By Akshay Bhansali
In its 12th year running, Global Dance Festival was meant to be a three-day euphoric celebration of the very best in electronica, set at Morrison, Colorado’s picturesque Red Rocks Amphitheater. Knife Party, Hardwell, Above & Beyond, 12th Planet, Kill The Noise, Felix Cartal, Wolfgang Gartner and Dillon Francis are among the artists slated to perform.
Today, they join the world in grieving alongside the neighboring town of Aurora. Roughly a 30-45 minute drive from Morrison, Aurora was struck by tragedy early this morning (July 20) when a lone gunman opened fire on moviegoer’s at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 and injuring 38.
Global Dance Festival could not be reached for comment at press time, but it appears the show will go on as planned this evening, with one artist already planning to dedicate his headlining set to the memory of those tragically lost in Aurora. In a written statement to MTV News, Swedish House Mafia member and veteran house music DJ/producer Steve Angello said:
"I'd like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those affected by the horrible events in Aurora, Colorado. It's unfair that so many precious lives were lost in this tragedy and during a leisure activity that so many of us participate in every day. Tonight's performance at Global Dance Festival is dedicated to the memory of those we lost in Aurora, Colorado."
A suspect, identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, is in custody. For the very latest details surrounding this morning’s tragic event stay tuned to MTV News.
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A verdict in the case against Dr. Conrad Murray, the late Michael Jackson's personal physician, was just revealed. Following six weeks of testimony from 49 witnesses, the seven-man, five-woman jury found Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the untimely and tragic death of the King of Pop.
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Murray's trail has been under an expected-but-still intense media spotlight from the beginning. The details of the trial have been dissected publicly, with lawyers and other legal experts weighing in constantly on the events of each day.
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So, given that we're certain you are pretty familiar with the major facts of the court proceedings, we were curious about your thoughts on the verdict.
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Let us know if you agree or disagree with the jury's decision by voting in our poll below.
By Ben Hochstein
I was the Music Supervisor on the VMAs this year, and part of my job was to shape the house band segments with Travis Barker and DJ AM. I worked closely with the guys and their team for a few very intense weeks leading up to the show.
When I heard about the plane crash that killed four people and seriously wounded Travis and AM, I felt like I was punched in the stomach. I wish them both a speedy recovery and my condolences go out to the families of those killed. I want to share with you a bit of my brief but enjoyable experience working with the guys on the VMAs.
When I first heard about the project and thought of all the possible egos involved, I must admit I was a little worried — but I couldn't have been more wrong. Travis and AM turned out to be two of the most down-to-earth, intelligent, and hard-working people I have ever met in the music industry. Their creativity and excitement really drove this project and made it the huge success seen on show night.
(by Dan 'Monty' Montalto)
Earlier this afternoon as the newsroom was buzzing over the R. Kelly verdict, Stephen Totilo, our resident video game expert, came over and asked, "Did you guys hear that Tim Russert died?" Even in the midst of one of our biggest stories this year, everyone within earshot immediately began Googling, channel surfing and checking every reliable news source for more information, hoping that it was an erroneous report.
Then, at about 3:40 p.m., Tom Brokaw, his voice shaking with grief, appeared on MSNBC to announce the loss of the host of NBC's "Meet the Press" and one of political journalism's most authoritative voices. Here in the newsroom a crowd gathered around one of the TVs, totally shocked and saddened by the loss of a giant in the field of journalism. Especially in this election year, Tim had become such a familiar and comforting face in helping us and millions across the country to make sense of the madness that is U.S. electoral politics.
Tragic news: more soldiers committed suicide in 2007 than in any other year since 1990. 108 members of the Army took their own lives, most after coming home from overseas. And that number only covers active-duty soldiers -- not reservists, Guardsmen, or new veterans.
Of that number, at least 16 Army recruiters have committed suicide since 2000. In a recent story, Nils Aron Andersson took his own life last year after a deployment to Iraq and an assignment as a recruiter. In Andersson's case it wasn't just his life that was lost: his new wife killed herself the day after he committed suicide.
The Pentagon will release a full report on soldier suicides later today. MTV News will keep you posted.
Last September, 13-year-old Hannah Bond, a My Chemical Romance fan in Kent, England, committed suicide. This month, the coroner, in announcing a verdict of suicide, suggested there was a link between her suicide and her obsession with emo music: "The emo overtones concerning death and associating it with glamor I find very disturbing."
The British tabloids then had a field day with the tragedy, with The Daily Mail going so far as to calling emo "a suicide cult."
