SAN DIEGO (AP) — The next chapter of the “Star Trek” franchise will be called “Star Trek: Discovery.”
The title and footage of the starship Discovery were teased at the end of a Comic-Con panel Saturday celebrating the series’ 50th anniversary with actors from every previous “Trek” series.
“Discovery” executive producer Bryan Fuller said the show coming to the CBS All Access streaming video service will draw upon the optimistic tone established by “Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.
“We have to celebrate a progression of our species,” Fuller told 6,500 fans gathered inside the San Diego Convention Center. “Right now, we need a little help.”
The brief teaser featured close-ups of a Starfleet vessel called the U.S.S. Discovery moving out of a docking station located within an asteroid.
“The idea of naming it ‘Discovery’ just felt so intrinsic to what ‘Star Trek’ represents and where we need to go as a species and how we’re going to collectively come together as a planet,” said Fuller during an interview after the panel.
Fuller noted the writers and producers are currently working on casting “Discovery,” writing the first three scripts and constructing the show’s sets in Toronto. He said they were looking for a diverse team.
“‘Star Trek’ is about family and finding your family,” Fuller said. “We absolutely intend to continue that tradition of progressiveness in our casting choices and representation.”
During the panel, Fuller said “Discovery” will be more like a novel and less episodic than past “Trek” shows.
Fuller was joined at the pop-culture convention by original “Trek” series star William Shatner, “The Next Generation” actors Brent Spiner and Michael Dorn, “Enterprise” leading man Scott Bakula and “Voyager” actress Jeri Ryan.
AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this report.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang .
SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) — A man was wrestled to the ground and detained after he tried to steal the Olympic torch as it passed through the Brazilian town of Guarulhos.
In the video on news portal G1, the unidentified man is seen trying to break through the line of security guards accompanying the torch bearer at the 40 kilometer mark of the parade in Sao Paulo state. The man was taken away and the torch bearer continued the run on Saturday.
The torch will be in Sao Paulo for the next days and will arrive in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 4, one day ahead of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Rio’s Aug. 5-21 games have been hit by Brazil’s economic recession, security concerns and fears about the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Jailed opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez angrily denounced Venezuela’s government on Saturday at an appeals hearing that his supporters are hopeful will overturn a nearly 14-year sentence for inciting violence.
A decision is expected within 10 days, according to Lopez’s party, although government officials have yet to comment.
Tension hung over the marathon proceedings, which ended after 2 a.m. local time, as dozens of Lopez supporters gathered outside the court house to demand his freedom as police in riot gear looked on warily. Inside the courtroom, Lopez angrily denied encouraging the use of violence during a wave of deadly anti-government protests in 2014 even while blasting President Nicolas Maduro.
“I’m innocent of the crimes for which I’ve been charged,” Lopez said at the trial, according to an audio recording released by his political party. But “I take responsibility for having denounced the Venezuelans government as corrupt, inefficient, anti-democratic and repressive.”
The conviction of Lopez, a Harvard-educated former mayor, has been widely condemned as a sham trial by foreign governments including the U.S.
One of the prosecutors, after fleeing to the U.S., said he was pressured by his superiors to produce an arrest warrant and this week the star witness in the case, a language expert, came forward to say that her testimony had been twisted to suggest Lopez’s fiery rhetoric was somehow a subliminal call for violent revolt.
“This is the opportunity to redeem yourselves and be at ease with your conscience, with justice, with your families and our country,” Franklin Nieves, the exiled prosecutor, said in video released this week addressing his former colleagues. “You know this trial was a farce.”
As Venezuela’s economy sinks deeper into a depression, and the opposition pushes for a recall referendum to cut short Maduro’s term, the government has been trying to lower tensions by inviting the opposition to talks aimed at resolving problems such as widespread food shortages.
Momentum toward some sort of dialogue has been building in recent days as the government quietly released around 20 activists detained since May and accepted an opposition proposal to invite the Vatican to play a mediating role.
The National Electoral Council has also taken steps to allow the recall referendum to go forward although the vote may not take place until 2017, which would be too late for new elections to be held should Maduro lose.
The main opposition coalition reiterated in a statement Friday that it’s open to starting a dialogue with the government if its conditions are met and added that it is waiting on electoral authorities.
NEW YORK (AP) — WNBA President Lisa Borders applauds the league’s players for taking a stance on social issues. She just wishes the activism was kept off the court.
The New York, Phoenix and Indiana teams and players were fined this week for wearing black warmup shirts that addressed the recent shooting by and against police. WNBA rules state that uniforms may not be altered in any way.
Borders spent the past two weeks talking with the union and its executive council, trying to come up with ways that both the league and its players could constructively address the Black Lives Matters movement. Nothing concrete was decided.
“We were making every effort to engage our players,” she told The Associated Press by phone Friday night. “We made an effort to support them and we were trying to get them to come to the table to have a conversation. The players have an open invitation with the league.
“Our players are important to us. We believe in them. We want them to be the people they are and we’re proud of them. We want to make sure they play well on the court and they are happy off the court.”
Right now, the players aren’t happy.
