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What to Watch This Weekend: Our Top Binge Picks for March 6-7

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What to Watch This Weekend: Our Top Binge Picks for March 6-7

If You’ve Been Waiting Over 30 Years For This: Comedy legends Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are back in action in Coming 2 America, the much-anticipated sequel to their iconic 1988 film. In the follow-up, newly-crowned King Akeem (Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Hall) a new adventure that has them traversing the globe from Zamunda and, of course, back to Queens. Reprising their roles from the first film are James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, John Amos and Louie Anderson, while Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha and Teyana Taylor are joining in on the royal fun. (Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video)



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Amy Slaton Wants A Second Baby — Interview – Hollywood Life

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Amy Tammy Slaton

‘1000-Lb. Sisters’ star Amy Slaton recently welcomed her first child, Gage, and she revealed to HollywoodLife that she already wants a second baby. Tammy also opened up about coming out as pansexual.

Amy Slaton welcomed her son, Gage, in the March 1 episode of 1000-Lb. Sisters. Her little boy is now 3 months old, and HollywoodLife got an EXCLUSIVE update about how she feels about more kids with husband Michael. “Yes, we want one more baby. We are hoping for a girl. Mike’s mom doesn’t have a granddaughter,” Amy told HollywoodLife.

Gage was born in November 2020. Amy found out she was pregnant shortly after undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery. She gave birth via C-section. Amy revealed how her recovery process has been since giving birth. “Where they cut me for my C-section healed up nicely,” Amy said. “It only hurt for a few days. But where they gave me medicine in my back hasn’t stop hurting. It feels like something’s putting a knife in it.”

Amy and Tammy Slaton of ‘1000-Lb. Sisters.’ (TLC)

Amy also gushed over how well baby Gage is doing these days. “Gage is so bubbly and happy,” Amy told HollywoodLife. “He’s a great sleeper. He goes to bed at 11:30 p.m. and gets up about 8 am. He’s a little fussy right now because he’s teething.”

Both Amy and Tammy are still on their weight loss journeys. Amy revealed that she’s “lost all my baby weight.” She added, “I’m still going hard with my diet, eating mostly grilled chicken and salad.” Tammy noted that she’s “excited” about her weight loss journey in 2021. “I feel joyful because I know this is my year!” she said.

Tammy recently came out as pansexual in an episode of 1000-Lb. Sisters. The reality star said she wasn’t nervous about opening up like that on the show at all. “I wasn’t afraid to come out because I knew Jerry would be okay with it, and I was hoping to be able to be a spokesperson for other people. I want people to know it’s okay to be who you are and love whoever you want to,” Tammy told HollywoodLife. As far as her relationship status with Jerry, Tammy teased, “I can’t answer that question just yet, but Jerry and I have had a decent relationship. He got along with my family pretty well, and I’m glad I’ve had him in my life.” The season finale of 1000-Lb. Sisters airs Monday on TLC.



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WhatsApp adds voice and video calling feature to desktop version

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WhatsApp adds voice and video calling feature to desktop version

Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp has introduced a voice and video calling feature on its desktop version, the company said on Thursday.

The company said users will be able to use desktop screens for calls in both portrait and landscape mode, and the calls will be end-to-end encrypted. The move to facilitate calls over large screens would put WhatsApp on par with video-conferencing bigwigs Zoom and Google Meet, but it is not clear if it has ambitions to compete with the two in the enterprise space.

WhatsApp, which recorded 1.4 billion voice and video calls on last New Year’s Eve, has benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic as people around the world used video-calling apps to stay connected while sheltering themselves at home.



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Tekashi 6ix9ine Reveals How He Gained and Lost So Much Weight

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Tekashi 6ix9ine Reveals How He Gained and Lost So Much Weight



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Glen Assoun agrees to compensation deal for wrongful conviction and years in prison – Halifax

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Glen Assoun agrees to compensation deal for wrongful conviction and years in prison - Halifax

A compensation agreement has been reached between Glen Assoun and the Nova Scotia and federal governments for his wrongful conviction and the almost 17 years he spent in prison.

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Randy Delorey said Thursday the recently signed deal is confidential, and Assoun’s lawyers Sean MacDonald and Phil Campbell said the amount of the settlement and its details are not being released.

READ MORE: Glen Assoun fears he’ll die before receiving compensation for wrongful imprisonment

Assoun’s lawyers, however, praised the two levels of government for the settlement, and Campbell said federal Justice Minister David Lametti had done all that can be expected.

Campbell says he hopes the deal serves as an example for similar cases in the future.


Click to play video 'RCMP deleted documents in wrongful murder conviction case'



RCMP deleted documents in wrongful murder conviction case


RCMP deleted documents in wrongful murder conviction case – Jul 12, 2019

Assoun lived under strict parole conditions for nearly five years after he was released from prison, before a Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruling in March 2019 reversed his 1999 conviction for the murder of Brenda Way in Halifax. The 1995 killing has never been solved.

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Assoun suffered mental illness in prison, and he said he was diagnosed with a heart condition that required the insertion of stents – small mesh tubes that are placed in a narrowed coronary artery.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021.




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Trump blames McConnell, Gov. Kemp for losing GOP Senate seats

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to reporters after touring a mass vaccination site at the Macon State Farmers Market on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Atlanta.

Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, blaming them Thursday for the loss of two Republican Senate seats to Democrats.

