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Joe Biden I Get It, I'll Respect Personal Space

4/3/2019 1:32 PM PDT

Joe Biden is promising to change his ways in the wake of allegations he's gotten way too close for the comfort of at least 2 women. 

The former Veep -- and expected Presidential candidate for 2020 -- is addressing the handsy allegations head-on ... saying it's just who he is, or at least who he HAS been. Biden added, in a video posted Wednesday, he'll get himself in check going forward and be mindful of people's personal space.

Joe says he's always thought of politics as a way to connect to people ... and that he took that to heart quite literally, with handshakes, hugs, shoulder squeezes and other forms of embrace.

He doesn't mention kissing women's heads, though, as Lucy Flores claims he did to her back in 2014. Another woman accused him of pulling her in by the neck to rub noses at a fundraiser in 2009.

In his kinda-mea culpa vid, Biden acknowledges the boundaries of personal bubbles have been reset, and says he'll change too.

His video response couldn't have been better timed, as President Trump and the GOP lean into lampooning Biden for his touchy-feely tendencies.

There was even an attack ad released by a conservative super PAC that labels Biden as "Creepy Joe" ... and shows kids watching reports about him on TV.

Lance Bass Firm on Brunei Boycott ... As Anti-Gay Stoning Law Takes Effect

4/3/2019 2:40 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Lance Bass has some choice words -- and a splash of sarcasm -- for the Sultan of Brunei on the day his country will start stoning gay people to death.

We got the 'NSYNC singer Wednesday leaving NBC in NYC -- where he was plugging his new doc, 'The Boy Band Con' -- and asked about the deadly law that takes effect Wednesday in the Asian country -- gay people can now be stoned to death for who they are.

Lance clearly has a POV, but it was tough for him because while we were talking to him a slew of fans were asking for selfies so whatever he said he had to say with a smile on his face. 

Our camera guys also asks Lance if he was on board with George Clooney's renewed call to boycott hotels owned by Brunei's leader, including The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air. Check it out ... sounds like he's been with it for a while.

We tried seeing if Lance had a message for the Sultan on such a fateful day, and while he had no direct message ... his words here say everything about the backwards country.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Jussie Got Way Better Treatment than I Would!!!

3/27/2019 6:45 AM PDT

Jussie Smollett got off in his criminal case simply because he's a celeb -- so says Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel ... who stops short of calling this a corrupt move, but certainly insinuated it.

Mayor Emanuel went on GMA Wednesday morning following his blistering attack on the Cook County State's Attorney's Office the day before, after they dropped all 16 charges against Jussie and let him walk scot-free.

The Mayor said flat-out ... if he did the same type of thing, he'd have the book thrown at him.  

First Assistant to the State's Attorney Joseph Magats says they decided to drop the charges because it wasn't a violent crime -- and thought Jussie coughing up $10k and doing community service sufficed as punishment. Hizzoner says no one on the outside can make sense of it.

Emanuel doubles down on what he told the media Tuesday -- when he called the decision a "whitewash of justice."

Jussie Smollett Allies Asked Kim Foxx to Intervene Leaked Texts, Emails Show

3/26/2019 12:09 PM PDT

Jussie Smollett had pals of his in the Cook County State's Attorney's ear early on in his case -- and, based on leaked correspondence, it looks like she acted on his behalf.

Texts and emails between State Attorney Kim Foxx and two Jussie allies -- one of which is reported to be a family member of his -- have been leaked, and they show that Foxx was asked to intervene in the case a few days after he'd reported the alleged attack to Chicago PD. It appears that she did exactly that ... and kept Jussie's camp in the loop. 

The initial correspondence started when Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, emailed Foxx to say that she was reaching out on behalf of Jussie's family to express "concerns" they had with how the investigation at that point was being handled.

Jussie had not been charged with a crime yet, but it's believed Chicago PD was already doubting his story and leaking info to the press pushing that narrative. 

Foxx responded to Tchen on Feb. 1, saying ... "Spoke to Superintendent Johnson. I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get back to me shortly." 

The same day, an unnamed relative of Jussie's texted Foxx herself, as well, and Foxx said she was working on getting the case sent over to the FBI. The relative replied, "Omg this would a huge victory." Foxx then responded, "I make no guarantees, but I'm trying."

Later, Foxx recused herself from the case when Jussie became a suspect. And, of course, her office just announced Tuesday that it was dropping all of the charges against Jussie, after coming out strong with a 16-count indictment just weeks earlier. 

