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Once allies, Stormy Daniels and Avenatti face off at trial

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Once allies, Stormy Daniels and Avenatti face off at trial

By LARRY NEUMEISTER

NEW YORK (AP) — Stormy Daniels, the porn star who catapulted herself and Michael Avenatti to fame with lawsuits against former President Donald Trump, will have a starring role in court beginning Monday when prosecutors try to prove that the California lawyer cheated her of $300,000 in book proceeds.

Her testimony in Manhattan federal court will be pivotal for prosecutors trying to prove Avenatti engaged in wire fraud and aggravated identity theft to keep from giving his client money he had received from her publisher. Opening statements are set for Monday. Daniels is not expected to testify until Tuesday, at the earliest.

Avenatti, 50, has pleaded not guilty to the charges in what will be his third criminal trial in two years.

In early 2020, he was convicted of trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to tarnish the sportswear giant’s reputation unless it met his demands. He has not yet begun serving a 2 1/2-year prison sentence. Last year, a mistrial resulted in California on charges that he cheated clients there. He awaits retrial.

The attorney-client relationship between Daniels and Avenatti seemed strong in the spring of 2018 when the pair showed up together at a Manhattan court hearing pertaining to raids on the home and office of Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney.

Cohen had played a role in a $130,000 hush-money payment to Daniels to buy her silence 11 days before the 2016 presidential election. He eventually pleaded guilty to charges and served a year behind bars before finishing his three-year prison term at home.

With Avenatti’s help, Daniels sued Trump to try to win back her freedom to speak openly about what she contended was a brief affair with Trump a decade earlier. As a result of the litigation in 2018, a Los Angeles judge ordered Trump to pay Daniels $44,100 in legal fees. Trump has denied the sexual encounter.

With Daniels as a client and his growing reputation as a Trump critic, Avenatti found himself in demand on cable television news programs. He became so popular in some circles that he considered a run for president.

After Daniels signed a book deal, the pair remained close, and Avenatti was enlisted to write the forward to “Full Disclosure,” which was released in the fall of 2018. In the book, Daniels revealed details about what she described as her sexual encounter with Trump and communications afterward.

But a half-year after the book was published, Avenatti was charged in three criminal cases, including the fraud he was alleged to have carried out against Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.

After his arrest, Avenatti insisted in Twitter posts that no money related to Daniels was ever misappropriated or mishandled and that he mostly worked unpaid for Daniels with an agreement that he would receive a percentage of any book proceeds. He said he looked “forward to a jury hearing the evidence.”

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What Did Taylor Swift Study At NYU

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What Did Taylor Swift Study At NYU

Blank Space singer Taylor Swift has graduated from New York University, well, and accepted an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts.

She didn’t go to the University, but she’s been offered the honorary doctorate. An honorary award is usually given to the celebs by a University; to honor their achievements in certain areas of expertise. The universities relinquish all the standard requirements, such as sitting in exams and studying, and offer them doctorates as praise.

What Degree Did Taylor Swift Receive?

 On Wednesday, the 18th of May, Taylor Swift was presented with an honorary degree of Doctorate of Fine Arts by the New York University. This Degree celebrates her achievements in the music industry, and she can now be called Doctor Taylor Swift officially.

She has given 9 original albums and has won 29 Billboard Music Awards, 34 American Music Awards, and 11 Grammys.

People think she is originally from New York, but she was born in Tennessee. New York University has been a big fan of hers; given that is why she chose her to honor with a degree. The University has even dedicated courses to her music, writing, and business.

In an official press release, the University celebrated Taylor’s many accomplishments. It said she’s the most prolific and eminent artist of her generation; and the only female artist to win a Grammy for album of the year thrice.

Due to the intricate nature of artistic force, Taylor could not resume her studies and dedicated her time to the music industry, which ultimately paid off well.

In her speech to NYUs class 2022, she said it can an astounding when you’re figuring out who you want to be, who you are now; and how to take steps to go where you want to go. She said she has good news that it’s totally up to you to figure out, and she also has bad news. It’s totally up to you.

1653079964 564 What Did Taylor Swift Study At NYU

Taylor Accepts The Degree.

Taylor accepts the honor on Wednesday at New York University, 2022. In the opening line, she mentioned that the last time she was in the size of this stadium, and wore a glittery leotard and heels; what she is wearing now is much more comfortable.

Later she thanked the University for the degree and added that she was 90% sure she was here because of her song 22. Later she thanked the University that it made her doctor; at least on paper, and jokingly said she was not the type of doctor one would want in case of an emergency.

She continued her speech, thanked her family, told how she had never had a normal college experience, and congratulated the students who managed the college during the pandemic. 

The post What Did Taylor Swift Study At NYU appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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Dane Mizutani: Wild GM Bill Guerin doesn’t regret Zach Parise-Ryan Suter buyouts, and he shouldn’t

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Dane Mizutani: Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell is not Jim Harbaugh, which is kind of the point

For the next few seasons, the Wild are going to be in salary-cap hell. They made sure of that last offseason by paying Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to go away.

More specifically, general manager Bill Guerin made sure of that by having the guts to make such a big move.

