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Journalists honor press freedom at a dinner without Trump

Prominent Washington journalists, if not Hollywood stars, celebrated the First Amendment during the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, an event that lacked the glitter of past years because of the absence of the president of the United States.

With President Donald Trump sending his regrets, the attention was no longer focused on an in-person roasting of the commander in chief and his humorous remarks about politics and the press. The red carpet that once featured Oscar winners, TV stars and a few major-league athletes barely turned heads.

Instead, speakers at the dinner promoted press freedom and responsibility and challenged Trump's accusations of dishonest reporting.

The stars of the night were Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who recounted what they learned about journalism from their reporting for The Washington Post that helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation more than 40 years ago.

"Like politicians and presidents sometimes, perhaps too frequently, we make mistakes and go too far," Woodward said. "When that happens we should own up to it. But the effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith. Mr. President, the media is not 'fake news.'"

The evening was not without humor aimed at the press and Trump.

"We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room," cracked the entertainment headliner, Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show" on TV's Comedy Central. "The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow. It's a very long flight. As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."

Trump was indeed in Pennsylvania, having scheduled a rally in Harrisburg to mark his 100th day in office. He began his remarks with a lengthy if familiar attack on the news media while dismissing the dinner and its participants.

"A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now," Trump said. He added: "And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?"

Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to skip the event — and Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.

The official WHCA dinner began in 1921. In recent decades, the event offered Washington's press corps an opportunity to wear black tie and stunning gowns while mixing with celebrity guests. Most people trace that development to 1987, when Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Kelly brought Fawn Hall, the secretary at the center of the Iran-Contra affair.

Jeff Mason, the WHCA president, said before the event that this year's dinner would have been different even if Trump had attended, "based on the tension that has existed in the relationship and some of the things he has said about the press. We were preparing for a different dinner, either way."

The correspondents' dinner was briefly upstaged Saturday afternoon when late-night TV star Samantha Bee of "Full Frontal" pulled in celebrities for the first "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," among them Alysia Reiner of "Orange Is the New Black," Retta of "Parks and Recreation" and Matt Walsh of "Veep."

Bee's taped show, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to American news organizations, featured actor Will Ferrell and other guests roasting Trump and his allies. It singled out the Committee to Protect Journalists, the nonprofit group that will receive proceeds from the broadcast.

The WHCA awards and this year's recipients:

—Aldo Beckman Memorial Award winner: Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post for stories on President Barack Obama's speeches and policies that contrasted the realities of 2016 with the hopes of 2008.

—Merriman Smith Award winner for outstanding White House coverage under deadline: Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico for his coverage of the historic meeting between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

—Edgar A. Poe Award winner: David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post for stories on Donald Trump's philanthropic claims.

___

Associated Press writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report. Follow Jack Gillum on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jackgillum .

11 zingers from Hasan Minhaj's White House Correspondents' Dinner speech

Comedian Hasan Minhaj ripped into President Donald Trump and coverage of his administration in a sweeping address at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

>> Watch Minhaj's full speech here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Minhaj, a correspondent on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," was announced earlier this month as entertainment for the sold-out event at the Washington Hilton. The president did not attend, instead holding a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

>> PHOTOS: Scenes from the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

"I get it, I get it. We’ve got to address the elephant that's not in the room," Minhaj joked Saturday. "The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow. It is a very long flight. It would be hard for (Russian President Vladimir Putin) to make it."As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."Here are 11 of Minhaj's most brutal zingers from the event:

>> PHOTOS: Revelers arrive for the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

1. "Who would have thought with everything going on in the country now that a Muslim would be standing on this stage for the ninth year in a row, baby?"

2. "No one wanted to do this, so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant."

3. "We all know this administration loves deleting history faster than Anthony Weiner when he hears footsteps."

>> Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for ‘Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner’

4. "For the nine people watching on C-SPAN, there was also another elephant in the room, but Donald Trump Jr. shot it and cut off its tail."

5. "Historically, the president usually performs at the Correspondents' Dinner, but I think I speak for all of us when I say he's done far too much bombing this month."

6. "I do not see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon. ‘Not-see’ Steve Bannon. 'Nazi’ Steve Bannon."