Trump, in an emailed statement, said Kemp’s ​failure to enforce alleged voting irregularities in the state dampened Republican voter turnout at the polls in the Peach State.

“​To set the record straight, there were two reasons the Senate races were lost in Georgia​,” Trump wrote.

“First, Republicans did not turn out to vote because they were so angry and disappointed with Georgia Republican leadership and Governor Kemp for failing to stand up to Stacey Abrams and the disastrous Consent Decree that virtually eliminated signature verification requirements across the state (and much worse), and was not approved by the State Legislature as required by the Constitution—having a major impact on the result, a rigged election​,” the statement continued. ​ 

The former president also ​voiced his anger with the National Republican Senatorial Committee for spending millions on “ineffective” ads using McConnell, who he said won reelection in Kentucky because of Trump’s support.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to reporters after touring a mass vaccination site at the Macon State Farmers Market on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Atlanta.
AP Photo/John Bazemore

“Even more stupidly, the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent millions of dollars on ineffective TV ads starring Mitch McConnell, the most unpopular politician in the country, who only won in Kentucky because President Trump endorsed him,” Trump said in the statement.

“He would have lost badly without this endorsement,” Trump said.

Ossoff and Warnock beat incumbent GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffer in a January election.
Ossoff and Warnock beat incumbent GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffer in a January election.
Brynn Anderson/AP

He said McConnel refused to increase the amount on the proposed coronavirus stimulus checks even though the bump was supported by Democratic Georgia candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

“Second, Senator Mitch McConnell’s refusal to go above $600 per person on the stimulus check payments when the two Democrat opponents were touting $2,000 per person in ad after ad. This latter point was used against our Senators and the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats who bought the Georgia election—and McConnell let them do it!,” he said. 

Mitch McConnell is seen on Capitol Hill on Feb. 9, 2021.
Mitch McConnell is seen on Capitol Hill on Feb. 9, 2021.
Susan Walsh/AP

Ossoff and Warnock beat incumbent GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffer in a January election.

Trump also leveled criticism at the Wall Street Journal. He said the newspaper’s editorial page “continues, knowingly, to fight for globalist policies such as bad trade deals, open borders, and endless wars that favor other countries and sell out our great American workers, and they fight for RINOS that have so badly hurt the Republican Party.”

A man votes on the only machine working shortly after polls opened in Georgia's Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5. in Acworth, Ga.
A man votes on the only machine working shortly after polls opened in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5. in Acworth, Ga.
Branden Camp/AP

“That’s where they are and that’s where they will always be. Fortunately, nobody cares much about The Wall Street Journal editorial anymore. They have lost great credibility,” he continued. 



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Hilaria Baldwin Shares Journey to Welcoming 2 Babies After Miscarriage

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Hilaria Baldwin Reveals Name of Her & Alec Baldwin's Newborn Baby Girl

“Our rainbow baby, Edu, is such a blessing—we are overwhelmed by how fortunate we are to have him,” the Mom Brain podcast co-host continued. “We are living each day, bonding, and grateful for all of the very special angels who helped bring Lucía into the world. María Lucía Victoria and Eduardo Pau Lucas: our babies who bring light into our lives—almost like twins, we love you so much.” 

While Hilaria has been fairly public about her family life, The Living Clearly Method author kept her latest baby news private until everything was official.

At the same time, fans previously connected with the 37-year-old mom for her candor about pregnancy loss.



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How Scott Disick Feels About ‘Backlash’ Over His Amelia Hamlin Romance – Hollywood Life

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How Scott Disick Feels About ‘Backlash’ Over His Amelia Hamlin Romance – Hollywood Life

Father-of-three Scott Disick has come under fire for repeatedly dating teenagers, however the reality star ‘isn’t bothered’ by the backlash over his romance with Amelia Hamlin.

Another day, another controversy surrounding Scott Disick. The 37-year-old is facing backlash over his romance with 19-year-old model Amelia Hamlin, who is seemingly head over heels for the father-of-three. In a February 28 Instagram Story, the daughter of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Rinna, shared a photo cuddling up to Scott, calling him her “dream man.” A source close to Scott revealed he was having a “great time” with Amelia and wasn’t “bothered” by the backlash over their age difference.

“Scott isn’t bothered by the backlash to their relationship, he really couldn’t care less what people think,” a source close to the reality star told HollywoodLife exclusively. “All that matters to him is what his inner circle thinks. His friends and loved ones are fine with it and his kids really like Amelia so that’s what counts to him. The rest of it is just noise. He’s been having a great time with Amelia, he really likes her, and the relationship is the real deal. It has nothing to do with trying to get attention, that’s not something Scott would do, he doesn’t live his life that way. As far as he is concerned the haters are going to find a way to hate no matter what he does so he’s living his life and not thinking about what outsiders have to say.”

A second source close to Scott also told HL that Scott was having a “blast” with the teenage model. “Honestly, Scott didn’t really see things progressing with Amelia like they have when he first started seeing her,” the insider dished exclusively. “Scott had been dating a few women here are there when he first split from Sofia [Richie] and he really didn’t want to be tied down to anybody at that point. He was all about enjoying his freedom and just focusing on his kids and his Talentless line. But each time they hung out, Scott had a blast and he wanted to spend more and more time with Amelia.” The source added that Scott “hinks she’s hilarious, super laid back, and really doesn’t care what anyone thinks or says. They have an amazing time together, and she lets him be himself. He really hasn’t lost any of the freedom or time to spend with his kids so he has no reason to stop seeing her and he’s enjoying every moment.”



