Elvis Presley’s $95k gun up for sale

Elvis Presley’s revolver is up for sale for $95,000.

The late music legend – who died in 1977 aged 42 – purchased the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson Chief Special gun from a shop in Memphis in 1971, and it is being sold by vintage memorabilia company Moments in Time.

According to TMZ, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s weapon is available on a first come, first served basis.

 The paperwork for Elvis’ gun purchase shows he also forked out for four other firearms on the same day.

The revolver features the ‘Hound Dog’ hitmaker’s logo TCB, which means Taking Care of Business, and is placed over a lightning bolt symbol to mean Taking Care of Business in a Flash.

TCB was also the name of Elvis’ band who played alongside him from 1969 up until his death in 1977.

Elvis’ iconic Wm Knabe & Co piano, known as the Elvis White Piano, was recently put up for auction.

The instrument was built in 1912 and installed in the Music Room at the late rock ‘n’ roll icon’s Graceland mansion for 12 years between 1957 and 1969.

 Earlier this year, a lock of Elvis’ hair sold for more than £1,000 after the tresses were saved by the singer’s personal barber, Homer Gill Gilleland.

In 2016, the ‘Jailhouse Rock’ hitmaker’s 1969 Custom Gibson Ebony Dove guitar – which he played on stage for four years between 1971 and 1975 – sold for £185,000, despite being expected to fetch up to £206,000.

Elvis gave the instrument to fan Mike Harris during a show in 1975.

Mike recently said: “He struck a couple of licks on it, and then he just came to the edge of the stage and held it out by the neck.

“He said, ‘This is yours. Hold on to that. Hopefully it’ll be valuable one day.’ ”


Netflix’s Growth Comes at a Cost

Company has gained $5.1B in debt in one year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2017 11:50 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – Netflix is sinking deeper into debt in its relentless pursuit of more viewers, leaving the company little margin for error as it tries to build the world’s biggest video subscription service, reports the AP. Netflix’s long-term debt and other obligations totaled $21.9 billion as of Sept. 30, up from $16.8 billion at the same time last year. That includes $17 billion for video programming, up from $14.4 billion a year ago. Yet that big burden hasn’t been a major concern on Wall Street so far, as CEO Reed Hastings’ strategy has been paying off. The billions of dollars that Netflix has borrowed to pay for House of CardsStranger Things, and The Crown has helped its service more than triple its global audience during the past four years—leaving it with 109 million subscribers worldwide through September, according to quarterly earnings released Monday.

That includes 5.3 million subscribers added during the July-September period, growth that exceeded management forecasts and analyst projections. If the subscribers keep coming at the current pace—management expects to add 6.3 million during the October-December period—Netflix may surpass HBO’s 134 million subscribers (as of January) within the next few years. But Netflix’s subscriber growth could slow if it can’t continue to win programming rights to hit TV series and movies, now that there are more competitors such as Apple, Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube. If that happens, there will be more attention on Netflix’s huge programming bills, most of which are due within the next five years. For now, Netflix is remaining profitable, under US accounting rules, earning $130 million on $3 billion in revenue in its latest quarter.


Amazon Studios Chief Resigns Amid Sex Harassment Claims

Roy Price had not been expected to return
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2017 5:29 PM CDT

(NEWSER) – Amazon Studios says it has accepted the resignation of its top executive, Roy Price, following sexual harassment allegations made by a producer on the Amazon series Man in the High Castle, the AP reports. Price was put on leave last week and had not been expected to return. An Amazon spokesman confirmed the resignation Tuesday and had no additional comment. The accusations against Price came in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that is roiling Hollywood. Producer Isa Hackett charged in an account published in the Hollywood Reporter that Price had repeatedly and crudely propositioned her following a 2015 event in San Diego.


Report: Harvey Weinstein’s Brother Was ‘Abusive,’ ‘Bully’

The lower-profile Weinstein brother was the problem one, says ex-Disney chief
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2017 6:03 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – Bob Weinstein called older brother Harvey Weinstein’s alleged misbehavior “sick and depraved,” but the spotlight is now turning to the younger brother. After allegations by a producer that Bob Weinstein sexually harassed her, the Wall Street Journal reports that former employees and colleagues describe the lower-profile Weinstein as a volatile bully. “Bob didn’t yell the way Harvey did,” says former Weinstein Co. exec Brendan Deneen. “He was more snarky and cutting.” A former assistant says Bob Weinstein could be “a really funny guy … but he was really socially awkward. The way he dealt with it was by just being a bully.” Former Disney chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who worked with the duo when they ran Miramax, says Bob was the one who “was genuinely abusive to people in my company.”

An executive with Dimension Films, an offshoot label run by Bob Weinstein, says when he tried to introduce his wife to his boss at a 2000 movie premiere, Weinstein shoved her back as he hurried to greet the film’s stars. Another assistant recounts being fired after he booked a driver for Weinstein who got lost. (He was later rehired.) Bob Weinstein, 62, tells the Journal: “At times I have a temper, but I would not describe it as volatile, and I’m definitely not a bully.” The paper tracks the brothers’ often-rocky relationship, including a public spat in 2011 in which Harvey punched Bob in the face and the latter threatened to press charges. But as talks proceed on selling all or part of the Weinstein Co., the unwelcome attention doesn’t bode well for Bob Weinstein’s prospects of staying on, which sources say is unlikely. He may remain on top at Dimension, which has had only one major hit since 2010.


