump's lawyer is asking a federal judge in Los Angeles to delay a court case brought by a porn actress who claims she had an affair with the president.

U.S. District Judge James Otero is set to hear arguments Friday morning about whether to delay Stormy Daniels' case after FBI agents raided the office and residence of Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, seeking records about a nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has been seeking to invalidate the agreement and has offered to return the $130,000 she was paid in order to publicly discuss the relationship and "set the record straight." She argues the agreement is legally invalid because it was only signed by Daniels and Cohen, but was not signed by Trump.

Cohen, who has denied there was ever an affair, said he paid the $130,000 out of his pocket using a home equity loan. He has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Daniels and he was not reimbursed for the payment.

Trump answered questions about Daniels for the first time earlier this month and said he had no knowledge of the payment made by Cohen and didn't know where Cohen had gotten the money. The White House has repeatedly said Trump denies the affair.

Cohen's attorneys have accused Daniels of violating the agreement's confidentiality clauses more than 20 times and said she could be liable for $1 million in damages for each violation.

The case took on new significance last week when FBI agents raided Cohen's office, hotel and residence.

The agents were seeking any information on payments made to Daniels and a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, according to people familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly. The search warrants also sought bank records, records on Cohen's dealings in the taxi industry and his communications with the Trump campaign, the people said.

After the raids, Cohen asked a judge in Los Angeles to grant a stay for at least 90 days and argued that because the allegations in the lawsuit overlap with the criminal investigation, Cohen's civil rights "may be adversely affected if this case proceeds."

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, has objected to the delay and pressed for the case to continue immediately.

In a tweet on Thursday, Avenatti said he would "vehemently argue against the attempt by Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump to delay this case."

"The American people deserve the truth as quickly as possible," he said.

As Prince's health waned, alarm grew in inner circle

Some of Prince's closest confidants had grown increasingly alarmed about his health in the days before he died and tried to get him help as they realized he had an opioid addiction — yet none were able to give investigators the insight they needed to determine where the musician got the fentanyl that killed him, according to investigative documents released Thursday.

Just ahead of this weekend's two-year anniversary of Prince's death, prosecutors announced they would file no criminal charges in the case and the state investigation was closed.

"My focus was lasered in on trying to find out who provided that fentanyl, and we just don't know where he got it," said Carver County Attorney Mark Metz. "We may never know. ... It's pretty clear from the evidence that he did not know, and the people around him didn't know, that he was taking fentanyl."

Metz said Prince had suffered from pain for years and likely believed he was taking a common painkiller.

Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio compound on April 21, 2016. His death sparked a national outpouring of grief and prompted a joint investigation by Carver County and federal authorities.

An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin.

The investigative materials — including documents , photos and videos — were posted online Thursday afternoon. Several images show the music superstar's body on the floor of his Paisley Park estate, near an elevator. He is on his back, his head on the floor, eyes closed. His right hand is on his stomach and left arm on the floor.

The documents include interviews with Prince's inner circle. That included longtime friend and bodyguard Kirk Johnson, who told investigators that he had noticed Prince "looking just a little frail," but said he did not realize he had an opioid addiction until he passed out on a plane a week before he died.

"It started to all making sense though, just his behavior sometimes and change of mood and I'm like oh this is what, I think this is what's going on, that's why I took the initiative and said let's go to my doctor because you haven't been to the doctor, let's check it all out," Johnson said, according to a transcript of an interview with investigators.

Johnson said after that episode, Prince canceled some concerts as friends urged him to rest. Johnson also said that Prince "said he wanted to talk to somebody" about his addiction.

Johnson asked his own doctor, Michael Todd Schulenberg, to see Prince on April 7, 2016. Schulenberg told authorities he gave Prince an IV; authorities said he also prescribed Vitamin D and a nausea medication — under Johnson's name. Johnson then called Schulenberg on April 14, asking the doctor to prescribe a pain medication for Prince's hip. Schulenberg did so, again under Johnson's name, Metz said.

