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Chris Brown released from custody following rape allegation in Paris

Singer Chris Brown was released from custody Tuesday after a woman accused him and two other people of rape, officials with the Paris prosecutor’s office said. 

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The singer-songwriter was taken into custody Monday on suspicion of aggravated rape and drug infractions after a 24-year-old woman claimed she was assaulted by Brown in a hotel room last week, according to BBC News and The Associated Press.

Brown strongly denied the allegation in an Instagram post Tuesday.“I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR...... THIS IS FALSE,” the post said. “FOR MY DAUGHTER AND MY FAMILY THIS IS SO DISPRESPECTFUL AND IS AGAINST MY CHARACTER AND MORALS!!!!!”Brown has been in repeated legal trouble since pleading guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He completed his probation in that case in 2015, but has continued to have run-ins with police.

An unidentified official told the AP that the woman who filed a rape complaint against Brown in Paris said she met the singer and his friends at a nightclub overnight on Jan. 15-16 and that they all went to a hotel in central Paris afterward. According to BBC News, two other men, including Brown’s bodyguard, were also detained after the alleged incident.

In France, aggravated rape is a crime that carries a punishment of 20 years imprisonment upon conviction, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pope announces Click to Pray app

Pope Francis is bringing the Catholic Church into the 21st Century when it comes to technology.

The pope has launched his own user profile in Click To Pray app. The program is part of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, according to Vatican News.

ABC News reported that the app will give 1 billion Catholics the ability to pray with the pope.

He announced it Sunday during his public noontime prayer, according to ABC News.

Pope Francis says the internet allows people “to stay in touch with others, to share values and projects and to express the desire to form a community,” the BBC reported.

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It allows the faithful to join Pope Francis on his worldwide mission of compassion and includes not only the app, but also a website. 

It offers three sections: 

Pray with the Pope, sharing the pontiff’s prayers for humanity and the mission of the church.

Pray every day, with prayers in three daily moments.

Pray with the network, where users, including Pope Francis, can pray with others. 

Click to Pray is the online prayer interface for World Youth Day 2019 being held in Panama until Jan. 27. There’s a special multimedia section to pray the Rosary for Peace tied to the event, according to Vatican News.

Jimmy Buffett drops mic after singing national anthem at NFC title game

Singer Jimmy Buffett caused a stir on social media after his a cappella performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before Sunday’s NFC Championship game, several media outlets reported.

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Reactions were mixed after Buffett’s emphatic drop before the New Orleans Saints hosted the Los Angeles Rams. After the final line of the song, the “Margaritaville” singer raised his right arm and dropped the microphone near the 50-yard line, Rolling Stone reported.

“Wonderful honor. Thank you,” Buffett posted on Twitter.

Buffett’s actions were met with sharp criticism by some.

“Wow. One of the worst renditions of all time. Awful,” New England Patriots color analyst Scott Zolak tweeted.

“Are Jimmy Buffet (sic) concerts as bad as his national anthem?” People quoted one social media poster.

>> Louisiana eye care center offers free vision exams for NFL refs

“Bring in Danny DeVito for the Super Bowl. America is ready,” tweeted Foster the People.

A representative for Buffett “did not immediately return a request for comment,” Fox News reported.

Here is a sampling of reactions posted on social media.

Photos: Super wolf blood moon lunar eclipse delights skygazers

The only total lunar eclipse this year and next came with a supermoon bonus. On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America, where skies were clear.

Super wolf blood moon: 10 stunning photos from the lunar eclipse

Astronomy buffs got a special treat Sunday as a combined lunar eclipse, blood moon and supermoon added a red glow to the night sky.

>> PHOTOS: Super wolf blood moon lunar eclipse delights skygazers

>> Super wolf blood moon: A viewing guide for the coolest sounding lunar eclipse

Social media users are sharing their snapshots with the hashtag #SuperBloodWolfMoon. Here are some of our favorites:

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1. San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Photo by @PatrickDillons, Twitter

2. New York City

Photo by @maximusupinnyc, Instagram

3. Austin, Texas

Photo by @zandi_photography, Instagram

4. Toronto

Photos by @TorSunphoto21, Twitter

5. Walland, Tennessee

Photo by @OneLanePhoto, Twitter

6. Colorado

Photo by @jason_odell, Twitter

7. Birds Hill Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada

Photo by @ryanlucenkiw, Instagram

8. Olin, Iowa

Photos by @BillWeirCNN, Twitter

9. Martinez, California

Photo by @jcfphotog, Twitter

10. New York City

Photo by @guygabriel57, Instagram

Documents: Jurassic Park roller coaster headed to Islands of Adventure at Universal

Universal Orlando appears to be making way for a new roller coaster in the Jurassic Park section of Islands of Adventure, according to documents reviewed.

