News media ask for access to R. Kelly's pretrial hearings

CHICAGO - An attorney for two newspapers and The Associated Press says singer R. Kelly's celebrity status doesn't justify news media being barred from pretrial hearings in his pornography trial in Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and the AP are seeking transcripts of closed pretrial hearings and asking that a gag order on attorneys be lifted.

Kelly's attorneys want more time to respond.

Witness to Jam Master Jay killing gets 17 years in robberies

NEW YORK - An eyewitness to the killing of Jam Master Jay was sentenced to 17 years in prison for a string of robberies after the Run-DMC legend's death.

Federal prosecutors claim Ronald Washington was more than a witness to the 2002 shooting in Jay's Queens recording studio. They have said in court papers that Washington brandished a gun and made people in the studio stay on the floor while an unidentified gunman shot Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell.

Report: British court rejects Snoop Dogg visa ban

LONDON - A British court has overruled the government's decision to deny Snoop Dogg a visa after he was involved in an airport lounge brawl in 2006.

The Guardian newspaper says a panel of immigration judges has rejected an attempt by Britain's Home Office to keep the 36-year-old U.S. rapper out of the country.

A lower court ruled in January that Snoop hadn't started or been responsible for any public disorder.

Snipes gets 3 years for tax convictions

OCALA, Fla. - Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison on tax charges Thursday, a victory for prosecutors who sought to make an example of the action star by aggressively pursuing the maximum penalty.

Snipes' lawyers had spent much of the day in court offering dozens of letters from family members, friends attesting to the good character of the 'Blade' star and asking for leniency.