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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The New York attorney general’s office has launched an investigation into whether the parent company of MoviePass, Helios and Matheson, misled investors about their finances, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to ABC News.

Attorney General Barbara Underwood opened the investigation under her authority to protect investors in companies that are publicly traded on the exchanges located in New York.

CNBC, which first reported the investigation, reported that the probe falls under New York’s Martin Act, an anti-fraud law.

Helios and Matheson, which purchased a majority stake in MoviePass in August 2017, announced it would be lowering its price to $10 per month. Subscribers were allowed to see one standard 2D movie per calendar day at any participating theater, including major chains such as AMC and Regal.

“We are aware of the New York Attorney General's inquiry and are fully cooperating,” the company said in a statement provided to CNBC. “We believe our public disclosures have been complete, timely and truthful and we have not misled investors. We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate that to the New York Attorney General.”

The company's stock price has collapsed in 2018. Helios and Matheson finished the day Wednesday trading at just 20 cents per share after reaching a year-to-date high of $2,442.50 on Jan. 23. The stock had dropped to half its high by mid-February and under $100 by June 5.

MoviePass began implementing various restrictions on its service earlier this year. In April, the company no longer allowed subscribers to view the same film more than once. MoviePass installed peak pricing, a surcharge for any movie deemed to be in high demand, in July.

Peak pricing was suspended the following month when the company changed its monthly subscription plan to allow for just three movies per month.

“MoviePass reserves the right to change or modify the Service or subscriptions at any time and in its sole discretion,” the company stated in its most recent terms of use, “including but not limited to applicable prices, at any time, without prior notice.”

Theater chain AMC launched its own subscription service, titled A-List, in July. Under this service, users are able to see up to three movies per week, including those in 3D and IMAX. Unlike MoviePass, A-List subscribers are able to reserve seats on the mobile app ahead of its listed showtime.

The New York attorney general’s office declined to comment.

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ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) -- Ahead of its release on Friday, Anthony Mackie is breaking down The Hate U Give and it's "amazing story."

"[The film is] about this young lady who witnesses her boyfriend, best friend, being murdered by the police," Mackie tells ABC Radio. "And she has to make an interesting decision. Does she basically snitch, and tell the story of what happens and go against the police as well as the community and deal with the ramifications and the fallout of that? Or, does she keep her mouth shut like everybody is telling her to do?"

The Avengers star says the film is much more than just a Black Lives Matter narrative, it's a "coming of age story."

"[It's about] a young woman coming to power and coming to her personal independence of speaking her mind and being honest," he explains.

In the film Mackie plays King, a local drug dealer and former associate of Starr's father Maverick. Mackie, who's been a staple in the Avengers franchise playing the superhero Falcon, says he was quick to jump on the project.

"I wanted to do it, because it's very important," he says. "I've worked with George Tillman [director] three times now and seeing a young woman find her voice and get an opportunity as the star of a studio movie is few and far between. So, when I read the script I felt like... It was-- if I have any little bit of star to add to that, to make sure that that story is told, I would add that star to that." 

The Hate U Give, also starring Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby, hits theaters nationwide on Friday.

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ABCNews.com(ISTANBUL) -- In his first sit-down interview with U.S. media, a close friend of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who disappeared after being seen entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul more than two weeks ago, described to ABC News what he'd been told in briefings by Turkish security officials.

"I talked with some Turkish government and security officials and they said Jamal was killed. I didn't know what to do. I really couldn't answer. Then I called a few colleagues, again security officials, trying to have them verify it, saying 'Is this really true?'" Turan Kislakci said Wednesday. "They said, 'Yes, Turan, and let's tell you even beyond that, he was killed in a very barbaric way.' I was shocked. They not only kill him in the consulate, but also in a barbaric way."

Khashoggi, who has written critically about the Saudi government, reportedly told his fiancée to call two people if he ever got into trouble. One of those individuals was his close friend Kislakci.