Her official reasoning for dropping the charges ... Jussie has done community service in the community, so we're good. Her office asked a judge to seal the case, and they obliged. Mayor Rahm Emanuel strongly hinted at corruption in the State's Attorney's Office.

The Chicago-Tribune first reported on the leaked texts and emails.

On the heels of all the charges being dropped against Jussie earlier Tuesday, the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago is asking the Dept. of Justice to investigate Kim Foxx and her involvement in this case.

Ariana Grande Press Sours on Sweetener Tour's Photo Policy

3/26/2019 6:53 AM PDT

Ariana Grande is acting like a tyrant on her new tour ... at least, according to media organizations that are fuming over her photography policy.

Several major news outlets -- including the AP, New York Times, LA Times and 12 others -- have joined the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) in protesting Ariana's photo policy on her current Sweetener World Tour.

The NPPA claims the tour contract she's making them sign to cover her concerts requires photographers to hand over all rights to their photos to her tour company, GrandAriTour, Inc. ... and they're only allowed to take still shots from a designated area during the first 3 songs.

If the photogs want to use their pics, they have to get written approval from Grande ... and even then, they can only use each photo once as part of a news story. 

The 16 media outlets believe this is a massive overreach and flies in the face of journalistic principles ... and the NPPA president is urging members to refuse to sign Ariana's photography agreement.

No word yet if the singer will change her tune.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib I'm Not Buyin' What Barr's Sellin' Prove to Me Trump Didn't Collude

3/26/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Rep. Rashida Tlaib says President Trump is NOT off the hook in Robert Mueller's Russian collusion investigation ... because she clearly doesn't trust the man who summarized it.

We got the Democrat Congresswoman at Reagan National and raised the issue ... isn't it a good thing for the country if the Prez didn't collude with Putin and Co.? The Congresswoman recoiled and made it clear ... she's not convinced Trump's clean, given all we know is what his hired gun, Attorney General William Barr, said in his letter

Barr did quote Mueller's conclusion on the issue of collusion ... "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

The unconvinced Tlaib says the only way this "dark cloud" can be lifted is for the report to be released in full, without a cushion from a Trump ally. 

It's interesting -- Tlaib talks impeachment with us here too ... saying Trump's misdeeds go well beyond the Russians.

Jeanine Pirro, FOX News Big W Over DeRay Mckesson ... Defamation Suit Dismissed

3/25/2019 3:08 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

3/26 7:40 AM PT -- DeRay's response to the decision is a pretty pointed shot at Jeanine. He tellsTMZ, "I'm obviously disappointed, but as FOX argued and the judge recognized ... when you have a certain reputation, less is expected of you."

Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson is coming up short in his legal battle against Jeanine Pirro -- his defamation lawsuit has been tossed out of court.

The judge dismissed the case, according to docs filed Thursday in NY state, saying most of the statements Pirro made about Mckesson during a "FOX & Friends" appearance were her opinion ... and therefore protected by the First Amendment.

You'll recall ... DeRay sued Pirro and FOX News over comments she made back in 2017 when she essentially blamed him for inciting violence during a Baton Rouge protest. A police officer was injured during the incident, and Jeanine felt DeRay should've been held responsible for that.

The judge didn't exactly paint a flattering picture of Pirro's commentary, saying ... "Pirro's lack of temperament and caustic commentary is what she is known, celebrated, and frequently criticized for."

He added, while the court might not agree with or "condone her behavior or rhetoric" ... the law protects her expression of opinion.

L.A. Marathon Exoskeleton Helps Paralyzed Man Have 'Greatest Weekend of My Life'

3/25/2019 1:12 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

1:12 PM PT -- Adam tells TMZ walking 17.2 miles at the L.A. Marathon was the greatest weekend of his life. He says he's still beat up from the experience but clearly it was worth it. Check out the vid ... he tells us exactly how a paralyzed person can walk with help from the ReWalk Exoskeleton.

Adam Gorlitsky -- who is paralyzed from the waist down -- provided one of the most uplifting stories from the Los Angeles Marathon ... walking a stunning 17.2 miles.

As we first reported ... Adam walked with help from the $95k ReWalk Exoskeleton. His journey began Friday at midnight at Dodger Stadium, and by 7 PM ... Adam had made it to mile marker 11 at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, walking for a whopping 19 hours straight.