7. "Mike Pence wanted to be here tonight, but his wife wouldn't let him because apparently one of you ladies is ovulating."

8. "Jeff Sessions couldn't be here tonight; he was busy doing a pre-Civil War re-enactment. On his RSVP, he just wrote "no," just "nooo!" – which happens to be his second-favorite N-word."

>> Read more trending news

9. "Even Hillary Clinton couldn't be here tonight. I mean, she could have been here, but I think someone told her the event was in Wisconsin and Michigan."

10. "It finally happened: Bill O'Reilly has been fired. But then you gave him a $25 million severance package, making it the only package he won't force a woman to touch."

11. "CNN is here, baby. Now you guys got some really weird trust issues going on with the public. I'm not going to call you fake news, but everything isn't breaking news. You can't go to DEFCON 1 just because Sanjay Gupta found a new moisturizer."

Coppola and 'Godfather' cast reunite at Tribeca Film Fest

Debilitating studio battles. One miraculously still cat. Mooning contests between James Caan and Marlon Brando. These were the memories shared, 45 years later, on the making of "The Godfather" in a rare reunion of the film's cast and director Francis Ford Coppola at Radio City Music Hall.

With the stage decorated to resemble the library of Brando's Don Corleone, and a portrait of the actor hanging above, Coppola and cast members Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire, gathered together once again on Saturday. The night was organized by De Niro as the closing evening of his Tribeca Film Festival, which preceded the affair with a grand double feature of "The Godfather," parts one and two.

That made for a long day — the event spanned nearly nine hours — but one of giddy delight for devotees of Coppola's masterpieces.

While both films are widely viewed as among the finest ever made, Coppola and cast spoke again and again about the films' humble origins, when Coppola was a young, untested director, Pacino was an unknown theater actor who the studio, Paramount, was loathe to cast, and few thought the source material — Mario Puzo's best-seller — was the stuff of great cinema.

Even Coppola, himself.

"I was disappointed in the book when I first read it because it's very long," said Coppola, who called Puzo's book "a bit of a potboiler."

"Much of the book — about a third — is about Lucy Mancini's anatomy," he said.

Coppola's battles over casting Pacino as Michael Corleone have long been Hollywood legend. To help convince the wary studio, Pacino said he did more screen tests — including after he actually got the part — than he could remember. Pacino even suggested Coppola shouldn't fight so hard for him, telling him, "It's OK. We'll work again. There are other things to do."

But Coppola was enamored with Pacino. After meeting him in San Francisco, he couldn't shake the image of Pacino as Corleone. "I just saw his face," said Coppola. "Everywhere we went, all the girls lit up for Al, for some reason."

Still, Pacino was skeptical. "I thought, 'Gee, it's not a really good role," said the now 77-year-old actor of the part that earned him two Oscar nods and made him a movie star. "Sonny is the part I can play," he said, referring to the hot-headed Sonny Corleone, played by Caan. (De Niro, who ended up playing young Don Vito Corleone in Part II, also auditioned for the part of Sonny.)

When the shoot got off to a rocky start, Pacino lost his already shaky faith. "It's over," he remembered thinking. "This is the worst film ever made!"

But Pacino said he was straightened out after a pep talk from Coppola, who showed him early footage of his performance and told the struggling Pacino "to get your chops together."

There were many such stories shared Saturday. All marveled at the cat, roaming nearby, that was thrust into one scene where it calmly burrowed in Brando's lap. After the lengthy wedding scene, Pacino said, he and Keaton "got so loaded, we were on the floor." During the same scene, Duvall said, "We were all mooning each other and Brando took it very seriously."

Brando, of course, wasn't the only one missing Saturday. John Cazale (Fredo) was spoken of frequently, as was cinematographer Gordon Willis.

The event was moderated by Taylor Hackford and live streamed on Facebook. The conversation sometimes got bogged down and some on the panel hardly spoke, as many watching grumbled. De Niro said little until nearly an hour in.

But if it was an imperfect evening, it only highlighted the almost inhumane perfection of the movies Coppola et al produced. Having recently watched the films for the first time in decades, Keaton could hardly contain her amazement.