Khashoggi, who had been living in the U.S., was visiting the consulate on Oct. 2 to file paperwork for his wedding. He has not been seen since. Turkish officials allege Khashoggi was killed, which the Saudis have fiercely denied.

Turkish officials say 15 Saudis flew to Istanbul for just hours surrounding Khashoggi's disappearance, and they reportedly claim to have audio recordings of Khashoggi being interrogated and murdered.

When Kislakci was asked by ABC News about repeated claims that there is proof that Khashoggi was killed and that an audio recording exists, he said that security officials said they had audio.

"They said, 'We have audio on this. We know all the details about what transpired.' They said, 'We were able to access this the first day, and we have various other evidence on this,'" he said.

He said the tapes reveal that when Khashoggi walked into the consulate, he was given a document to sign but refused. He then was killed.

"I still want to wish and hope that he is alive and so on," Kislakci told ABC News. "Unfortunately, this kind of news which related with his killing in a barbaric way is coming out."

The New York Times reported that Turkish authorities said the audio tapes indicate Khashoggi was then beheaded and dismembered.

Kislakci said he didn't want to know the gruesome detail but he said he believes much of what has been reported is correct.

Turkish authorities say that Khashoggi's body was then taken to the official residency of the Saudi consul general. It's about a mile from the consular building. Turkish forensic investigators are said to be combing through the grounds.

Turkish officials released to a Turkish newspaper images of 15 Saudis that they say traveled to Istanbul the day that Khashoggi went missing. The New York Times said that among the Saudis named is an autopsy expert.

The Times also reported that several of the suspects have ties to the Saudi crown prince.

Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb was allegedly in Istanbul the day Khashoggi went missing. Mutreb was seen in Boston within a few feet of the crown prince in March. A month later, both of the men were seen in Houston and later that month they were seen traveling together in Madrid.

When asked Wednesday whether he was providing cover for the Saudis in Khashoggi's disappearance, President Donald Trump said: "No, not at all. I just want to find out what's happening."

He said that he expected to know who is at fault for Khashoggi’s alleged murder “by the end of the week.”

"With that being said, Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East," Trump said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Turkish President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu Wednesday but refused to express any doubt or skepticism about the legitimacy of a Saudi investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would not say whether he believes calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" is fair game on the campaign trail.

Speaking at an event Tuesday night sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation to discuss the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, McConnell invoked the nickname, favored by President Donald Trump, and considered racially offensive, to refer to Warren.

"I understand you just got to hear from Lindsey Graham,” McConnell said at the event, referring to the South Carolina senator who had spoken before him at the event. “You know how the president likes to give nicknames to people. Elizabeth Warren is 'Pocahontas.' You noticed that Lindsey said he's going to have his DNA tested, did he mention that to you? The president will probably soon be calling him 'Sitting Bull'."

Sitting Bull was a Native American chief who helped unite the Sioux in their efforts to defend themselves in the nation's Great Plains region. Pocahontas was a historical figure often revered for her role as a Colonial-era emissary.

McConnell was referencing Graham’s quip on Fox News earlier that day about hypothetically taking his own DNA test.

Graham said it would be “like, terrible” if he took a DNA test and found out he was “Iranian.” Graham is a frequent critic of the Iranian regime.

Asked during a roundtable Wednesday with TV network reporters if his use of “Pocahontas” meant it was fair game for candidates to use such racially-tinged words to describe Democrats, he responded, “I don’t have a comment on that.”

Native American groups have previously criticized Trump’s invocation of “Pocahontas” to refer to the Massachusetts Democrat.

After he used the name at an event honoring Native American veterans in November of last year, the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes, an association of American Indian nations, released a statement saying “the name becomes a derogatory racial reference when used as an insult.”

Warren herself has also referred to her being called “Pocahontas” as a “racial slur.” She has defended herself against her critics by claiming she was told of her Native American ancestry by family members and that the registry entry was for meeting persons with similar backgrounds, rather than to advance her career.