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China and Russia’s Spying Sprees Will Take Years to Unpack

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China and Russia's Spying Sprees Will Take Years to Unpack

First it was Solarwinds, a reportedly Russian hacking campaign that stretches back almost a year, and has felled at least nine US government agencies and countless private companies. Now it’s Hafnium, a Chinese group that’s been attacking a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange Server to sneak into victims’ email inboxes and beyond. The collective toll of these espionage sprees is still being uncovered. It may never be fully known.

Countries spy on each other, everywhere, all the time. They always have. But the extent and sophistication of Russia and China’s latest efforts still manage to shock. And the near-term fallout of both underscores just how tricky it can be to take the full measure of a campaign even after you’ve sniffed it out.

By now you’re probably familiar with the basics of the Solarwinds attack: likely Russian hackers broke into the IT management firm’s networks and altered versions of its Orion network monitoring tool, exposing as many as 18,000 organizations. The actual number of Solarwinds victims is assumed to be much smaller, although security analysts have pegged it in at least the low hundreds so far. And as Solarwinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna has eagerly pointed out to anyone who will listen, his was not the only software supply chain company that the Russians hacked in this campaign, implying a much broader ecosystem of victims than anyone has yet accounted for.

“It’s become clear that there’s much more to learn about this incident, its causes, its scope, its scale, and where we go from here,” said Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) at a hearing related to the Solarwinds hack last week. Brandon Wales, acting director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, estimated in an interview with MIT Technology Review this week that it could take up to 18 months for US government systems alone to recover from the hacking spree, to say nothing of the private sector.

That lack of clarity goes double for the Chinese hacking campaign that Microsoft disclosed Tuesday. First spotted by security firm Volexity, a nation-state group that Microsoft calls Hafnium has been using multiple zero-day exploits—which attack previously unknown vulnerabilities in software—to break into Exchange Servers, which manage email clients including Outlook. There, they could surreptitiously read through the email accounts of high-value targets.

“You wouldn’t fault anyone for missing this,” says Veloxity founder Steven Adair, who says the activity they observed began on January 6 of this year. “They’re very targeted, and not doing much to raise alarm bells.”

This past weekend, though, Veloxity observed a marked shift in behavior, as hackers began using their Exchange Server foothold to aggressively burrow deeper into victim networks. “It was really serious before; someone having unrestricted access to your email at will is in a sense a worst-case scenario,” says Adair. “Them being able to also breach your network and write files steps it up a notch in terms of what someone can get to and how hard the clean-up can be.”

Neither Solarwinds nor the Hafnium attacks have stopped, meaning the very concept of clean-up, at least broadly, remains a distant dream. It’s like trying to mop up an actively gushing oil tanker. “It is apparent that these attacks are still ongoing, and the threat actors are actively scanning the internet in a ‘spray-and-pray’ type fashion, targeting whatever looks to be vulnerable,” says John Hammond, senior security researcher at threat detection firm Huntress, about the Hafnium campaign.

Microsoft has released patches that will protect anyone using Exchange Server from the assault. But it’s only a matter of time before other hackers reverse-engineer the fix to figure out how to exploit the vulnerabilities themselves; you can expect ransomware and cryptojacking groups to get in on the action posthaste.

This article is sourced from wired

Teachers in 3 provinces recruited for COVID-19 immunity research

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Teachers in 3 provinces recruited for COVID-19 immunity research

The debate over the safety of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic is coming under researchers’ microscopes.

Three new projects are aiming determine how many teachers and school staff in Canada have had COVID-19, to help inform prevention strategies in neighbourhoods, schools and daycares.

About $2.9 million will be spent on the research in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec as part of the work of the national COVID-19 immunity task force (CITF).

All three projects will ask teachers for blood samples to determine how many have antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, which would indicate a previous COVID-19 infection.

In Ontario, researchers are hoping for 7,000 teachers and education workers to enrol, while in B.C. the study will focus on the Vancouver School District.

In Quebec, the work will build on an existing study looking at the spread of the novel coronavirus in children in four Montreal neighbourhoods.

The research will also delve into the question of teachers’ mental health, a key area of concern for educators in recent months.

WATCH | Rapid COVID tests rolled out in schools and workplaces:

Many businesses and schools across Canada are utilizing rapid COVID-19 tests and onsite testing technology to help catch asymptomatic cases and prevent spread of the virus. 7:41

While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is released daily, the true number of how many people in Canada have been infected can’t actually be known without widespread surveillance testing.

“Although daycare and school staff may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in their work settings, we don’t have much data on how many school staff have had asymptomatic infections, meaning they had no symptoms but potentially could transmit the virus,” said Dr. Catherine Hankins, co-chair of the task force.

The CITF was set up by the federal government to understand the factors in immunity to COVID-19.

A piece of that will be the vaccines, now rolling out across the country and teachers participating in the research will also be tracked post-vaccination to see whether their antibody levels change over time.

But so far, vaccines have not been approved for use in children, which will likely leave the debate about the safety of schools raging for months to come.