"Every choice you made was so authentically brilliant," she exclaimed to Coppola. "It's so unusual!"

With time running out, Coppola tried to take questions from the audience, asking for the house lights to be raised and urging audience members to holler out. But after a few questions, a voice announced over the speakers that the night was over and "The Godfather" got the hook.

Coppola and the group gathered together on stage to embrace each other while the crowd, eager for more, took pictures of the legendary "Godfather" team, draped arm in arm.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for 'Not The White House Correspondents Dinner'

Comedian Will Ferrell reprised his role as former President George W. Bush on Saturday night to thunderous applause at “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” hosted by Samantha Bee.

>> Read more trending news

The event was taped as journalists gathered at the Washington Hilton for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump addressed a crowd in Pennsylvania.

"How do you like me now?" Ferrell asked the crowd gathered at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, using his signature Bush twang. “The prodigal son has returned. I don’t know what that means, but I know it’s positive. It’s very prodigal.”

Ferrell has portrayed Bush several times over the course of his career. The character was a fan-favorite impression during Ferrell’s tenure with “Saturday Night Live.” He was a cast member on the sketch comedy show from 1995 to 2002.

“Quick presidential update: I’m doing quite well, thank you,” Ferrell-as-Bush said Saturday. “History’s been kinder to me than many of you thought. For the longest time, I was considered the worst president of all time. That has changed — and it only took 100 days. I needed eight years, a catastrophic flood, a war built on a lie, an economic disaster. The new guy needed 100 days.”

He joked about Bush’s strained relationship with the press, comparing it to the relationship Trump has with the media.

“You guys always sneaked up on me with gotcha questions like, ‘Why are we going to war? Gotcha!’ ‘Why did you not respond to Hurricane Katrina? Gotcha!'” Ferrell-as-Bush said. “Wish someone had just told me that all you have to say is ‘fake news’ over and over again.”

Ferrell-as-Bush went on to present a half-finish portrait of Trump, poking fun at the former president’s recent book release “Portraits of Courage.”

About 2,600 people attended “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” an hour-long special for TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” CNN reported. Proceeds from the show will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will air Saturday at 10 p.m. on TBS and will be streamed on Twitter at 11 p.m. ET.

Delta investigates pilot's actions during altercation between passengers

Delta Air Lines said it has returned a pilot to duty after investigating his actions during an altercation between passengers on a jetway after a flight.

>> Read more trending news

Video of the altercation was posted on entertainment website TMZ.com, showing a pilot trying to break up a fight between two passengers on a jetway. The pilot can be seen grabbing a passenger by the arm. He appears to slap his hand down on the person’s arm.

According to Delta, the pilot was trying to break the grip one of the passengers had on the other passenger.

The Atlanta-based airline said that after learning of the incident, which took place at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport last week, it “immediately removed the pilot from duty while we completed a thorough investigation. Local law enforcement was called to respond at the time of the incident.”

“The pilot has since been returned to work as an investigation found that his actions de-escalated an altercation,” according to Delta’s statement.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a moment Saturday morning to pay tribute to his father on what would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 66th birthday.

>> Read more trending news

Happy Birthday dude,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his Instagram page alongside a photo of himself as a child with his dad.

It had already been quite a week for the younger Earnhardt. He announced Tuesday that he would be retiring at the end of the 2017 NASCAR season and he celebrated the creation of The Dale and Amy Earnhardt Activity Room at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, alongside his wife, Amy.

Besides Dale Earnhardt’s fans, fellow drivers and other members of the Earnhardt family also paid tribute to the NASCAR legend.

“Thinking about my pawpaw today on his 66th birthday,” Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt’s grandson, wrote on his Instagram page. “Some (heroes) wore capes, he wore a fire suit. Big inspiration in my life.”

Fyre Fest fiasco: Bahamas party lives, dies on social media

And it's been a sudden and ugly death for the ill-fated Fyre Festival, a multiday music, art and culture party that promised "an invitation to let loose and unplug with the likeminded" on the Bahamian island of Exuma.