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Earlier this week, carnival games and vendor kiosks were removed, and construction walls went up around a portion of the old Triceratops Encounter area, which has been defunct for almost a decade. 

That matches work described on a demolition permit filed with the city of Orlando in May for Project 791 in that 1.36-acre area. Contractor documents indicate the project includes construction of “a new attraction” and estimates that demolition and construction will take 18 months. 

document reviewed shows a roller coaster track layout for that area, which we’ve reproduced above. The document shows the queue starting on the southern edge of the waterfront by the Discovery Center. 

Records indicate the Raptor Encounter attraction currently in that area will be relocated as part of the construction. 

The demolition permit for the area is in the final stages of approval, according to the city website. 

Permits to construct the actual coaster have not yet been filed, city records show. 

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder declined to comment for this story. 

In a tweet last week, Universal said in response to a question about the Jurassic Park section, "We've got some exciting plans and look forward to more exciting details to come."

Prince Philip involved in 2-vehicle accident, not injured

Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was involved in a two-vehicle accident Thursday. The 97-year-old prince was not injured, The Associated Press reported

According to palace officials, the crash happened near Sandringham Estate, the AP reported. The estate serves as the queen’s country retreat and is located in Eastern England.

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Officials said they were called to a collision between two vehicles. Two people in one of the vehicles were treated for minor injuries. The injured people were not identified.

A doctor examined Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, confirming he was not hurt in the crash, the AP reported.

The duke was driving a Range Rover that overturned on its side, the BBC reported.

Sicilian homes only $1, town offers villas for bargain price

Picture it ... Sicily ... 2019 ... a house that can be purchased for just over one American dollar.

Officials in Sambuca, Sicily, have put dozens of homes perched on the top of the rolling hills on the market for one euro, or about $1.14 with the current exchange rate, CNN reported.

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The homes offer views of the Mediterranean and are located on land that’s referred to locally as “Earthly Paradise,” according to CNN.

But as always, the deal comes with a few strings attached. All of the homes are technically dilapidated and anyone who buys one of the homes has to sink in about $17,000 to refurbish them over three years. There’s also a 5,000 euro, or $5,695, security deposit that will be returned once the homes are remodeled, CNN reported.

Flight attendants accused of smuggling millions of dollars of heroin, meth on flights

Federal authorities in Australia say a cabin crew smuggled millions of dollars worth of heroin and methamphetamines between Asia and Australia.

Two flight crew and six others were arrested as part of a six-month investigation called Operation Sunrise, CNN reported.

The crew members worked for Malindo Air, an air carrier based in Malaysia which is a subsidiary of Lion Air from Indonesia.

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Investigators said at least 20 smuggling trips have been made by the flight crew to bring drugs into Australia.

Officials said the airline employees hid the drugs on their bodies, 9News in Australia reported.

The accused were said to have worked with a “highly organized” Vietnamese crime syndicate. The crime syndicate was based out of Melbourne and had been active for more than five years.

Officials seized 17 pounds of heroin valued at about $10.5 million in U.S. funds, or 42,000 street deals, officials told CNN.

An additional 13 pounds of methamphetamines, with a street value of $4.6 million was seized, as well as a half kilo of cocaine, cars including a Porsche and cash, 9News reported.

Special counsel Robert Mueller gets his own action figure

Move over, Batman. Swim to the other side of Atlantis, Aquaman. 

There’s a new action figure in D.C.: Robert Mueller.

>> Read more trending news 

The special counsel, who is investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, now has his own 6-inch action figure, The Hill reported.

A company named FCTRY is producing the $20 mini figure of Mueller, and pre-orders began Tuesday. On its website, the Brooklyn-based company proclaims that Mueller “is our only hope,” adding that “without being melodramatic,” the special counsel seems to be the last figure “standing between us and chaos.”

FCTRY notes that the Mueller figure is the “perfect foil” to President Donald Trump.

“He’s the Batman to Trump’s Joker. The Ness to Trump’s Capone. The Bond to, well, every Bond Villain,” the company wrote on its website.

FCTRY has also created action figures of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (called “Notorious RBG”), former President Barack Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, The Hill reported. The company also produced a figure of Trump in 2017.

The Mueller action figure will ship this spring, The Hill reported.

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