The hills at Chavez Ravine and managing traffic before the race course was completely set up proved to be big obstacles for Adam. Exhaustion and pain on his wrists also forced him to take a breather.

He returned Sunday at 7 AM in Westwood at the brand new start line for the "ReEnabled Division" at mile marker 20. The new start line's something Adam and the foundation, I GOT LEGS, helped create for others like him who want to take part in the elite marathon with a little help from the course.

Adam walked the remaining 6.2 miles and crossed the finish line at around 4 PM. He started the race with a support group that included friends traveling from other states to walk with him. Adam finished with a bigger group as others inspired by his story decided to walk the final stretch with him.

While Adam didn't walk the entire 26.2-mile course ... he vows to keep trying until he becomes the first paralyzed person in history to complete a full marathon on U.S. soil. When you see his determination in this video, it's hard to doubt he'll do it.  

Originally Published -- 9:53 AM PT

Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS 2nd Survivor Dies by Suicide ... Days After Sydney Aiello

3/24/2019 10:42 AM PDT

A second student survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre has died by suicide -- this just days after another survivor took her own life. 

The Coral Springs Police Department responded to a neighboring home Saturday night where a dead juvenile had been found, according to a spokesperson, who kept the victim's ID anonymous. Cop say they're investigating the death as an apparent suicide. 

According to reports, the student was a 17-year-old male sophomore at MSDHS, who was enrolled at the school at the time of 2018 shooting, which claimed 17 lives. 

This marks the second suicide death in just a matter of days, as 19-year-old Sydney Aiello -- who also survived the massacre and recently graduated from MSDHS -- killed herself last week and had a funeral held for her this past week. 

Aiello's mother told local media that her daughter had been dealing with survivor's guilt after the shooting and was recently diagnosed with PTSD. 

David Hogg spoke on the second suicide Sunday, expressing his condolences ... and seemingly putting the blame on the government's inaction on sweeping gun control laws.

Cruise Ship Evacuation Mayday in Norway ... Arrives Safely at Port a Day Later

3/24/2019 9:40 AM PDT

3/24 9:40 AM PT -- Viking Sky cruise has finally docked safely in the port of Molde in Norway.

3/24 7:40 AM PT -- The ship has regained some power and is being towed in by a tugboat and 2 supply ships. Only 500 people were airlifted from the distressed vessel. There are over 800 people still on board. Around 20 people sustained injuries as a result of being tossed around like rag dolls.  

7:40 PM PT -- The evacuation is ongoing and may go well into Sunday, as rescuers have been facing waves more than 20 feet high. Passengers have been getting airlifted out one at a time.

According to CNN ... passengers were on a 12-day Northern Lights cruise that began on March 14 and was supposed to arrive at its final destination in England on March 26. The Viking Sky had been stopping at various Norwegian towns before the Saturday mayday call.

12:25 PM PT-- A passenger just shared video from inside the cruise ship ... and it's terrifying. Furniture and large plants on deck of the tilting vessel are being thrashed around by the rough seas.

Other reports are coming in from passengers who have made it back to the mainland, calling the experience the worst and scariest of their lives. One woman said there's water and broken glass everywhere due to items being thrown around and smashing windows, and people are getting cut up. It's easy to see how.

There are still reportedly more than 800 people on board, as the helicopters can only rescue 10-15 at a time, and the rescue boats have been having difficulty in the rough waters.

Passengers on a cruise off of Norway's coast are taking the ride of their lives ... but not in the fun way they expected at all.

Police say the cruise ship Viking Sky issued a mayday call Saturday off of Norway's western coast due to engine problems amid high waves and strong winds.

The ship's 1,300 passengers and crew are being evacuated by several helicopters and ships after Norway's sea rescue agency received the distress signal.

There haven't been any serious injuries, fortunately, but 5 people have reportedly been taken to the hospital. According to reports, the cruise ship was beginning to drift toward shore but managed to restart an engine and regain its course as the evacuation continues.

It's expected to take several hours.

The Viking Sky belongs to Viking Ocean Cruises and made its maiden voyage in 2017.

Originally Published -- 10:33 AM PT

Air France-KLM Dog Dies During Flight To L.A. ... PETA Lashes Out

3/21/2019 5:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

3/21 5:30 AM PT -- A spokesperson for KLM tells us ... "The dog's owner has been notified and we express our condolences. In cooperation with the local health authority in the US, the CDC, the dog was initially examined to ensure there was no immediately obvious public health threat. The dog was loaded correctly according to KLM's pet policy."