The festival's rise and fall has played out in real time on YouTube and filtered through Facebook, where would-be party goers are putting their anger on display. Instead of photos of boozy good times, people have posted pictures of rows of white tents that look like "Stormtrooper helmets," blue port-a-potties near half-constructed plywood structures and limp, lifeless cheese sandwiches.

Organizers canceled the event at the last minute after poor planning, disorganization and lack of accommodations. Most of the A-list acts had pulled out days before, saying they hadn't been paid.

It was supposed to be a sun-soaked experience filled with yachts, gourmet food and models. Ticket prices ranged from $500 to $12,000.

But by Saturday morning, the partygoers had decamped, many of them to hotels in Miami in hopes of salvaging a weekend. People decried the festival accommodations as being like a "disaster tent city" and a "refugee camp."

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism says it's deeply disappointed.

"Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos," the tourism office wrote in a statement to the media.

Fyre Festival co-organizer Billy McFarland promised full refunds on the festival's website Saturday.

"We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details. Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year's festival," he wrote.

The hype began months ago, marketed with slick videos on social media.

"I saw it on Instagram and booked it before the lineup was announced," said Mitch Purgason, a 25-year-old bespoke menswear designer in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Instagram ads looked especially "ridiculous" — parlance for amazing — what with models like Gigi Hadid and rapper Ja Rule. Blink-182 was supposed to perform. Photos of the impossibly blue water and the sugary sandy beach looked incredible. What's more: Wild, docile pigs lived on the beach and swam in the warm water, perfect props for a killer Instagram selfie.

Although the festival on the island chain east of Florida appeared to cater to the Millennial trust fund crowd, it was people like Purgason and 29-year-old Jake Strang of Pittsburgh who purchased early tickets — young professionals who wanted to spend a fun weekend in the tropics.

Both men paid $500 for a flight from Miami to the island along with lodging and food. Strang and seven of his friends planned the trip to coincide with a birthday. They reserved a "lodge" for eight, with four king beds and a seating area in the middle.

"Everything made it look amazing," said Strang.

The festival website promised a treasure hunt of "exceptional proportions," with more than $1 million in riches to be found on a private island.

Purgason said he was skeptical, but planned the vacation anyway.

"Worst case scenario, I figured, we're still in the Bahamas in a villa."

His first inkling something was amiss came on Thursday morning, after the first flight from Miami to Exuma. Organizers said the villas weren't ready, so they whisked the planeload of partygoers to a restaurant at a nearby resort.

It wasn't a private island at all, but food and drink were free and plenty. Cute pigs and bikini-clad girls roamed the beach. There was a DJ.

"They actually treated us pretty well," he said. "The first three hours was dope."

Jenna Conlin, 30, an advertising professional from Venice, California, said, "They were putting down bottles of tequila on every table in an attempt to make everybody happy."

Strang flew in later Thursday and wasn't so lucky.

"When we arrived, it essentially looked like a construction site. It looked like they were trying to sell lots for homes," he said.

A promoter told festival goers to find tents and waved his arm in a direction. But the tents had holes that had obviously allowed rain to come in, because the beds were wet. They were given a Styrofoam container of food: "two slices of ham, lettuce and one slice of cheese on soggy bread," Strang said.

A few lucky patrons had been relocated to resorts. Most had to find beds in the tents. Available rooms aren't easy to grab on Exuma, a small island with a population of about 7,000 that lacks the well-developed tourist infrastructure of Nassau or Freeport.

The island's hotels were already booked months in advance for a well-known regatta, wrote Robert Carron, owner of the Bahamas Tribune newspaper.

By daybreak, people were already lining up to complain, and buses began returning them to the airport. Soon, it was official: The festival was cancelled.

Word got out via social media that organizers said "circumstances out of our control" prevented them from preparing the "physical infrastructure" necessary for the event on the largely undeveloped island.

"I'm heartbroken at this moment," Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, said on Twitter. "I wanted this to be an amazing event. It was not a scam as everyone is reporting. I truly apologize as this is NOT MY FAULT."

___

Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush

The Latest: Hacker releases stolen copies of Netflix series

The Latest on a hacker releasing stolen copies of a Netflix series(all times local):

11:35 a.m.