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Rose Parade to return in 2022, organizers say

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Rose Parade to return in 2022, organizers say

US HEADLINES

As coronavirus cases drop and vaccinations increase, Los Angeles County is beginning to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and planning for the return of numerous events, including the Rose Parade.

Organizers say they are actively planning for the parade’s return in 2022, after the pandemic forced the cancellation of this year’s annual New Year’s Day spectacle for the first time in 75 years.

“The evolving nature of the pandemic requires flexibility, ongoing adjustments and mitigation measures to be incorporated into our planned activities,” said Bob Miller, president of the Tournament of Roses Assn. “We expect to announce more specific details on the Rose Parade and associated events as they become available.”

The Rose Bowl is also expected to return to Pasadena next year. This year’s College Football Playoff semifinal was moved to AT&T Stadium in Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, because of virus restrictions in California.

The Tournament of Roses had hoped to keep the bowl game in Pasadena, but college football officials wanted to allow players’ families to attend the game. After California health officials rebuffed appeals to allow 400 to 500 spectators in the Rose Bowl — a 95,000-seat stadium that includes more than 50 suites — the game was moved to Texas.

Planning for this year’s parade was plagued by the pandemic.

Volunteers who typically begin building floats as early as March for the Jan. 1 parade were unable to get started because of state-mandated stay-at-home orders. Dozens of high school bands scheduled to participate were unable to practice because of school closures. And a handful of international marching bands invited to participate could not travel to California because of restrictions, organizers previously said.

Officials announced in July that the parade, which would have been the 132nd, would not go on.

Previously, the last time the parade was last canceled was between 1942 and 1945, during World War II.

Organizers plan to reuse this year’s theme: “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” But, instead of focusing on education, the theme will be expanded to celebrate the perseverance of essential workers and healthcare professionals during the pandemic, organizers said.

The bowl game’s move from Pasadena to Texas led to a legal conflict between the Tournament of Roses Assn. and the city of Pasadena. The association filed a lawsuit against the city in February to protect the ownership of the Rose Bowl Game and Rose Bowl trademarks.

Times staff writers J. Brady McCollough, Sam Farmer and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde contributed to this report.



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‘Space Jam’ Director Reworks Lola Bunny For Reboot, From ‘Sexualized’ To ‘Strong’

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'Space Jam' Director Reworks Lola Bunny For Reboot, From 'Sexualized' To 'Strong'



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Meghan McCain Calls Out Andrew Cuomo For ‘Not Really Apologizing’ To Accusers: ‘He’s A Pig’

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Meghan McCain Andrew Cuomo

Meghan McCain was baffled by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s lackluster apology to the three women accusing him of harassment. ‘The View’ co-host called him out as a ‘pig and a pervert.’



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2021 Toyota Supra joins Dubai Police fleet

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auto toyota
The handover took place in the presence of Brig. Dr. Mohamed Al Razooqi, General Director – General Department of Transport & Rescue at Dubai Police and Yousuf Al Raeesi, Director of Government Affairs & HSSE at Al-Futtaim Motors.
Image Credit: Supplied

There’s no dearth of glamour or speed in Dubai Police’s fleet, and now yet another sportscar has been added to the eminent list. The city’s police force has recently acquired the 2021 Toyota GR Supra, a legendary nameplate that returned after a 17-year hiatus.

The Supra was provided to Dubai Police by Al-Futtaim Automotive, the exclusive distributor of the Japanese brand in the UAE, and a long-term partner of Dubai Police. The handover took place in the presence of Brig. Dr. Mohamed Al Razooqi, General Director – General Department of Transport & Rescue at Dubai Police and Yousuf Al Raeesi, Director of Government Affairs & HSSE at Al-Futtaim Motors, along with other senior officials from both organisations.

“The increase of high powered supercars to the department’s fleet is due to the positive feedback from the citizens and media. We are constantly looking for ways to connect with the public. We’re not trying to show off with these cars, even though the Supra is quite the head-turner, rather we want to show both tourists and residents alike how friendly the police are across the city,” said Brig. Dr. Mohamed Al Razooqi.

Dubai Police currently has the Toyota Fortuner, Prado and FJ Cruiser as part of its standard fleet.

The Supra, powered by a 3.0-litre engine, dashes to the 100kph mark in just 4.1 seconds and hits an electronically limited top speed of 250kph.



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You Need to See Whitney Cummings’ Tattoo Tribute to Jennifer Aniston

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You Need to See Whitney Cummings’ Tattoo Tribute to Jennifer Aniston

How deep do you love your Friends?

Well, during an interview with internet personality and aspiring tattoo artist Hannah Stockings, Whitney Cummings, proved her love for Jennifer Aniston by getting “I [heart] J” tattooed on the bottom of her floor.

“There’s nothing I won’t do for a laugh. I’m fully getting an ‘I love Jennifer Aniston tattoo,'” the 38-year-old comedian said while Stockings completed the small piece. “This is so dumb and I’m so into it.”

She even added with a small laugh, “Jen’s gonna see this.” To which Stockings, 29, agreed, “When in doubt, do it for Jen!”

This isn’t the first time friends of the Golden Globe winner have given her amazing shoutouts.

In fact, Jen’s ex-husband Justin Theroux, 49, who she separated from in 2018, sent her a sweet message early last month in celebration of her 52nd birthday.

“Happy birthday @jenniferaniston,” the Wanderlust actor wrote on Feb. 11 on a black and white photo of Aniston. “[red heart emoji] you B!”