2 Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on ObamaCare

Alexander, Murray say they have ‘basic outlines’ of agreement to restore subsidies to insurers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2017 1:45 PM CDT

(NEWSER) – Two leading senators said Tuesday they have the “basic outlines” of a bipartisan agreement to resume federal payments to health insurers that President Trump has blocked. Both said in separate interviews that they still have unresolved issues but expressed optimism that a compromise was near, per the AP. The agreement would involve a two-year extension of federal payments to insurers that Trump halted last week, said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Unless the money is quickly restored, insurers and others say that will result in higher premiums for people buying individual policies and in some carriers leaving unprofitable markets. Alexander agreed with his negotiating partner, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who said the two lawmakers “have the basic outlines” of an agreement but have differences to bridge.

Republicans want Congress to give states “meaningful” flexibility to ease some coverage requirements under President Obama’s health care law. “The definition of meaningful,” Alexander said when asked what the remaining stumbling blocks were. Murray and Alexander began talks on extending the payments months ago, when Trump was frequently threatening to stop the subsidies. Both said they were close to a deal, but GOP leaders shut the effort down in September when the Senate revisited the Republican drive to repeal Obama’s law. The repeal effort failed, and the pair’s talks resumed. Alexander said Trump has twice in recent days urged him to reach a deal with Murray. Alexander chairs the Senate health committee, and Murray is the top Democrat.


Latest Version of Trump Travel Ban Dealt Blow

Hawaii judge blocks it
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 17, 2017 5:03 PM CDT

(NEWSER) – A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from enforcing its latest travel ban just hours before it was set to take effect, saying the president’s revised order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.” It was the third set of travel restrictions issued by President Donald Trump to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts. US District Judge Derrick Watson issued the ruling after the ban was challenged by the state of Hawaii, which warned that the restrictions would separate families and undermine the recruiting of diverse college students, the AP reports. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the ruling “dangerously flawed” and said it “undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe.” The Justice Department said it will quickly appeal.

Watson, appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling against Trump’s previous ban. The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to … the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote. Hawaii argued the updated ban was a continuation of Trump’s campaign call for a ban on Muslims, despite the addition to the list of two countries without a Muslim majority. In his ruling, the judge said the new ban, like its predecessor, fails to show that nationality alone makes a person a greater security risk to the US. Other courts are also weighing challenges to the ban. In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions. Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland are challenging the order in front of the same federal judge in Seattle who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January.


US Rep: Trump Had Insensitive Words for Fallen Soldier’s Widow

Rep. Frederica Wilson says she was in car with Myeshia Johnson when Trump called
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 18, 2017 4:38 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – President Trump told the widow of a slain soldier that he “knew what he signed up for,” according to a Florida congresswoman. Rep. Frederica Wilson said she was in the car with Myeshia Johnson on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body of Johnson’s husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, when Trump called, the AP reports. Wilson says she heard part of the conversation on speakerphone. When asked by Miami station WPLG if she indeed heard Trump say that she answered: “Yeah, he said that. To me, that is something that you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn’t say that to a grieving widow.” She added: “That’s so insensitive.”

Sgt. Johnson was among four servicemen killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month. His widow has a 2-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter and is pregnant with their third child. Wilson, a Democrat, said she did not hear the entire conversation and Myeshia Johnson told her she couldn’t remember everything that was said when asked about it later. The White House didn’t immediately comment. Trump has been criticized for not reaching out right away to relatives of the four killed in Niger. On Monday, Trump said he’d written letters that had not yet been mailed. His aides said they had been awaiting information before proceeding. (Trump also said his predecessors didn’t call families of fallen soldiers.)


5 key issues to know before Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies Wednesday


Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Justice Department oversight Wednesday.

Here are some key high-profile issues and decisions Sessions has been part of, often rolling back Obama-era legislative decisions.

1. It is Sessions’ first time on Capitol Hill since June

Sessions testified for nearly three hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee where Democrats pressed him on his conversations with President Trump related to the Russian investigation into meddling in the 2016 election.

In his opening statement, he said, “I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States.”

2. This is a routine oversight hearing, but the committee might have some questions about President Trump

Trump’s administration has faced many controversies, which the committee might call on Sessions to address, including Russia.

3. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals decision could be brought up

Sessions abruptly announced in September the Trump administration decided to end DACA, an executive order signed by former President Barack Obama to protect children who were brought into the country illegally by their parents.

The decision left many DACA recipients worried about their future they had made for themselves in the United States under the protection of DACA.

4. Civil forfeiture regulations

He reversed another Obama-era reform when he reapplied civil asset forfeiture regulations, allowing law enforcement agencies to seize property for people suspected — but not convicted — of crimes.

 Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a USA TODAY Opinion columnist, said Sessions should be ashamed by the political decision.

Reynolds argued “the feds see the rest of us as prey, not as citizens,” in the column criticising Sessions’ decision.