A hacker claims to have followed through on a threat to release several episodes from the upcoming season of Netflix's hit series "Orange Is The New Black."

The hacker, which goes by the name The Dark Overlord, announced the move on Twitter early Saturday. The post included a link to an illegal file-sharing service where purportedly 10 episodes from the series' upcoming fifth season were available for download.

The Associated Press could not legally confirm the authenticity of the uploaded files.

New episodes of "Orange" are scheduled for official release on June 9.

Netflix did not immediately return a call seeking comment Saturday.

The hacker had been demanding that the video streaming service pay an unspecified ransom in exchange for not releasing the episodes prematurely online.

___

6:28 a.m.

A hacker claims to have stolen the upcoming season of Netflix's hit series "Orange Is The New Black," and is demanding that the video streaming service pay an unspecified ransom to prevent all the new episodes from being prematurely released online.

The hacker, operating under the name The Dark Overlord, has already purportedly uploaded the first episode to an illegal file-sharing service. The Associated Press could not legally confirm the authenticity of that uploaded file.

New episodes of "Orange" are scheduled for official release on June 9.

Netflix said that a small production vendor that works with several major TV studios had suffered a breach. The Los Gatos, California, company described it as an "active situation" that's being investigated by the FBI and other authorities.

Pirated copies of "Orange" could dent Netflix's subscriber growth and the company's stock price.

Prince Harry joins cheering fans at military rugby match

Prince Harry has joined thousands of rugby fans at a London stadium to cheer on the annual British armed forces rugby match.

The 32-year-old prince, a former Army captain, was attending the 100th edition of the annual match between senior teams from the Army and the Royal Navy.

Harry was at the match in his role as patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, the charity for this year's game. The royal has spearheaded the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for injured service personnel.

Saturday's match at London's Twickenham Stadium was the final fixture in Britain's Inter Services rugby competition.

Ohio family surprised when Mark Zuckerberg comes to dinner

An Ohio family says they learned just 20 minutes before dinner this week that a planned mystery guest would be Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

The Vindicator of Youngstown reports (http://bit.ly/2oSVBQ3 ) Zuckerberg dined Friday with the Moore family in Newton Falls, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Cleveland. The newspaper reports Zuckerberg had asked his staff to find Democrats who voted for President Donald Trump.

Not all the dinner chat was political. Daniel Moore says he and his wife, Lisa, talked about their work with an orphanage in Uganda and that Zuckerberg says he's now planning a fundraiser to benefit the orphans.

Zuckerberg's project, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, says he visited Youngstown's Eastern Gateway Community College Friday and met with people recovering from opioid addiction in Dayton Saturday. He has challenged himself to visit people in all 50 states.

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Information from: The Vindicator, http://www.vindy.com

Absent glitter and Trump, journalists honor press freedom

Prominent Washington journalists, if not Hollywood stars, celebrated the First Amendment during the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, an event that lacked the glitter of past years because of the absence of the president of the United States.

With President Donald Trump sending his regrets, the attention was no longer focused on an in-person roasting of the commander in chief and his humorous remarks about politics and the press. The red carpet that once featured Oscar winners, TV stars and a few major-league athletes barely turned heads.

Instead, speakers at the dinner promoted press freedom and responsibility and challenged Trump's accusations of dishonest reporting.

The stars of the night were Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who recounted what they learned about journalism from their reporting for The Washington Post that helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation more than 40 years ago.

"Like politicians and presidents sometimes, perhaps too frequently, we make mistakes and go too far," Woodward said. "When that happens we should own up to it. But the effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith. Mr. President, the media is not 'fake news.'"

The evening was not without humor aimed at the press and Trump.

"We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room," cracked the entertainment headliner, Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show" on TV's Comedy Central. "The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow. It's a very long flight. As for the other guy, I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."

Trump was indeed in Pennsylvania, having scheduled a rally in Harrisburg to mark his 100th day in office. He began his remarks with a lengthy if familiar attack on the news media while dismissing the dinner and its participants.

"A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now," Trump said. He added: "And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?"

Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to skip the event — and Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.