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Imran Khan seeks vote of confidence in Pakistan Parliament after finance minister loses Senate polls

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Imran Khan seeks vote of confidence in Pakistan Parliament after finance minister loses Senate polls

Pakistan minister Shafqat Mahmood said that the vote of confidence will be held in an ‘open setting’, contrary to the vote for the Senate seat which was held through a secret ballot

Imran Khan seeks vote of confidence in Pakistan Parliament after finance minister loses Senate polls

File image of Imran Khan. Twitter@PTIofficial

Islamabad: Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Wednesday decided to seek a vote of confidence in the Parliament after his finance minister was defeated in the hotly contested Senate elections.

Khan’s close aide and Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost to former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani in the Senate election on Wednesday.

Khan, also the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), had personally campaigned for his Cabinet colleague.

Gilani, a Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) veteran, was a consensus candidate of the Opposition alliance – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Several Opposition leaders heavily criticised Khan after Gilani’s win, calling for him to resign as the prime minister.

Hours after the results were declared, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the premier has decided to seek a vote of confidence.

The decision was taken in the meeting of the party after consultations, said Qureshi, Vice Chairman of the ruling party.

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said that a vote of confidence would be held in an open setting contrary to the vote for senate seat which was held through a secret ballot.

Earlier, addressing the media along with Gilani after the victory, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari asked Khan to step down as the defeat of his candidate showed that he has lost confidence in the National Assembly.

“Imran Khan should resign, this is not only the Opposition’s demand but of the government’s own members,” Bilawal said, adding that “a new era was starting in Pakistan’s democratic journey”.

He thanked the PDM leadership and said that Gilani’s win was a win for all democratic forces in Pakistan. “This puppet government has lost from its own parliament and the people of Pakistan have won.”

Gilani said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif called him from London, where he lives, and “congratulated him on the glorious victory”.

PML-N Vice-president Maryam Nawaz tweeted that Khan has no right to rule the country as “their (PTI) own people, despite pressure on them, refused to vote for Imran Khan (candidate).”

PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal also said that Prime Minister Khan should resign tonight. “Imran and his ministers can’t even cast their votes properly; how can they run a country?”

He was referring to the media reports that Khan’s own vote and that of his two ministers were among the seven rejected votes, which cost them the coveted seat, as Shaikh was defeated by a meagre five vote margin.

The ruling party leaders, however, rejected calls for resignation of Khan. “The Opposition leaders should be ashamed. With what face and character can they say that Imran Khan should resign or say to bring no confidence against him, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said.

Both the government and opposition had been accusing each other of using money to influence and swing the loyalty of lawmakers.

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

This article is sourced from FirstPost

Covid-19: Kuwait to imposes curfew, closes parks as cases rise – News

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Covid-19: Kuwait to imposes curfew, closes parks as cases rise - News

Kuwait registered a record daily toll of 1,716 cases on Thursday.

Kuwait will impose a 5pm to 5am. curfew and close parks from Sunday until April 8 in a bid to contain the coronavirus, the government’s spokesman said on state TV.

Kuwait registered a record daily toll of 1,716 cases on Thursday. It had seen daily cases fall below 300 late last year from close to 1,100 in May.




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Pelosi asked to probe ‘tainted’ food after National Guard troops fell ill

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Undercooked meat, rotten food, and food containing pieces of metal were allegedly given to National Guard members in Washington, DC.

​R​e​p. Chris Smith sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to investigate how a group of New Jersey National Guard members got sick after eating possibly “tainted” food while deployed to protect the US Capitol.

Smith (R-NJ) noted that the roughly 30 members of the Garden State Guard became ill as did troops from other states after being provided by “tainted and unhealthy food from a private-sector vendor.”

“Some have even reported vomiting in the Senate parking lot,” Smith wrote in the letter he sent Wednesday. “Alarmingly, the soldiers have noted receiving almost completely raw meat, some of which, according to press reports, even contained pieces of shaved metal.”

Undercooked meat, rotten food, and food containing pieces of metal were allegedly given to National Guard members in Washington, DC.
TV6

He also asked Pelosi to investigate the private caterer that supplied the food, have its contract “voided,” and a new provider appointed.

“The men and women deployed here from New Jersey and elsewhere to protect the Capitol deserve meals that are absolutely safe and healthful,” the letter continued.

Rep. Chris Smith speaks with members of the New Jersey National Guard.
Rep. Chris Smith speaks with members of the New Jersey National Guard.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Scores of National Guard troops defending the Capitol got sick after eating the food, with one member of Michigan’s Guard saying they found raw beef and metal shavings.

“Yesterday, for instance, there were 74 different meals found with raw beef in them,” the sergeant told station WXYZ, sharing images of meat that looked completely raw in the middle.

One National Guard member said they found raw beef and metal shavings in their food.
One National Guard member said they found raw beef and metal shavings in their food.
TV6

“Just yesterday … soldiers had found metal shavings in their food.”​

The troops, thousands of which remain at the Capitol, were deployed after a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters descended on the building as Congress met to certify the Electoral College vote, giving President Biden the win. ​

Nancy Pelosi has been asked to investigate how National Guard members at the Capitol became sick.
Nancy Pelosi has been asked to investigate how National Guard members at the Capitol became sick.
AP/J. Scott Applewhite



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“QAnon Shaman” still feels “sympathy” for former President Donald Trump

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In his first interview from jail, Jacob Chansley, known as the “QAnon Shaman,” says he still supports President Donald Trump. Laurie Segall spoke to Chansley for 60 Minutes+, a new show on ViacomCBS’s new streaming platform, Paramount+. She joined Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers with a preview on CBSN.