A spokeswoman for Warren did not respond to a request for comment about McConnell’s statement.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. released a statement Monday criticizing Warren’s use of a DNA test to bolster her campaign argument.

“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens... Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage,” Hoskin said.

During Wednesday’s reporter roundtable, McConnell also weighed in on the upcoming midterm elections, saying he believes the Kavanaugh confirmation was a shot in the arm for Republican enthusiasm which will pay bigger dividends “the redder the state is.”

As he has in the past, McConnell also named the Senate races he believes are the closest, most of which are states Trump won in 2016 but which have Democratic incumbents. Democrats are defending ten such seats this year.

“It’s pretty obvious that we have very competitive races in Arizona, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia and Florida,” he said.

But he said he would rather be in Republicans’ position, in control of the Senate with 51 seats, than in Democrats’, with 49 seats and facing an uphill climb to defend all ten states and make net gains in order to regain control of the chamber.

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Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images For TWC(NEW YORK) -- The Manhattan District Attorney’s office this afternoon issued a pre-emptive notice to Harvey Weinstein’s defense team, alerting them to yet another potentially serious problem connected with the investigation that led to criminal charges against the disgraced movie mogul.

The assistant district attorney handling the case told Weinstein’s team that one of the alleged victims was told by NYPD Detective Nicholas DiGaudio, the lead detective in the case to delete from her phones any information she didn’t want prosecutors to see when she turned the devices over to them.

According to the letter, the detective said “we just won’t tell Joan,” referring to Manhattan assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.

The district attorney's office insists that the case is still moving forward, and provided no comment beyond the letter.

Weinstein’s lead defense attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said Wednesday's admission is more evidence of what he described as a "deeply flawed" case against his client.

"This new development even further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed Indictment of Mr. Weinstein," Brafman said in a statement emailed to ABC News.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of rape and sexual assault that have been made against him both in court and in the media.

Less than a week ago, the judge in the case dismissed one of six counts against Weinstein -- at the district attorney's request -- after prosecutors discovered a written account from alleged victim Lucia Evans which suggested her sexual encounter with Weinstein was consensual. Evans has accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.

Wednesday's letter refers to one of the two remaining accusers in the case, given that Evans accusation against Weinstein was dropped last week with the dismissal of the sixth count.

Both Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office and the New York Police Department (NYPD) are reviewing the detective’s work on the case.

In court last Thursday, Illuzzi-Orbon told the judge that the case against Weinstein is still moving forward.

The Manhattan prosecution of Weinstein represents the only criminal case to be filed against him to date. Investigation elsewhere –- including in Los Angeles and London –- have not led to criminal charges.

Last week, after Illuzzi-Orbon informed the court that she would drop count six of the indictment against Weinstein, Evans’ lawyer blasted the move, saying in a statement that the district attorney's office made the decision to “abandon” her client.

"Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client's sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein's guilt or innocence," said attorney Carrie Goldberg.

"Nor does it reflect on Lucia's consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein," he continued. "It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA's office and its mishandling of my client's case."

Prosecutors said in a Sept. 12 letter to the defense unsealed last week that they discovered an account after Weinstein's arrest that could suggest the encounter was consensual.

"According to the Witness...the Complainant [Evans] told the Witness that...the Complainant had gone to the defendant's office, where the Defendant told her, in substance, that he would arrange for the Complainant to receive an acting job if she agreed to perform oral sex upon him," the letter said. "According to the Witness, the Complainant told her that she thereupon performed oral sex on the defendant."

The letter goes on to say that during this discussion Evans "appeared to be upset, embarrassed and shaking."

Weinstein defense attorney Benjamin Brafman accused Evans of committing perjury when she testified to the grand jury.

“Sexual assault is a serious crime but falsely accusing someone of sexual assault is also a serious crime,” Brafman said outside court last week.