Though he understood the financial implications of the buyouts — $12.74 million in dead-cap money in 2022-23, $14.74 million in dead cap in 2023-24 and $14.74 million in dead cap in 2024-25 — Guerin believed it was the only way the Wild were ever going to make the leap to having a chance of being a Stanley Cup contender.

The status quo wasn’t working. Something needed to change.

With a fresh start this season, the Wild finished the regular season with an impressive 53-22-7 record and a franchise-record 113 points before losing to the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs.

Question: Were the buyouts worth it? Answer: Absolutely.

While it might be hard to see progress after another early exit in the playoffs, the Wild are in much a better place heading into this offseason.

It finally feels as if this group is building toward something bigger, not scratching and clawing simply to stay on the periphery of the playoff picture.

With captain Jared Spurgeon in charge, and alternate captains Marcus Foligno and Matt Dumba leading alongside him, the Wild felt different on and off the ice this season.

It actually felt like a team rather than a bunch of individuals who happen to work together.

“This is the first season (since I’ve been here) that management, coaches and players alike were able to do things exactly the way we wanted to do them,” Guerin said. “We took such a big step in the right direction in my mind, and that gives me a lot of hope for what’s to come.”

It doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines of that response. Though he never referred to them by name, Guerin was talking about Parise and Suter no longer being around.

They left and the culture got better. It’s as simple as that.

As much as Parise and Suter deserve credit for helping the franchise return to relevance — the Wild only missed the playoffs once during their near-decade-long tenure in the Twin Cities — they were also at the epicenter of a locker room that was rarely on the same page.

It’s no coincidence that Spurgeon, Foligno and Dumba go out of their way to talk about the inclusiveness inside the locker room nowadays.

It’s no coincidence that coach Dean Evason constantly mentions how much his players “love” each other.

It’s no coincidence that Guerin hasn’t for a nanosecond regretted the buyouts despite the financial implications.

“I’d do it again,” Guerin said. “We knew exactly what position we were putting ourselves in. We’re just going to deal with it. It’s not something where we go into the office like, ‘Oh god, we’ve got to deal with this.’ No. This is it. We knew what we were doing.”

Now, there’s no doubt the buyouts will make things more difficult on the Wild in the short term. They most likely won’t be able to afford star winger Kevin Fiala this offseason because of the dead cap, and beyond that, Guerin will have to do some finagling to fill out his roster.

But Guerin is confident the Wild will be just as competitive next season because of the culture they have in place.

“We’ve made some moves over the last couple of seasons to kind of mold things,” Guerin said. “We wanted to create something that was special without any obstacles in the way.”

Those obstacles are gone. Now the Wild need to continue moving in the right direction. They can no longer blame Parise and Suter for their shortcomings.

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What’s the deal with NFTs? Snoop Dogg is coming to Minneapolis to explain

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What’s the deal with NFTs? Snoop Dogg is coming to Minneapolis to explain

A four-day conference exploring digital ownership and the way emerging technologies could interact with art, sports and entertainment has landed at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

VeeCon is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee.

It’s billed as an event “featuring icons of business, sports, music, arts, Web3, and popular culture in conversation to build lasting relationships, share ideas, and connect with the community.”

VeeCon is expected to draw over 10,000 visitors from around world who will hear from 150 speakers, from New Age guru Deepak Chopra to filmmaker Spike Lee and the ubiquitous rapper Snoop Dogg.

Tickets were sold in the form of NFTs, which are non-fungible tokens sold on the blockchain, a digital ledger of transactions. Much of the conference will dive into the potential applications for NFTs.

Conference attendee Ami Barzelay, a San Francisco man who has dabbled in the NFT market, described NFT ownership as “digital bragging rights.” An NFT, which could be an image, song or video, can be copied and enjoyed by anyone in the world, but it may have just one owner.

The NFT market, still in its infancy, has seen wild swings in what people are willing to pay for digital assets, which Barzelay has experienced first-hand. He said that for fun, he paid $100 for a video clip of Tiger Woods and later sold it for $5,000.

There is inherent skepticism and fear around buying and selling things that don’t exist in the physical world, which VeeCon aims to address.

During a media luncheon Thursday, Vaynerchuk said it would take education, communication and time to get people more comfortable with the idea of NFTs and the blockchain.

“Many of us remember either us, or especially our parents, being incredibly scared and uncomfortable” using a credit card for an online purchase, he said.

And while there were some early problems with fraud and theft, safeguards eventually were developed. That’ll happen soon enough for the blockchain, he said, predicting that in 20 years that’s how all property sales will be recorded.

“Education and communication solve everything,” he said.

While the conference, which runs through Sunday afternoon, is focused on NFTs, there’s much more to learn about their place in the new world of the blockchain.

“NFTs are really fun for collectability, but it is a tiny part of the consumer blockchain,” Vaynerchuk said. “We will eventually all interact with NFTs because they will be our airline tickets, they will be our receipts, they will be our tickets to U.S. Bank Stadium, they will be our membership cards. Right now, we use plastic, QR codes or email confirmations for many things that I think the blockchain will eat up because it’s better technology for those things. It will just take some time.”

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