This article is sourced from CBS News

Fixing What the Internet Broke

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Fixing What the Internet Broke

Table of Contents

This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays.

January’s riot at the U.S. Capitol showed the damage that can result when millions of people believe an election was stolen despite no evidence of widespread fraud.

The Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition of online information researchers, published this week a comprehensive analysis of the false narrative of the presidential contest and recommended ways to avoid a repeat.

Internet companies weren’t solely to blame for the fiction of a stolen election, but the report concluded that they were hubs where false narratives were incubated, reinforced and cemented. I’m going to summarize here three of the report’s intriguing suggestions for how companies such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can change to help create a healthier climate of information about elections and everything else.

One broad point: It can feel as if the norms and behaviors of people online are immutable and inevitable, but they’re not. Digital life is still relatively new, and what’s good or toxic is the result of deliberate choices by companies and all of us. We can fix what’s broken. And as another threat against the Capitol this week shows, it’s imperative we get this right.

1) A higher bar for people with the most influence and the repeat offenders: Kim Kardashian can change more minds than your dentist. And research about the 2020 election has shown that a relatively small number of prominent organizations and people, including President Donald Trump, played an outsize role in establishing the myth of a rigged vote.

Currently, sites like Facebook and YouTube mostly consider the substance of a post or video, divorced from the messenger, when determining whether it violates their policies. World leaders are given more leeway than the rest of us and other prominent people sometimes get a pass when they break the companies’ guidelines.

This doesn’t make sense.

If internet companies did nothing else, it would make a big difference if they changed how they treated the influential people who were most responsible for spreading falsehoods or twisted facts — and tended to do so again and again.

The EIP researchers suggested three changes: create stricter rules for influential people; prioritize faster decisions on prominent accounts that have broken the rules before; and escalate consequences for habitual superspreaders of bogus information.

YouTube has long had such a “three strikes” system for accounts that repeatedly break its rules, and Twitter recently adopted versions of this system for posts that it considers misleading about elections or coronavirus vaccinations.

The hard part, though, is not necessarily making policies. It’s enforcing them when doing so could trigger a backlash.

2) Internet companies should tell us what they’re doing and why: Big websites like Facebook and Twitter have detailed guidelines about what’s not allowed — for example, threatening others with violence or selling drugs.

But internet companies often apply their policies inconsistently and don’t always provide clear reasons when people’s posts are flagged or deleted. The EIP report suggested that online companies do more to inform people about their guidelines and share evidence to support why a post broke the rules.

3) More visibility and accountability for internet companies’ decisions: News organizations have reported on Facebook’s own research identifying ways that its computer recommendations steered some to fringe ideas and made people more polarized. But Facebook and other internet companies mostly keep such analyses a secret.

The EIP researchers suggested that internet companies make public their research into misinformation and their assessments of attempts to counter it. That could improve people’s understanding of how these information systems work.

The report also suggested a change that journalists and researchers have long wanted: ways for outsiders to see posts that have been deleted by the internet companies or labeled false. This would allow accountability for the decisions that internet companies make.

There are no easy fixes to building Americans’ trust in a shared set of facts, particularly when internet sites enable lies to travel farther and faster than the truth. But the EIP recommendations show we do have options and a path forward.



  • Amazon goes big(ger) in New York: My colleagues Matthew Haag and Winnie Hu wrote about Amazon opening more warehouses in New York neighborhoods and suburbs to make faster deliveries. A related On Tech newsletter from 2020: Why Amazon needs more package hubs closer to where people live.

  • Our homes are always watching: Law enforcement officials have increasingly sought videos from internet-connected doorbell cameras to help solve crimes but The Washington Post writes that the cameras have sometimes been a risk to them, too. In Florida, a man saw F.B.I. agents coming through his home camera and opened fire, killing two people.

  • Square is buying Jay-Z’s streaming music service: Yes, the company that lets the flea market vendor swipe your credit card is going to own a streaming music company. No, it doesn’t make sense. (Square said it’s about finding new ways for musicians to make money.)

A kitty cat wouldn’t budge from the roof of a train in London for about two and a half hours. Here are way too many silly jokes about the train-surfing cat. (Or maybe JUST ENOUGH SILLY JOKES?)


We want to hear from you. Tell us what you think of this newsletter and what else you’d like us to explore. You can reach us at ontech@nytimes.com.

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Why Did The Two Split? – Hollywood Life

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Rebel Wilson

Rebel Wilson and Jacob Busch seemed like a perfect match! But after dating for some time, the two decided to go their separate ways. Learn more about their relationship and their split.

Rebel Wilson and Jacob Busch‘s relationship was full of sweet photos, perfect PDA moments, and lots of love and support. The two dated for more than a year, it seems, but split in early February 2021. They seemed head over heels for one another, but even though the romantic part of their relationship is over, they still seem on good terms. Learn more about the former couple’s relationship and breakup.

Who Is Jacob Busch?