They concluded by saying they'll need to wait for the necropsy results to determine the cause of death.

2:14 PM PT -- A rep for PETA tells us, "Tragedies like this one are exactly why airlines must require that animals travel in the main cabin only. PETA urges Air France-KLM to join airlines such as JetBlue and Southwest in prohibiting companion animals from being flown in the cargo hold, where they endure noise, extreme temperatures and sometimes inadequate pressurization, before yet another sensitive animal suffers and dies, terrified and alone."A dog that made a trip aboard an Air France-KLM jetliner that took off in Amsterdam ended up dead in L.A. 

Airline sources tell TMZ ... the dog, which looks like a husky, was found dead Tuesday afternoon in the cargo hold.  

One Air France employee with knowledge of the incident claims ... the dog was incorrectly loaded in the cargo hold and lost oxygen during the transatlantic flight. According to flight trackers, the flight time was 10 hours, 45 minutes.

We're told the dog's owner picked up her dead pet at Air France's LAX warehouse ... and as you can imagine, she was devastated. 

We've seen pictures of the dead dog ... but the images are too disturbing to share. 

As we've reported ... dead dogs on commercial flights are becoming all too common, and some deaths end up triggering criminal investigations

Air France and KLM merged in 2004 to create Air France-KLM.

We've reached out to Air France for comment ... so far, no word back. 

Originally Published -- 11:07 AM PT

Mob Boss Frank Cali Murder Suspect Arrested Allegedly Wanted to Date His Niece

3/17/2019 11:04 AM PDT

3/17 -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... cops are investigating whether Cali's killing was over a family dispute -- namely, whether Cali blocked Comello from dating his niece. We're told police believe this is something that could've possibly motivated Comello to shoot Cali.  

2:21 PM PT -- The NYPD held a press conference Saturday, saying Anthony Comello is in custody and expected to be charged for Frank Cali's murder. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told the media that they believe Comello is the shooter. He's currently being held in a New Jersey jail but will be charged in Staten Island. No word on an official motive.

Police have apprehended a person of interest in the murder of Gambino crime boss, Frank Cali ... TMZ has confirmed.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops picked up a white 24-year-old man in New Jersey Saturday morning, who is now being questioned in connection with the killing. 

As we reported ... someone rolled up to Cali's Staten Island home Wednesday night and opened fire on the mob boss, apparently running him over as well. 

Our sources say the man was apprehended in Jersey in the vicinity of a blue pickup truck -- which is significant to the investigation. According to investigators, witnesses say they saw a man in a blue pickup truck slam into Cali's parked car, prompting him to come outside.

Police say about a minute after Cali confronted the man who'd struck his car, the other guy pulled out a handgun and fired 12 shots ... 6 of which hit Cali. Cops say Cali then tried to crawl under the back end of the other guy's truck before the man drove away.

We're told the 24-year-old, who has yet to be identified, has not been arrested or charged with a crime as of yet. He's simply someone cops wanted to talk to. Our sources also tell us the dude -- whom we're being told is from Staten Island -- was tracked down in part through his cell phone.

Also interesting ... we're told cops don't believe the murder was actually mob-related, as it appears to be more of a personal dispute than anything else.

Cali reportedly took over as head of the Gambino family in 2015. John Gotti was the "boss" before going down for murder and racketeering in 1992.

Originally Published -- 3/16 10:58 AM PT

'Breakfast Club' Host Angela Yee Here's What I'd Ask Trump About ... BUT, He's Gotta Hit Us First

3/17/2019 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

'Breakfast Club' host Angela Yee isn't shying away from having President Trump on the hip-hop radio show -- in fact, she's already got her questions lined up. 

Angela expanded on the interview she, DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God did with FOX News this week, where they were asked if they'd be open to having DT come on the show. She doubled down with us, saying sure ... but they're not gonna reach out.

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Seeing how the Prez's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, entertained the idea further by encouraging an appearance, Angela gave us a taste of what she and the team might ask. 

Hint ... they're tough questions the Prez has been able to duck and dodge in a press conference setting, but would be incredibly difficult to evade in a radio setting. And, they're valid questions too -- ranging from his Central Park Five history to Obama himself.

But, because Trump has a history of censoring the media -- or at least trying to -- it doesn't sound like Angela is holding her breath for a possible face-to-face.

Side note -- Angela says she's felt Trump supporters' fury first-hand since talking on FOX. 

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