On social media and in postgame interviews, players are showing their solidarity after the league fined the Liberty, Mercury and Fever players $500 each this week for wearing plain black warmup shirts that violated the league’s uniform policy. The normal fine for a uniform violation is $200. Each team also was fined $5,000.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said Saturday his organization, the National Action Network, will pay the $500 fines. He called the penalty “unacceptable.”
Washington Mystics players had shirts saying “Black Lives Matters” in the locker room after their game Friday night. Seattle Storm and Minnesota Lynx players tweeted out pictures of their teams wearing black shirts featuring a Martin Luther King Jr. quote before their game. They didn’t wear those shirts on the court to avoid getting fined.
“We’re sick and tired of waking up every morning and seeing something like this (shootings) happen,” Mystics player Ivory Latta said after her team played its final game before the Olympic break. “We need change and we have a platform to speak. Don’t tell us we have a platform and then you penalize us for our platform for speaking and showing our actions. That’s not right.”
Borders, on the job for four months, disagreed with the notion that the league was suppressing its players’ voices.
“We want the players to know that we have supported them in the past, support them today and will continue to support them in the future,” she said. “We’re not trying to stop them from expressing themselves.”
The league just doesn’t want them to do it on the court if it violates the WNBA uniform rules. The shirts that the players were fined for wearing were the Adidas brand — the official outfitter of the league.
“The Adidas black shirts are not regulation,” Borders said. “They are sponsor appropriate, but the Adidas plain black shirt would not be a regulation-issued shirt.”
The union felt it was unnecessary for the league to issue a memo this week reminding the players of the uniform policy. Because of that memo, the players and union weren’t surprised by the fine. They were just disappointed.
“This isn’t about a shirt, but that was the starting point,” Terri Jackson, the new operations director of the WNBA Players Association, told the AP. “The players want to blog about (Black Lives Matter), tweet about it, do videos. They want to raise visibility and keep the conversation going. They don’t want this to die out.”
Jackson said the union’s legal team is looking into what it can do about the fines, which she called excessive. She said the union proposed letting the players have a limited time to express their opinions on the court.
“We talked about doing it pregame at the 10-minute mark or the 15-minute mark and they’d go back and put on their regulation warmup. Wear the regulation warmups for the national anthem and life goes on. That was declined by the league.”
While the league begins its monthlong break Saturday, its top players will be playing in Rio at the Olympics. U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said he was proud of their social activism.
“I respect Tina (Charles) and the players in the WNBA for their concern and their voices and the passion that they have and for their beliefs. I really do,” he said, citing the former UConn player and Liberty star for wearing her warmup shirt inside-out before Thursday’s game. “I’m really proud of some of my former players and the way they’ve stepped forward and spoken their conscience and express their feelings.”
The league was still undecided on whether Charles would be fined.
Auriemma said if players take actions at the Olympics it would be a difficult balancing act.
“As far as USA Basketball is concerned, you know, that’s a very delicate subject,” he said. “Obviously each player has an opportunity to be who they want and say what they feel, but at the same time, you are representing the United States of America, and you are part of the Olympic team. … I’m sure it’ll come up, and we’ll have to deal with it.”
He said the matter would largely fall to U.S. Olympic and basketball authorities.
Both the league and the union hope for constructive conversations during the break. Borders said she’ll be in Rio for two weeks and will participate in the monthly conference call between the two groups on Aug. 1. She missed the call on July 11 when the shirts initially were discussed.
“I love this league and its players. I’d never do anything to harm the league, franchises or players,” Borders said. “I want them to understand we’re here to support them. We’ve hit a bump in a road. This too shall pass.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — A cache of more than 19,000 emails from Democratic party officials, leaked in advance of Hillary Clinton’s nomination at the party’s convention next week in Philadelphia, details the acrimonious split between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Several emails posted by Wikileaks on its document disclosure website show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters and in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion. Some emails also show DNC and White House officials mulling whether to invite guests with controversial backgrounds to Democratic party events.
Although Wikileaks’ posting of the emails Friday did not disclose the identity of who provided the private material, those knowledgeable about the breach said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC computer system. At the time, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the breach was a “serious incident” and a private contractor hired to sweep the organization’s network had “moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network.”
On its web page, Wikileaks said the new cache of emails came from the accounts of “seven key figures in the DNC” and warned that the release was “part one of our new Hillary Leaks series” — an indication that more material might be published soon. Among the officials whose emails were made public were DNC spokesman Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan and finance chief Scott Comer, but other DNC and media figures and even some White House officials communicated with them between January 2015 and last May, Wikileaks said.
The emails include several stinging denunciations of Sanders and his organization before and after the DNC briefly shut off his campaign’s access to the party’s key list of likely Democratic voters.
The DNC temporarily curtailed Sanders’ access to the list in December 2015 because the organization accused the insurgent campaign of illegally tapping into confidential voter information compiled by the Clinton campaign. The Sanders campaign briefly sued the DNC but the party reached an accord with Sanders and the suit was dropped in April.
