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Movie prop money being passed as real in Pennsylvania town

Movie prop money is being passed as though it's real in one western Pennsylvania city.

Aliquippa police have posted pictures of a fake $20 bill that was passed at a local business.

Although the bill looks convincingly real otherwise, there is one dead giveaway: The words "Motion Picture Use Only" are printed clearly on the front and back of the bill in question.

Police haven't said if they know where the money came from or who passed it.

It is not against the law to use real U.S. currency in movies and TV shows. But producers of such shows often use fake bills so they don't have to concern themselves with theft or loss, especially when large sums of money appear on screen.

Joss Whedon's ex-wife alleges infidelity in scathing essay

The ex-wife of director Joss Whedon writes in a scathing essay that the filmmaker known for holding up feminist ideals "is not who he pretends to be."

Kai Cole writes in The Wrap that Whedon had numerous affairs during their 16-year marriage. She says Whedon used his marriage as a shield, "so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist."

Cole says she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after Whedon confessed the infidelities.

A representative for Whedon tells The Wrap that Cole's "account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations," but adds that Whedon isn't commenting "out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife."

Whedon is best known for directing "The Avengers" and its 2015 sequel.

Mnuchin's wife touts fashion labels, slams critic

Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, blasted as "adorably out of touch" a person who criticized her Instagram post in which Linton depicted her designer-label outfit.

Linton posted the picture of herself Monday getting off a government plane in Kentucky with Mnuchin. In her post, she mentioned several designer labels for her all-white outfit, including Tom Ford and Valentino.

The commenter responded: "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable."

Linton, an actress, responded on Instagram by calling the commenter "adorably out of touch." She suggested she and Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive and hedge fund investor, contributed more to the U.S. economy and paid more in taxes than her critic.

"Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours," Linton added.

She went on to call the commenter's response "passive aggressive" and "nasty" before ending her retort with a suggestion that the critic, "go chill out and watch the new game of thrones."

Linton's Instagram account is private, but a screengrab of her response has circulated online. Linton and the Treasury Department didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Mnuchin was visiting Kentucky Monday for an appearance with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a tour of Fort Knox.

The Scottish-born Linton apologized last year amid criticism of a self-published memoir of a year she spent in Africa as a teen, and withdrew the book. Critics deemed it inaccurate in its depiction of life on the continent. An excerpt was published online by The Telegraph, but taken down by the British newspaper "in light of the concerns raised by readers."

Linton has also had small roles in films and television shows and more recently worked as a producer. Mnuchin produced several films before being tapped for the Treasury post by President Donald Trump. The pair married in June in a ceremony attended by the president.

Netflix loves to pick hits for each subscriber _ but how?

Netflix wants subscribers to know it's looking out for them.

For instance, the average Netflix subscriber might never guess that its dark superhero drama "Jessica Jones" might strike similar chords as the zany hijinks of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Netflix is happy to help you make the connection.

Much of the attention showered on this streaming-video giant in recent years has dwelled on its insatiable appetite for original content and for creators to produce it.

"We want to appeal to as many different people as possible, and appeal to the many moods that each person has," says vice president of product innovation Todd Yellin. "The more diverse our content, the more likely that someone, at their moment of truth about what they're going to watch, will choose to go to Netflix."

But this service's multibillion-dollar annual outlay for new programming necessitates another challenge: helping each program get discovered by the subscribers most likely to enjoy it. Four out of five of the shows watched on Netflix were found by its subscribers thanks to recommendations offered them, Netflix says.

Those suggested new favorites are much more customized for each subscriber than might be evident from a glance at the Netflix home page.

Most every row of program suggestions (even generic-seeming categories like "Comedies" and "Dramas") is tailored for each subscriber, Yellin says.

And how the rows are arranged vertically on the home page is a function of the subscriber's demonstrated genre preferences.

"You might have 'Comedies' as your fifth row," says Yellin, "and for another person it might be 25th. And someone else might not get a comedy row at all."

So your Netflix is different from everybody else's. But where do these tips come from?

"It's very important that the titles most relevant to each person bubble up to the top of the catalog," says Yellin. "And we want those relevant titles to be diverse. We don't want to make the amateur mistake of getting caught in an echo chamber, such as: Just because you watched one horror title, slapping in front of you nothing but more horror titles."

Yellin likens the process of providing bespoke TV for each customer to a three-way collaboration.

First, a legion of Netflix "taggers" screens every program, tagging different elements that compose it. This data is crunched and continuously refined by the company's secret-sauce algorithm. And then viewer habits gathered by Netflix from its 100 million accounts worldwide add more grist to the mill.

Thus can Netflix take a "gateway" program and point the person watching it to other unexpected or unknown fare with presumably similar appeal.

Consider "Ozark," which viewers might be led to from any of several directions, explains Yellin.

"Ozark" is a recently released original drama series starring Jason Bateman as a money-laundering family man who's seriously jammed up with the Mexican drug cartel he works for.