The official WHCA dinner began in 1921. In recent decades, the event offered Washington's press corps an opportunity to wear black tie and stunning gowns while mixing with celebrity guests. Most people trace that development to 1987, when Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Kelly brought Fawn Hall, the secretary at the center of the Iran-Contra affair.

Jeff Mason, the WHCA president, said before the event that this year's dinner would have been different even if Trump had attended, "based on the tension that has existed in the relationship and some of the things he has said about the press. We were preparing for a different dinner, either way."

The correspondents' dinner was briefly upstaged Saturday afternoon when late-night TV star Samantha Bee of "Full Frontal" pulled in celebrities for the first "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," among them Alysia Reiner of "Orange Is the New Black," Retta of "Parks and Recreation" and Matt Walsh of "Veep."

Bee's taped show, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to American news organizations, featured actor Will Ferrell and other guests roasting Trump and his allies. It singled out the Committee to Protect Journalists, the nonprofit group that will receive proceeds from the broadcast.

The WHCA awards and this year's recipients:

—Aldo Beckman Memorial Award winner: Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post for stories on President Barack Obama's speeches and policies that contrasted the realities of 2016 with the hopes of 2008.

—Merriman Smith Award winner for outstanding White House coverage under deadline: Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico for his coverage of the historic meeting between Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro.

—Edgar A. Poe Award winner: David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post for stories on Donald Trump's philanthropic claims.

___

Associated Press writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report. Follow Jack Gillum on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jackgillum .

The Latest: A salute to First Amendment and jibes for Trump

The Latest on the White House Correspondents' Association dinner and the competing event organized by late-night TV star Samantha Bee (all times EDT):

11:15 p.m.

The First Amendment has been getting plenty of praise from prominent Washington journalists attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The event was held this year without President Donald Trump and without the usual Hollywood presence.

Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reminded the crowd at the Washington Hilton Hotel of the value of patience and persistence in pursuing a big story. Woodward said: "The effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith. Mr. President, the media is not 'fake news.'"

And comic Hasan Minhaj roasted the missing president, saying: "I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."

___

6:35 p.m.

There's a thinner presence of celebrities and other famous faces at this year's White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

Saturday evening's red carpet featured boldface names largely from the world of journalism and government. Among the guests are longtime Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The guests arrived at the Washington Hilton as President Donald Trump was on his way to his own competing rally-style event in Pennsylvania. He is the first president to skip the event in decades.

With Trump's absence, WHCA dinner organizers say they're putting the focus on the First Amendment and the role of the press in a democracy.

___

5:10 p.m.

Washington's once-glitzy "nerd prom" is being briefly upstaged as comedians and Hollywood stars gather for jokes and jests about President Donald Trump.

The tongue-in-cheek event Saturday is a counter to the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Late-night TV star Samantha Bee pulled in celebrities for the first "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner." Attending are Alysia Reiner of "Orange Is the New Black," Retta of "Parks and Recreation" and Matt Walsh of "Veep."

Bee's show is a comedic tribute to American news organizations, and features actor Will Ferrell and other guests roasting Trump and his allies.

The star power of the real correspondents' dinner is taking a hit this year with Trump's absence.

He's doing his own counter-programming, scheduling a rally Saturday night in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

___

2:50 p.m.

On a sweltering Washington spring day, several TV stars who walked the red carpet to Samantha Bee's "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner" have homed in on a key reason they were there: To support freedom of the press. They say they feel press freedom has been under attack since President Donald Trump took office 100 days ago.

Actor Matt Walsh played press secretary Mike McClintock on the HBO political comedy "Veep." He says: "Administrations have been hostile to the media before. But this one is particularly isolating, or singling out, the retailers of media that they like" and trying to ignore those they don't.

___

12:55 p.m.

Comedian Samantha Bee says she feels "the press is under assault" in the United States.

The host of her namesake show on TBS says she's contributing proceeds from her "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner" event on Saturday to the Committee to Protect Journalists because it "seemed very logical."

Bee tells The Associated Press in an interview: "We're doing an event that celebrates the freedom of the press. We care deeply about it. For God's sake, we could not do our show if things were more restricted. So, boy, nobody needs press freedom more than we do."