Brafman said prosecutors discovered Evans’ written account about her encounter with Weinstein from a fact-checker with The New Yorker, and said he would subpoena the magazine.

“When you do your homework after the arrest, bad things happen,” Brafman noted.

In a statement, a spokesperson for The New Yorker said that the magazine stands by their reporting and fact-checking process, adding that "[a]ny assertion by lawyers for Harvey Weinstein that The New Yorker had information that contradicted Lucia Evans’s account is patently incorrect."

Weinstein’s defense team called the case “permanently and irreparably damaged” and Brafman said he would use the development to seek the dismissal of the whole case.

Illuzzi-Orbon, however, said last week that the rest of the case is “full steam ahead.”

“Nothing in the disclosure relating to count six impacts the strength of the remaining case and the remaining counts in the indictment, all five of them, including predatory sexual assault,” she said.

Evans is one of three women whose allegations form the backbone of the criminal case.

Defense attorneys also said they would subpoena police interview records after claiming that an NYPD detective “may have unfairly tainted these proceedings” when he prepared Evans for her testimony.

The detective has been removed from the case, Brafman said.

NYPD officials have said they stand by the criminal case against Weinstein, but have not to date directly addressed the alleged conduct of the investigator, Detective DiGaudio.

But the president of the NYPD detectives union vigorously defended the embattled DiGuardio.

"The Manhattan DA’s office needs to enter the 21st century," Detectives Endowment Association president Michael Palladino said in a statement. "This is the age of technology. People keep loads of personal info on their phones that they prefer remains confidential."

"A woman should not have to surrender confidential intimate information that’s immaterial to the case to defend herself against a sexual predator," Palladino continued in the statement. "That’s being victimized twice. Detective DiGaudio was sensitive to that.

Weinstein is due back in court on Dec. 20.

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iStock/ThinkstockBY: DR. TAMBETTA OJONG

(NEW YORK) -- Team sports build character, teach discipline and keep your kids healthy, but for some sports, like soccer and football, they could also increase their risk of brain injuries. Helping to prevent these injuries, a new neck collar has shown promising results in protecting the brain.

The specialized collar, developed by researchers at the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, applies pressure to the back of the neck. This pressure allows the artery in the neck to safely backfill the brain with blood, turning the blood into a cushion that makes it less likely for the brain to move upon impact.

The idea for the collar was born out of “biological mimicry,” Dr. David Smith, a visiting research scientist at the Children’s Hospital who led a study that tested the collar, told ABC News.

Essentially, Smith and his colleagues looked to nature to solve a medical issue. “If a woodpecker could repeatedly hit its head and not sustain any head injury, why couldn’t this be applied to humans,” Smith said.

The study involved 75 teen girls ages 14 to 18 who played for two local high school soccer teams. Only one team received the collars, and then they played soccer. Both teams were asked to undergo brain scans at the beginning and end of the season, as well as during the off-season.

The scans showed that while the brains of the team that hadn’t worn the collars showed signs of damage from head impacts, the brains of the team that had worn the collars remained the same.

The results are encouraging considering that even minor impacts over the course of an athlete’s career can have long-lasting effects on their cognitive functioning.

Concussions have emerged as a major health concern across the United States, according to the American Academy of Physicians. Emergency departments report more than a million visits annually for traumatic brain injuries, most of which are concussions.

Women’s soccer is the third most common cause of concussion in the U.S., and it’s estimated that 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year.

There is a debate as to whether the changes shown in the brain scans can result in long-term cognitive decline. However, the areas of the brain that were affected in this study are involved in behavior, personality, expression, decision-making, and long-term memory.

The Academy of Family Physicians states that a concussion is a functional injury rather than a structural one, meaning that it can correlate with symptoms such as changes in sleep, confusion, depression, inability to focus and headache, to name a few. If you’ve experienced a blow to the head and feel some of these symptoms, then see a doctor and ask about concussion.