"We've found that people who tend to watch 'Blacklist' and 'House of Cards' tend to like 'Ozark,'" says Yellin. "But another kind of person who will find he likes 'Ozark' is a fan of 'Narcos' and 'El Chapo' and other drug-cartel-oriented dramas and documentaries."

But, wait, there's yet another "taste community" rallying to "Ozark," says Yellin: fans of the 2015 film "The Big Short," which deals with Wall Street dirty tricks, have been found to respond to the money monkeyshines that animate "Ozark."

"It's not like we could have guessed this ahead of time," says Yellin. "We just track which shows tend to cluster together. Who would have thought that 'Jessica Jones' and 'Kimmy Schmidt' would cluster together?" As well as — no kidding — "Making a Murderer" and a John Mulaney stand-up concert.

___

EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org

British science fiction writer Brian Aldiss dies at 92

Brian Aldiss, one of the most prolific and influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, has died aged 92.

Literary agency Curtis Brown said Aldiss died early Saturday at his home in Oxford, England.

Born in 1925, Aldiss served in India and Burma with the British Army during World War II and later became a bookseller, publishing his first stories in a trade magazine.

He went on to have a huge influence on sci-fi, as a writer of stories and novels and as editor of many anthologies.

His work includes "Greybeard," set in a world without young people, and the "Helliconia" trilogy, centered on a planet in which the seasons last for centuries.

Aldiss' 1969 short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" was an unrealized dream project for the late Stanley Kubrick and formed the basis for Steven Spielberg's 2001 film "A.I."

He also wrote general fiction, some of it inspired by his wartime experiences, and two volumes of autobiography.

Son Tim Aldiss tweeted that his father was "a drinking companion of Kingsley Amis & correspondent with C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien," and younger writers hailed Aldiss as a major influence and encouraging mentor. On Twitter, "Sandman" author Neil Gaiman called him "a larger than life wise writer."

Aldiss was awarded the title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Russian theater director detained in embezzlement case

In a blow to Russia's contemporary arts scene, investigators on Tuesday detained one of the country's most prominent directors and are pressing embezzlement charges against him.

Kirill Serebrennikov, known for bold productions that poke fun at Russia's growing social conservatism, is one of Russia's most venerated theater and film directors whose work spans from drama to opera. His movie, "The Student," won the Francois Chalais prize at the Cannes film festival last year.

Serebrennikov is suspected of embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) of government funds that were earmarked for a production at his theater, the Investigative Committee, which looks into high-profile crimes, said in a statement.

The RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday quoted Serebrennikov's lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov as saying that his client was detained in St. Petersburg where he was shooting a movie about a Soviet rock star and escorted to Moscow.

The 47-year-old director was briefly detained and questioned in May but the investigators stopped short of saying they suspect he was involved. The theater's accountant and one senior manager are in custody and another manager is under house arrest pending the probe. Russia media reported earlier this month that the accountant had testified against the director.

Serebrennikov has denied any wrongdoing. His supporters have dismissed the investigation as payback from the Kremlin's conservative circles for his pithy satire of Russian officialdom.

Serebrennikov's productions have been sold out for years. While he was known to enjoy support and protection of liberal-leaning government officials, he has often been the target of conservative activists and politicians.

In July, the legendary Bolshoi Theater canceled a much anticipated ballet directed by Serebrennikov just three days before the opening night, a development that got many in Moscow's art scene to speak of a return to censorship. The Bolshoi denied reports that the show had been scrapped because of its frank portrayal of the protagonist dancer's gay relationships.

The detention of one of Russia's most sought-after directors has shocked the art community.

Film director Pavel Lungin compared Russia's law enforcement agencies to a "Biblical beast" and said on Ekho Moskvy radio station that arresting Serebrennikov doesn't make sense "because he isn't a dangerous criminal."

A court is expected to rule within the next 48 hours whether to keep Serebrennikov in custody or not.

Cosby's new lawyers want delay in start of November retrial

Bill Cosby's new legal team said Tuesday it wants to delay the start of his sexual assault retrial, currently set for November, as the 80-year-old comedian's lawyers get up to speed on the case.

Cosby's new lawyers made their first court appearance on behalf of "The Cosby Show" star, who's charged with drugging and molesting a woman at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. His first trial in June ended in a hung jury, setting the stage for a retrial.

The attorneys who represented Cosby at the first trial, Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa, had asked to be let off the case. Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill granted their request, praising them for their "extraordinary advocacy."

As they left the courtroom, the departing lawyers shook hands with Cosby and his new legal team, which includes Tom Mesereau, the high-profile attorney who won an acquittal in Michael Jackson's child molestation case. Others on the new team are former federal prosecutor Kathleen Bliss and Sam Silver, who represented now-imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in a corruption case.

The new lawyers said they want jurors picked from Montgomery County, where the alleged assault at Cosby's home took place. The first jury was selected from the Pittsburgh area and spent two weeks sequestered 300 miles (480 kilometers) from home.

Cosby is being retried on charges that he assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. He has said their sexual encounter was consensual.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

Jay-Z dedicates ‘Numb/Encore’ performance to Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

While performing a set at Virgin V Festival in Chelmsford, England, Sunday, Jay-Z paid tribute to Chester Bennington, the late Linkin Park singer.