Her event in Washington comes hours before the traditional White House Correspondents' Association dinner. She frequently targets President Donald Trump, but he's holding a rally Saturday instead of attending the WHCA dinner.

___

11:25 a.m.

Washington's most glitzy "nerd prom" is about to get overshadowed.

Late-night TV star Samantha Bee has organized the first "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner." It's a tongue-in-cheek play off the annual event from the White House Correspondents' Association that's traditionally drawn the president, journalists and — in recent years — celebrities.

But this year President Donald Trump is skipping the dinner on what is his 100th day in office. He'll be in Pennsylvania later Saturday for a rally.

Bee's event is to air at 10 p.m. on TBS. That's just after C-SPAN is to begin coverage of the correspondents' dinner — where the master of ceremonies is comedian Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show."

___

2:35 a.m.

The annual gala dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association is taking place on Saturday night without its traditional star.

President Donald Trump has decided to skip the event — where he'd be a prime target of biting humor. Instead, he's planning to be in Pennsylvania for a rally.

In recent years, lots of celebrities have attended the dinner as guests of media outlets. That's not the case this year, and the gathering is focusing on the First Amendment and the crucial role of the press in democracy.

There will be an entertainer as master of ceremonies: Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show."

The last president to decline an invitation to the dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981 — when he was recovering from an assassination attempt.

Shannen Doherty announces she's in remission

Actress Shannen Doherty has chosen to share her grueling battle with breast cancer with the public, through images and thoughts captured on Instagram. Doherty shared good news with fans on Friday: she's in remission.

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In 2015, a lawsuit revealed that the former "Beverly Hills, 90210" actress had breast cancer. The lawsuit was filed against Doherty's business manager for letting her health insurance lapse. According to documents TMZ obtained, Doherty’s doctors believed her cancer began in 2014 and spread while she was without health insurance. In March 2015, she received the cancer diagnosis. Doherty began treatment, which she documented on Instagram throughout 2016.

In Doherty's latest post, she says that while remission is overwhelmingly good news and her heart is lighter, the waiting begins. Doherty says the next five years will be crucial, as recurrences are common. She says while she has many medical decisions to make, for now, she's just going to breathe.

Willie Nelson has some fun with ‘Still Not Dead’ song  

Country singer Willie Nelson is getting the last laugh on those death hoaxes that have been prevalent on the internet. It’s true, Nelson turned 84 on Saturday, but the legendary singer is still alive and kicking.

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Nelson decided to make fun of the rumor-mongers in a new song off his upcoming album,  “God’s Problem Child.” The song, titled “Still Not Dead,” is Nelson at his wry best as he jabs away at those outlets that spread misinformation, Country Rebel reported.

Nelson co-wrote the song, which is cleverly written. For instance, he sings that

                                                           "I woke up still not dead today.

                                                              The gardener did not find me that way.                                                                                                      Can't believe a word that people say.

                                                              And I woke up still not dead today."

 

To promote God's Problem Child,” Nelson has been releasing music videos for some of the tracks on the album, Country Rebel reported. He got more creative for “Still Not Dead,” which was released on Thursday.

In the video, Nelson dances around the room, drinks a cup of coffee, jumps, and wears the Christmas sweater given to him by Snoop Dogg.

Nelson is having a great time -- and he’s still not dead.

Maroon 5, Usher, Alabama Shakes headline Jazz Fest Day 2

Performances by Maroon 5, the Alabama Shakes, and Usher & The Roots brought crowd-pleasing rock, blues and R&B to the second day of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, while jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain earned a special place in the event's history.

Fountain, a festival favorite who died Aug. 6 at the age of 86, was recognized Saturday with the unveiling of a larger-than-life hand-painted portrait in the ancestor area, memorializing those who have helped shape the festival since it began in 1970.

"Welcome back, Pete," said Quint Davis, director and producer of the festival, as the portrait was unveiled.

"There's been Fats Domino. There has been Mahalia Jackson. There has been Louis Armstrong," Davis said. "There have been very few great, great men who have carried the banner of New Orleans around the world through music. And one of those men is Pete Fountain."