The emails show that after the furor over the voter records was resolved, hostility simmered from top DNC officials over the Sanders campaign.
In mid-May emails with Miranda, his deputy, Mark Paustenbach, questioned whether the DNC should use the voter record furor to raise doubts about the Sanders campaign.
“Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never had his act together, that his campaign was a mess,” Paustenbach wrote. Miranda spurned the idea, although he agreed with Paustenbach’s take: “True, but the Chair has been advised not to engage. So we’ll have to leave it alone.”
The same month, in another email to DNC officials, another official identified only as “Marshall” said of Sanders: “Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps.”
The Associated Press emailed Miranda, Paustenbach and DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall about the Wikileaks releases but they were not immediately available for comment.
Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Saturday that the emails show “what many of us have known for some time, that there were certainly people at the DNC who were actively helping the Clinton effort and trying to hurt Bernie Sanders’ campaign.”
Weaver said the emails showed that the DNC’s “senior staffers” attacked Sanders about his religion and had roles in “planting negative stories about him with religious leaders in various states.”
Weaver also said the emails may make it harder to promote party unity as Sanders’ supporters mix with Clinton’s majority at the Philadelphia convention. Sanders endorsed Clinton and appeared with him earlier this month in Vermont, but there are concerns over whether some of his embittered supporters might sit out the election this fall.
The new Wikileaks releases also included exchanges between DNC officials and White House event planning officials about whether to allow several influential Democratic party donors to attend events where President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were scheduled to appear. The emails contained lengthy discussions about the donors’ backgrounds, including, in some cases, criminal histories.
One email exchange concerned whether to allow singer Ariana Grande to perform at a DNC event in the wake of an infamous online video posted on the TMZ website that showed Grande licking other customers’ doughnuts at a bakery in California. DNC officials also worried about the singer’s comment in the same video that “I hate America.” Grande, whose real name is Ariana Butera, later apologized for the comment.
According to the emails, White House officials vetoed Grande’s performance.
Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A cold and exhausted 65-year-old Russian balloonist came back to Earth with a bruising thud in the Australian Outback on Saturday after claiming a new record by flying solo around the world nonstop in 11 days, officials said.
Fedor Konyukhov landed 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of Northam, where he started his journey on July 12, about three hours after he flew over the same town on his return, flight coordinator John Wallington said.
“He’s landed, he’s safe, he’s sound, he’s happy,” Wallington said from the landing site. “It’s just amazing.”
“It’s fantastic — the record’s broken, everyone’s safe. It’s all good,” he added.
Konyukhov’s gondola — a carbon box 2 meters (6 feet, 7 inches) high, 2 meters long and 1.8 meters (5 feet, 11 inches) wide — bounced twice over 200 meters (yards) in an empty field and tipped on its side before the support crew grabbed it to prevent the deflating balloon from dragging it farther, crew member Steve Griffin said.
“He’s got a bruise on his cheek, but he’s pretty well unscathed,” Griffin said.
Video of the landing showed Konyukhov smiling but silent as he emerged from the gondola. He stroked his bearded left cheek and wiped his eyes as he was hugged and cheered by supporters.
Konyukhov flew by helicopter back to Northam, where his first shower in 11 days was a priority, Griffin said.
Konyukhov demonstrated precision navigation of his 56-meter (184-foot) -tall helium and hot-air balloon by returning to Australia directly over the west coast city of Perth, then over the airfield at Northam, 96 kilometers (60 miles) to the east by road.
American businessman Steve Fossett also started from Northam to set a record of 13 days, 8 hours for his 33,000-kilometer (20,500-mile) journey in 2002.
Konyukhov, a Russian Orthodox priest, took a longer route and roughly 11 days, 6 hours to complete the circumnavigation.
Crews in six helicopters followed the 1.6-metric-ton (1.8-ton) balloon from Northam inland to help him land.
His journey of more than 34,000 kilometers (21,100 miles) took him through a thunder storm in the Antarctic Circle, where temperatures outside the gondola fell to minus-50 degrees Celsius (minus-58 Fahrenheit).
The gondola heating stopped working on Thursday, so Konyukhov had to thaw his drinking water with the balloon’s main hot air burner, Wallington said.
The journey also took him to speeds up to 240 kilometers (150 miles) per hour and heights up to 10,614 meters (34,823 feet) before he released helium to prevent the balloon from continually climbing as its fuel load lightened, Konyukhov’s son Oscar said.
Konyukhov aimed to get four hours of sleep a day in naps of 30 or 40 minutes between hours of checking and maintaining equipment and instruments.
He used a bucket for a toilet and emptied it over the side.
Konyukhov’s team had said that landing the balloon could be the most challenging and dangerous part of the journey.
Fossett, who was 58 at the time, was forced by strong winds to spend more than a day in the air after setting his own record as the first person to circle the globe in a balloon. His capsule tumbled along the ground for 15 minutes after he landed on a cattle ranch in southwest Australia’s Queensland state. He emerged from the capsule with a bloodied mouth from biting his lip during the rough landing, but was otherwise unhurt.
The Swiss-based World Air Sports Federation did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the new record.