UsWeekly reported that the rap icon, 47, mentioned Bennington by name before performing “Numb/Encore,” a 2004 single that was a collaboration between Jay and Linkin Park.

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“Can you guys light it up tonight for Chester, Linkin Park, one time tonight?” he said. “Please make some noise so he can hear you all the way up in heaven tonight!”

Bennington died of a suicide July 20 at his Los Angeles home. He was 41 years old.

“Numb/Encore” comes from “Collision Course,” a collaborative EP released by Jay and Linkin Park in 2004. 

Linkin Park member Mike Shonda tweeted a thank you to Jay-Z for dedicating the performance to Bennington, according to People.

“We appreciate you,” Shonda wrote.

A video, uploaded by a concertgoer, of the performance at the festival can be watched on YouTube.

Coroner: Jerry Lewis death was from end-stage heart disease

Authorities in Las Vegas say Jerry Lewis died of heart disease, but the wording of his death certificate differs from what was reported earlier.

Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said Monday that Lewis' official cause of death was end-stage cardiac disease and peripheral vascular disease.

Lewis was the clownish comic hailed as an artistic genius and the host for decades of annual muscular dystrophy telethons.

He died Sunday of natural causes in Las Vegas at age 91.

Fudenberg says coroner deputies had been told Lewis died of ischemic (ih-SKEE'-mihk) cardiomyopathy.

Ferozan Malal is the hospice and palliative medicine physician in Las Vegas who signed Lewis' death certificate.

She tells The Associated Press that peripheral vascular disease and ischemic cardiomyopathy both fall under the category of end-stage cardiac disease.

Box Office Top 20: 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' hits No. 1

"The Hitman's Bodyguard" stole the weekend from the heist pic "Logan Lucky." Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds, "The Hitman's Bodyguard" opened to $21.4 million, easily topping the weekend which continued the downward spiral of the summer movie season compared to last year.

The horror pic "Annabelle: Creation" took second place in its second weekend in theaters with $15.6 million, while director Steven Soderbergh's "Logan Lucky," starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig, hobbled into third place in its first weekend in theaters with $7.6 million.

Christopher Nolan's WWII pic "Dunkirk" placed fourth with $6.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $165.4 million after 5 weeks in theaters, while "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" took fifth with $5.1 million.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:

1. "The Hitman's Bodyguard," Lionsgate, $21,384,504, 3,377 locations, $6,332 average, $21,384,504, 1 Week.

2. "Annabelle: Creation," Warner Bros., $15,612,680, 3,542 locations, $4,408 average, $64,156,901, 2 Weeks.

3. "Logan Lucky," Bleecker Street, $7,600,036, 3,031 locations, $2,507 average, $7,600,036, 1 Week.

4. "Dunkirk," Warner Bros., $6,614,385, 3,271 locations, $2,022 average, $165,422,464, 5 Weeks.

5. "The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature," Open Road, $5,092,344, 4,003 locations, $1,272 average, $17,675,989, 2 Weeks.

6. "Emoji Movie, The," Sony, $4,441,028, 2,791 locations, $1,591 average, $71,858,380, 4 Weeks.

7. "Spider-Man: Homecoming," Sony, $4,256,367, 2,341 locations, $1,818 average, $314,057,748, 7 Weeks.

8. "Girls Trip," Universal, $3,911,300, 2,010 locations, $1,946 average, $104,053,445, 5 Weeks.

9. "The Dark Tower," Sony, $3,788,669, 3,143 locations, $1,205 average, $41,673,047, 3 Weeks.

10. "Wind River," The Weinstein Company, $2,975,732, 694 locations, $4,288 average, $4,089,001, 3 Weeks.

11. "Kidnap," Aviron Pictures, $2,961,475, 2,345 locations, $1,263 average, $24,527,158, 3 Weeks.

12. "The Glass Castle," Lionsgate, $2,549,459, 1,461 locations, $1,745 average, $9,705,840, 2 Weeks.

13. "Atomic Blonde," Focus Features, $2,179,190, 1,628 locations, $1,339 average, $47,158,045, 4 Weeks.

14. "Despicable Me 3," Universal, $2,073,810, 1,551 locations, $1,337 average, $251,774,330, 8 Weeks.

15. "War For The Planet Of The Apes," 20th Century Fox, $2,010,898, 1,608 locations, $1,251 average, $140,958,101, 6 Weeks.

16. "Wonder Woman," Warner Bros., $1,092,338, 803 locations, $1,360 average, $404,000,714, 12 Weeks.

17. "Big Sick, The," Lionsgate, $1,001,010, 618 locations, $1,620 average, $38,066,440, 9 Weeks.

18. "Detroit," Annapurna Pictures, $856,766, 1,428 locations, $600 average, $15,525,229, 4 Weeks.

19. "Baby Driver," Sony, $856,054, 683 locations, $1,253 average, $101,689,495, 8 Weeks.

20. "Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Plan," STX Entertainment, $397,019, 465 locations, $854 average, $39,227,747, 5 Weeks.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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