Kicking off with "Lily of the Valley," members of the Half Fast Marching Club, which Fountain founded, and the Storyville Stompers Brass Band led a second-line there from the Economy Hall Tent, where Fountain last performed in 2013.

Two other "ancestors" also are being honored this year.

Gospel singer Jo "Cool" Davis, who died Aug. 5, 2016, will be celebrated Sunday at 1:30 p.m. with an a cappella performance by The Zion Harmonizers. Zydeco musician Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr., who died Sept. 24, 2016, will be honored May 6 with a parade at 11:45 a.m. and a performance by Zydeco accordionist Nathan Williams Jr.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/2phR3Gl ) the wooden painting of Fountain was draped in gold.

"We want to thank you Quint for honoring Pete as an ancestor. He's here with some great friends," said Benny Harrell, Fountain's son-in-law and longtime manager.

Davis corrected Harrell warmly: "Thank you Benny, but you've really got that backward. It's an honor for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to have been associated with Pete Fountain."

The seven-day festival takes place over two weekends. In addition to the big-name acts, the festival features hundreds of Louisiana jazz, gospel, zydeco and other musical acts.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

DMX checks into rehab after canceling shows

Rapper DMX has checked into rehab, after canceling shows due to a medical emergency, TMZ reports. 

DMX had been performing on the East Coast recently, and clips of what some fans described as DMX ranting during a Brooklyn show on April 22 was posted on social media, according to TMZ

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Instead of performing shows in California, the rapper checked into a rehab center in southern California. DMX has battled addiction issues in the past.

Finns pay tribute to rock band Kiss

Heavy metal fans in Finland decided to rock ’n’ roll all night and honor the band Kiss.

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Fans placed masks on four giant statues in the capital city of Helsinki to honor the hard-rock group, Yahoo reported.

State-owned railway operator VR invited four fans of the band to paint black-and-white Kiss masks for the imposing figures that stand guard outside Helsinki's main railway station.

The statues, officially called "lantern bearers" but better known among Finns as stonemen, were transformed to commemorate the band’s 10th concert in Finland, which will be held next week.

Kiss celebrated the statue tribute in a video post shared on the group's Twitter account.

Young ballet dancers meet idol Misty Copeland

A group of young ballerinas from a Chicago dance troupe received a thrill of a lifetime when they appeared on Steve Harvey’s talk show Friday, the Huffington Post reported.

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The ballerinas from the Mayfair Performance Company on Chicago’s south side were surprised and delighted when Harvey introduced the dancers to their role model — ballet star Misty Copeland.

Copeland has broken barriers in ballet, becoming the only black dancer with the American Ballet Theatre in New York. Copeland, 34, joined the group when she was 17.

In 2015, Copeland broke another barrier as she was declared a principal in the American Ballet Theatre, becoming the first becoming the first black female principal in its 75-year history, the Huffington Post reported. Copeland has written a children’s book and memoir and has spoken extensively about her mission to diversify the ballet landscape for future generations. 

“You know one day, if you study this long enough,” Harvey told the Mayfair dancers during his show, “one day you could meet her. One day you could be her. Wouldn’t that be exciting?”

He then asked the ballet dancers to turn around, and they screamed when Copeland entered the stage, the Huffington Post reported.

The Mayfair girls then showed Copeland their own skills on the show, performing a dance routine.

Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Ciara welcome baby girl

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, pop singer Ciara, welcomed their daughter, Sienna Princess Wilson, who was born Friday night, ESPN reported.

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Sienna weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, according to Ciara’s Instagram post.

It's the couple's first child together, CNN reported. They married last July and used Instagram in October to announce they were expecting a baby.

The "1, 2 Step" singer has a 2-year-old son from a previous relationship with rapper Future.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, wife Ciara welcome baby girl

The couple announced the birth of their daughter on Friday night while the NFL draft was taking place.

Ciara posted to her Instagram account details of the birth. Sienna weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, according to the post.

The couple married last summer in England and announced they were expecting their first child together during the fall. This is the 28-year-old Wilson's first child. Ciara has a young son from a previous relationship with rapper Future.

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