Jacob is a high-profile figure in his own right. The 29-year-old is the heir to the Anheuser-Busch brewery. His father is Peter W. Busch, a descendant of Adolphus Busch. The brewery was founded in 1852 and has a long history as one of the top manufacturers of beer, including Budweiser, Shock Top, Busch, Michelob, and Rolling Rock, among many more.

Along with his family’s high-profile profession, he also does quite a lot of philanthropic work himself. He’s championed organizations like Mission Save Her, a group that seeks to help fight sexual and human trafficking. He’s also the West Coast ambassador of The Peter W. Busch Foundation, associated with his father and family, which benefits The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. Naturally, he truly loves animals and wildlife conservation.

How Did Rebel Wilson & Jacob Busch Meet?

Jacob and Rebel were set-up by a friend sometime in 2019, according to People. The two started casually dating before the Pitch Perfect star and Jacob had to go into quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, the two maintained their romance by staying in touch, until Rebel and Jacob were able to reunite when Rebel traveled from Australia to Los Angeles where Jacob was isolating. Soon after being reunited, the couple made their red carpet debut.

The couple attended the Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health in Monaco in September 2020. The pair looked so loved up, and it wasn’t long after that they started sharing sweet PDA posts on social media. The twosome was incredibly smitten, taking trips together in secluded locations, and more. Rebel even opened up about how she and Jacob were able to keep their romance so strong during a trying time for the entire world.

While discussing her weight loss journey and “Year of Health” with fans on her December 2 Instagram Live, Rebel described Jacob as “a very private person, so don’t like to give away too much in that department.” She did, however, reveal that, by this point, the two had been together for quite some time, even before the Bridesmaids actress began her weight loss journey. “I will say we dated before I started any of this health journey, as well as now. So, goes to show you ladies you don’t have to be a certain size to get a boyfriend.”

Why Did Rebel & Jacob Split?

In early February, after roughly a year or more of dating, Jacob and Rebel officially called it quits on their romance. Rebel revealed the news with an Instagram post on February 2. The photo included the hashtag “single girl headed to Super Bowl,” leading many fans to wonder if she and Jacob were officially over. Rebel’s rep later confirmed the news to HollywoodLife. A source close to the two spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about the split, and the potential reason behind it.

“It just reached its end because they are just in different spots in their life. When they started talking about the future, they thought their future would be together, but they found out fast that they didn’t have similar mindsets on settling down, career goals and all of that. No heartbreak, they are cool with each other. It just ran its course.”

What Is Rebel Focusing On Now?

Moving forward, Rebel is putting a clear focus on her career. The actress already has a hosting gig lined up for her upcoming reality competition show Pooch Perfect and has roughly four film projects in the works, according to IMDb. Plus, the star is also adjusting to her newly single status. “Rebel has a new life on her hands and now that she is as healthy as she has ever been, she now is single,” a source close to the star revealed EXCLUSIVELY to HL. “There is something about being single, sexy and successful and that is Rebel’s life right now. She is now gearing for the upcoming year ahead to be her best yet, her most successful. She has a clear mind and a clear vision on doing what is best for her and no one will tell her differently,”



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The Walking Dead Preview: Daryl & Carol Leave for an Adventure

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The Walking Dead Preview: Daryl & Carol Leave for an Adventure

A Carol-Daryl adventure.

This is teased in an exclusive clip ahead of Sunday, March 7’s all-new The Walking Dead. As seen in the new footage below, Daryl (Norman Reedus) is gearing up for a provisions mission. However, his motorcycle is giving him problems, giving Carol (Melissa McBride) enough time to catch up to him.

“Did I ever tell you about the pedal sewing machine my grandmother had? She made all my clothes,” Carol notes as Daryl tries to kickstart his motorcycle. “Whenever she got tired, she’d have me help. Said it was ’cause I had a really special, strong right foot.”

Refusing to accept help, Daryl informs Carol that he’s “got it.” While still struggling to start the bike, Daryl reveals his mission. “There’s a fallen tree about a hundred yards out,” he says. “We could use the scraps to maybe patch out the wall.”

As Carol reveals that she’s done with her tasks for the day, it’s clear that she wants to join Daryl on his adventure. She hints, “Jerry’s spearheading the rest. You know, he’s taking charge a lot more lately. I like it.”



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Johnson & Johnson vaccine approval expected in ‘next few days’: feds – National

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Click to play video 'New data on effectiveness of single COVID-19 vaccine dose'

Canadian public health officials say they are confident regulators are on track to approve the Johnson & Johnson one-shot coronavirus vaccine within a matter of days.

Dr. Marc Berthiaume, director of the bureau of medical science at Health Canada, said during a press conference on Thursday that he expects there will be good news on the approval of that vaccine shortly.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be available in the next few days,” he said, referring to the vaccine approval — officials said the specifics of any possible deliveries are still being worked out.

“So we should have good news on that in the next few days.”

Earlier in the week, Health Canada’s chief medical advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma had said the review of the vaccine candidate was “progressing very well.”

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Sharma said the regulator had been waiting on “a last piece” of manufacturing data from Johnson & Johnson as part of that application review, and received that on Saturday.

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In light of that, she had said a final decision was expected soon.

READ MORE: Canada received ‘last piece’ of manufacturing data for Johnson & Johnson vaccine: Sharma

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine differs from the others approved so far in that it delivers a high level of protection from developing COVID-19 symptoms with a single dose rather than two.