On the night of April 14 to April 15, Prince passed out on a flight home from Atlanta, and the private plane made an emergency stop in Moline, Illinois. The musician had to be revived with two doses of a drug that reverses effects of an opioid overdose.

A paramedic told a police detective that after the second shot of naloxone, Prince "took a large gasp and woke up," according to the investigative documents. He said Prince told paramedics, "I feel all fuzzy."

A nurse at the hospital where Prince was taken for monitoring told detectives that he refused routine overdose testing that would have included blood and urine tests. When asked what he had taken, he didn't say what it was, but that "someone gave it to him to relax." Other documents say Prince said he took one or two pills.

The documents show that Johnson contacted Schulenberg again on April 18, and expressed concern that Prince was struggling with opioids. At that time, Schulenberg told investigators, Johnson apologized for asking the doctor to prescribe the previous painkiller.

An assistant to Prince told investigators that he had been unusually quiet and sick with the flu in the days before he was found dead. Meron Bekure said she last saw Prince a day earlier, when she was going to take him to the doctor for a checkup but that Prince told her he would go with Johnson instead.

On that day, Schulenberg saw Prince and ran some tests and prescribed other medications to help him. A urinalysis came back positive for opioids. That same day, Paisley Park staffers contacted California addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld. The doctor sent his son, Andrew, to Minnesota that night, and the younger Kornfeld was among those who found Prince's body. Andrew Kornfeld was carrying buprenorphine, a medication that can be used to help treat opioid addiction.

Andrew Kornfeld told investigators that Prince was still warm to the touch when he was found, but that rigor mortis had begun to set in.

The documents also show that Prince's closest confidants knew he was a private person and tried to respect that, with Johnson saying: "That's what pisses me off cause it's like man, how did he hide this so well?"

Metz said some of Prince's friends might have enabled him as they tried to protect him.

"There is no doubt that the actions of individuals will be criticized, questioned and judged in the days and weeks to come," Metz said. "But suspicions and innuendo are categorically insufficient to support any criminal charges."

The U.S. attorney's office also said Thursday it had no credible evidence that would lead to federal criminal charges. A law enforcement official close to the investigation told The Associated Press that the federal investigation is now inactive unless new information emerges. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the federal case remains open.

But federal authorities announced that Schulenberg had agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a civil violation from the allegation that he illegally prescribed the opioid oxycodone for Prince in Johnson's name. Schulenberg admitted to no facts or liability in the settlement, which includes stricter monitoring of his prescribing practices, and authorities said he is not the target of a criminal investigation.

Oxycodone, the generic name for the active ingredient in OxyContin, was not listed as a cause of Prince's death. But it is part of a family of painkillers driving the nation's addiction and overdose epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 2 million Americans abused or were addicted to prescription opioids, including oxycodone, in 2014.

A confidential toxicology report obtained by the AP in March showed high concentrations of fentanyl in the singer's blood, liver and stomach. The concentration of fentanyl in Prince's blood alone was 67.8 micrograms per liter, which outside experts called "exceedingly high."

Prince did not have a prescription for fentanyl.

Metz said several pills were found at the Paisley Park complex after Prince died, and some were later determined to be counterfeit.

The underground market for counterfeit prescription pain pills is brisk and can be highly anonymous, said Carol Falkowski, CEO of Drug Abuse Dialogues, a Minnesota-based drug abuse training and consulting organization. Buyers often don't know who they're dealing with or what's in the drugs they purchase, she said.

The likelihood of people buying pain pills on the street or online that turn out to be counterfeits laced with fentanyl is "extremely high," said Traci Green, a Boston University Medical Center epidemiologist who focuses on the opioid epidemic.

___

Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski and Doug Glass in Minneapolis, Ryan J. Foley in Des Moines, Iowa, and Tammy Webber in Chicago contributed this report.

___

Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com . More of her work is at: https://apnews.com/search/amy%20forliti .

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