5. His treatment of LGBTQ people could be questioned

Sessions wrote a memo granting religious groups and individuals broad protections to express their beliefs when they come into conflict with government. Experts say the guidance could lead to discrimination of LGBTQ people.

Those memos were released a day after the Department of Justice released a memorandum excluding transgender identifying individuals from civil rights protections.


Judge to hear arguments against Trump over Emoluments Clause

USA Today – A federal court in New York is set to hear arguments on Wednesday in a lawsuit alleging that President Trump’s business dealings with foreign countries violate the Constitution. The suit, filed by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, contends that business done by Trump International Hotels in Washington, D.C. and Trump Tower in New York violates the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bars federal officials from receiving benefits from foreign governments. Trump said after taking office that he would relinquish management of his global business empire to his sons but retain ownership. Critics contend Trump’s failure to divest raises ethical questions in his role as president.


Rep. Marsha Blackburn: Drug law had ‘unintended consequences,’ should be revisited ‘immediately’


U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn believes a law that critics say provided less scrutiny of drug companies and distributors had unintended consequences and should be “addressed immediately,” a spokesman said Monday.

The comment comes in light of a joint investigation by “60 Minutes” and The Washington Post in which a whistleblower accused Blackburn and other congressional lawmakers of passing the law that led to lax scrutiny and a rise in opioid deaths.

The story, published Sunday, featured an interview with Joe Rannazzisi, who previously ran the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control. The report also comes as Blackburn has launched a bid for the Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.

Rannazzisi, along with Jonathan Novak, a former DEA attorney, pointed to a bill sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and co-sponsored by 14 others, including Blackburn, which they said stripped the federal agency of the ability to freeze suspicious shipments of opioids.

More: Trump’s drug czar nominee withdraws after his role backing opioid industry exposed

Prior to the legislation’s passage in 2016, the DEA had been able to halt drug distributors from sending millions of opioids to doctors and pharmacies who law enforcement thought were feeding people addicted to opioids.

The sponsors of the bill previously said it was necessary in order to ensure patients had access to pain medicine.

In a statement to the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee on Monday, a spokesman for Blackburn, who launched her Senate campaign Oct. 4, said the congressman had a long history of fighting the opioid epidemic.

“If there are any unintended consequences from this bipartisan legislation — which was passed unanimously by the House, Senate and was signed into law by President Obama — they should be addressed immediately,” the spokesman said.

Earlier in the day, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said she will push new legislation to undo the 2016 measure.

► More: Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to nix law that curbed DEA’s power to stop the flood of opioids

Also on Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., called for President Donald Trump to withdraw his nomination of Marino to serve as the lead of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which requires Senate confirmation.

► More: Trump’s drug czar nominee could be in trouble after report on drug industry ties

In addition to co-sponsoring the legislation, Blackburn received $120,000 in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, according to The Washington Post.

 The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” investigation also noted that Blackburn and Marino wrote a 2014 letter in which they accused Rannazzisi of trying to “intimidate the United States Congress” while asking for an Inspector General’s probe into Rannazzisi.

Back home, critics are blasting Blackburn over the bill.

Former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, who is considering entering the Republican Senate primary, said the overall issue is illustrative of how out-of-touch politicians in Washington, D.C., have been.

► More: Former U.S. Rep. Fincher to announce decision on Senate run next week

“This goes right to the heart of why we are probably going to get into the race,” he said. “This is an issue that shows Tennesseans … want someone to stand up against special interests.”

 Without mentioning Blackburn by name, Fincher questioned the value of “career politicians,” saying the findings of the “60 Minutes” and Washington Post report “makes you really have to question who is best to go up there and represent this great state that we have.”

Fincher, who was in Congress at the time, was among the House members who unanimously approved the legislation without objection.

Aside from Fincher, Democrats quickly criticized Blackburn for her involvement in the legislation.

“At the crucial time when she should have been protecting us, Rep. Blackburn championed a bill that imprisoned even more Tennesseans in a devastating cycle of drug dependence,” said Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, citing statistics on the number of overdose deaths in Tennessee in recent years.

► More: Opioid epidemic ‘getting worse instead of better,’ health officials warn

Overdose deaths continue to rise in Tennessee, fueled in large part by both prescription and illicit opioids. In 2016, at least 1,631 died from overdoses in the state—  a number that experts say is an undercount of the real toll.

“As a public servant, Blackburn’s job is to protect Tennesseans from harm,” Mancini said. “She’s supposed to have our backs. Instead, she has sacrificed the most vulnerable of us for what she could get from powerful special interests.”

In a statement, James Mackler, an Iraq War veteran and Nashville attorney who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Corker, vowed to stand up to special interests and lobbyists. Corker announced late last month that he would not seek re-election.

“That Congresswoman Blackburn would champion legislation like this while Tennesseans face an opioid epidemic is all one needs to know about her priorities,” Mackler said.

Last month, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued subpoenas and demand letters to pharmaceutical companies and distributors as part of a 41-state coalition’s investigation into “unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids.”

Distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson were among those served with demand letters — all three companies were named in the “60 Minutes”/Washington Post investigation.