The study did not account for hormonal fluctuations in the girls, which could affect intracranial pressure. It also didn’t look more deeply into whether or not the observed in the brain led to behavioral or physical symptoms.

That said, if wearing the specialized collar can protect the brain from injuries while athletes continue to enjoy competitive sports, it may be a small price to pay for long-term protection. In the near future, a neck collar may be just another part of your child’s uniform along with cleats and knee pads.

Dr. Tambetta Ojong is a family medicine resident at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.


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Courtesy Kate O'Neill(NEW YORK) -- Madelyn Linsenmeir was a mother, sister and friend, who was "hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient." She was also an opioid addict.

Linsenmeir was a junkie for 12 years and, at what her sister said were some of her darkest points, she would sometimes panhandle for money. She lost custody of her young son because of her disease.

On Oct. 7 the 30-year-old died in the hospital while in police custody, according to her sister, Kate O'Neill.

O’Neill does not want Linsenmeir to be remembered for her addiction. Her surprisingly honest obituary she wrote for a local Vermont paper is getting widespread attention for its warmth and candor.

“It is impossible to capture a person in an obituary, and especially someone whose adult life was largely defined by drug addiction. To some, Maddie was just a junkie — when they saw her addiction, they stopped seeing her. And what a loss for them. Because Maddie was hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient,” O'Neill wrote.

She explained how Linsenmeir loved her son Ayden and how she “sang rather than spoke to him, filling his life with song.”

“After having Ayden, Maddie tried harder and more relentlessly to stay sober than we have ever seen anyone try at anything. But she relapsed and ultimately lost custody of her son, a loss that was unbearable,” she continued.

O'Neill said the obituary honored her sister but also spoke about the realities of drug addiction -- which she hopes others can learn from.

“I want us to have empathy for people in their darkness whether that’s Maddie panhandling in the grocery store parking lot, whether it’s a junkie passed out on the street,” O’Neill told ABC News. “Those people are also Maddie.”

The obituary has since gone viral. But there have also been critics.

Brandon del Pozo, the police chief in Burlington, Vermont, where Linsenmeir and her family were raised, wrote on Facebook that he has “a problem” with it.

“Why did it take a grieving relative with a good literary sense to get people to pay attention for a moment and shed a tear when nearly a quarter of a million people have already died in the same way as Maddie as this epidemic grew?” del Pozo said in his post.

“Ask the cops and they will tell you: Maddie's death was nothing special at all. It happens all the time, to people no less loved and needed and human,” he added, posting a series of steps that the Burlington police department is taking to address drug addiction.

O'Neill said the outpouring of support for her sister has “been incredible and it’s been bittersweet.”

“We knew we weren’t alone and I think the part that’s bitter sweet about this is that it really is concrete evidence of the number of people that are affected by this disease. Our grief is so intense and so personal but it is not unique,” O’Neill said.

She has taken the negative feedback in stride.

“This disease needs a face and Maddie is just one face,” she said.

O'Neill asks those who are interested in stopping opioid addiction to donate to the Turning Point Center, “a place where Maddie spent time and felt supported.”

Gary De Carolis, the center's executive director, said the staff has been “overwhelmed” with donations after the obituary was published.

“We’ve never experienced anything like this in the history of the center,” De Carolis told ABC News.

De Carolis said he applauds the courage of Linsenmeir's family to be so forthright about her disease.

“The thing for me, the family … they had the courage to tell Maddie’s story and put a face on the scourge of addiction. That will change how America and the world view people who are struggling with addiction. We’re all people first, and some of us unfortunately have to deal with this,” De Carolis said.

The exact cause of Linsenmeir's death is still unknown. O'Neill said drugs may not have killed her, noting that she was in police custody at the time. Linsenmeir's death could very well not be counted in a government statistic. Just like so many others who die of overdoses, O'Neill said.

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