Finally, MCR has responded to the coverage of the tragedy in the following post on their official website:
We have recently learned of the suicide and tragic loss of Hannah Bond. We'd like to send our condolences to her family during this time of mourning. Our hearts and thoughts are with them.
My Chemical Romance are and always have been vocally anti-violence and anti-suicide. As a band, we have always made it one of our missions through our actions to provide comfort, support, and solace to our fans. The message and theme of our album "The Black Parade" is hope and courage. Our lyrics are about finding the strength to keep living through pain and hard times. The last song on our album states: "I am not afraid to keep on living" -- a sentiment that embodies the band's position on hardships we all face as human beings. If you or anyone that you know have feelings of depression or suicide, we urge you to find your way and your voice to deal with these feelings positively.
British MCR fans are planning to march in London's Hyde Park this coming Sunday in protest of the media's portrayal of the band.
Our continuing investigation into the still-unsolved murder of hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay brought us to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently. The forecast upon touchdown was cold and rainy, not terribly unlike the weather in Queens on that fateful night in October of 2002 when a bullet forever silenced the trailblazing DJ behind the legendary Run-DMC.
It was in Milwaukee that Jam Master Jay spent some of his final days. He came here to Brew City to visit Eric “Shake” James, one of his best friends and one of the only members of his inner circle who was not part of the hometown crew from Hollis, Queens.
Jay and “Shake” spent their days holed up in Shake’s home playing video games ("NFL2K" on SegaDreamcast was one of Jay’s faves) and their nights hitting local hot spots like the Velvet Room, where Jay would jump on the wheels and start spinning every chance he got, treating the local fans to some world-class scratching.
Shake gave us a guided tour, sharing with us a potentially explosive new piece of evidence that could shed light on a case that both local and federal investigators are still trying to solve some five and a half years on... Read More...
Apparently, YouTube isn't just for stupid human tricks, song covers, and crazy campaign videos anymore.
A 16-year-old girl from Florida took her case to the Internet after prosecutors in Florida dropped rape charges against her 23-year-old alleged attacker. The intense video post is titled "A 16 year old rape victim needs help," and at this point has been viewed by nearly 300,000 people.
Of course, commenters on YouTube are well-known for being muuuuch more sympathetic than law enforcement officials and prosecutors. Comments have ranged from "She looks like she was asking for it" to "She is just a pissed-off hussie that wants the man prosecuted now that he dumped? her or whatever he did to her." Cool, guys. Thanks!
CNN picked up the story and spoke to the teenager about the whole thing. Sadly, this alleged victim's story isn't that uncommon: one in four young women in America have been sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). What is unusual here is the YouTube plea.
The girl has posted the alleged rapist's criminal case number, so we know this isn't a LonelyGirl15 situation. But what do you think about calling someone out as a rapist online? Is this an effective way to get help -- or is she opening herself up to more harm than good? And should the Internet serve as a court of public opinion when the actual judicial system has failed you?
The YouTube clip in question, after the jump. Read More...
You know how we've all known things are messed up in the Sudan for years? That the Sudanese government has been involved in...what's the word...a GENOCIDE in Darfur? And you know how everyone divested all their money out of the country because that was the nice thing to do in the face of crimes against humanity?
Well! Potential First Lady Cindy McCain decided to play it differently -- you know, do things in her own time. So it seems she just got around to divesting $2 million in funds with links to the (still) war-torn African nation.
We guess her husband, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, can now breathe a bit more easily: he's called for a tougher policy in dealing with the Sudanese government, even when talking to us.
To be fair, Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama only got around to fully divesting last year. But the man most certainly did not have millions invested in that country...
Yesterday, MTV News ran a story asking why there has been so little in the way of high-profile relief efforts to Myanmar in the wake of the devastating cyclone. With an estimated 100,000 dead and more than a million displaced, why aren’t we seeing celebrities rallying to the cause?
Well, the good people at Not On Our Watch, a non-profit dedicated towards ending mass atrocities around the world, read our story and emailed us some info. It turns out that the group -- founded in part by George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Don Cheadle -- has given half a million dollars to Save the Children for emergency relief work in Myanmar (Burma). (That's twice the amount we initially reported.)
One of the key and incredibly tragic problems in bringing aid to the country has been their military government: the junta has delayed desperately needed food and supplies from being distributed to those who are in dire need. Aid workers from numerous international relief groups are still waiting for permission to enter the country, and supplies that have made it across the border have often been seized. Save the Children is one of the few agencies already at work inside the country.
Not On Our Watch has given $250,000 to Save the Children up front, and will match every additional dollar given to the aid group up to $250,000.
Here’s hoping this inspires plenty of people to help make a difference.