New data on effectiveness of single COVID-19 vaccine dose


New data on effectiveness of single COVID-19 vaccine dose – Feb 18, 2021

Canada has a contract in place for one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be delivered by September.

Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, said officials are having conversations about whether the approvals could lead to the national vaccination timeline moving more quickly.

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“Yes, certainly we’ve had very good active discussions,” he said when asked whether approval of AstraZeneca and potentially Johnson & Johnson too could see Canadians vaccinated before September.

“If you look at it, the timelines could shift and we would be able to cover a vast majority of the Canadian population in an advanced timeline, or moving it up by several weeks,” he said.

Read more:
Most Canadians believe feds will keep promise on vaccinations by September: poll

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading the logistics of the vaccine rollout, said while the timeline could shift, the target they are working towards right now remains September.

“You could anticipate that we could meet that target effectively sooner, but right now we’re planning for September,” he said.

More to come…

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Capitol Police request National Guard remain in place for two months

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National Guard members guard the US Capitol in Washington, DC on March 4, 2021.

US HEADLINES

US HEADLINES:

Capitol Police have requested that National Guard troops remain at the US Capitol for another two months.

The request is being reviewed by the Pentagon, as the 5,000 Guard members currently protecting the building are set to go home on March 12.

Guard members were first deployed to the building after the Jan. 6 riot that left five people — including a Capitol Police officer — dead.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) told the Associated Press that the request for the extension was made in recent days, and that the Guard is now looking for volunteers from states to deploy.

Slotkin said members of Congress want transparency from the Pentagon on its plan to protect the Capitol from another insurrection.

National Guard members guard the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2021.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

“We want to understand what the plan is,” she said.

“None of us like looking at the fencing, the gates, the uniformed presence around the Capitol. We can’t depend on the National Guard for our security,” she added.

Capitol Police have requested that National Guard troops remain at the US Capitol for another two months.
Capitol Police have requested that National Guard troops remain at the US Capitol for another two months.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The potential extension comes as Capitol Police increased security on Thursday after the agency reviewed intelligence that showed a possible plot to breach the building by a militia group.

“We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers,” Capitol Police said in a statement.

National Guard soldiers patrol the grounds of the U.S. Capitol after police warned that a militia group might try to attack the Capitol complex in Washington, DC.
National Guard soldiers patrol the grounds of the US Capitol after police warned that a militia group might try to attack the Capitol complex in Washington, DC.
Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS

With Post wires

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CDC Updates ‘Zombie Preparedness’ Tips in Case Nostradamus is Right

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CDC Updates 'Zombie Preparedness' Tips in Case Nostradamus is Right



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Best Apple Watch Deal – Shop – Hollywood Life

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Best Apple Watch Deal – Shop – Hollywood Life

Forget running — it’s time to sprint! The new Apple Watch Series 6 is currently on sale at its lowest price ever & you don’t want to pass up this rare, low price!

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Amazon secretly just put the brand new Apple Watch Series 6 on sale for its lowest price ever – just $429.98 (originally $499) and you have to act fast if you want to score this amazing deal. The watch is 14% off so you save a whopping $69.02. The watch is available in 11 different colored bands and straps, plus, you can either choose from the GPS option or the GPS + Cellular plan. Regardless of what you choose, you have to act fast because this deal definitely won’t last long!

If you’ve been on the hunt for an Apple Watch, or you’ve been waiting for the best deal to come around, we’re here to tell you — the time is NOW! The Apple Watch Series 6 comes in a variety of bands ranging from stylish to sporty and if you decide to purchase this particular Apple product (and why wouldn’t you?), here’s what you’ll find in the box: case, band (either S/M or M/L length), and a 1m magnetic charging cable.

The Series 6 includes a GPS, retina display, an S6 chip, emergency SOS, and watchOS with activity trends, cycle tracking, blood oxygen measurements, a heart rhythm tracker, and more health innovations. Additionally, the Apple Watch Series 6 stores music, podcasts, and audiobooks, and it’s swim-proof! Not only does the Series 6 allow for easy, on-the-go calling and texting, but it helps to improve your overall health. The Apple Watch Series 6 includes an optical heart sensor and fitness tracker that reads calories, mileage, and more. So, what’re you waiting for?



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UAE Covid vaccine: 35,674 residents vaccinated in 24 hours – News

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UAE Covid vaccine: 35,674 residents vaccinated in 24 hours - News

The UAE has been witnessing a gradual decline in the number of Covid-19 infections over the past few weeks.

The UAE has vaccinated 35,674 residents against Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.

The country’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said the total doses administered now stands at 6.20 million. This takes the rate of doses per 100 people to 62.73.

ALSO READ:

>> Biden slams ‘Neanderthal’ decisions to end mask mandates

>> Covid-19: New studies suggest virus evolves naturally

The British government will fund what it believes to be the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to combat Covid-19, the UK Budget revealed on Wednesday.

The government is committing £22 million (Dh112 million) to studies that test the effectiveness of a combination of different Covid-19 vaccines.

Russia said Thursday it will be able to provide its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for 50 million Europeans from June if it is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech on Wednesday announced the first interim analysis of Covaxin, which shows the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine to be at 81 per cent.

The trials involved 25,800 subjects, the largest ever conducted in India.

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Amazon pulls Justice Clarence Thomas doc as censorship of conservative content continues

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Amazon pulls Justice Clarence Thomas doc as censorship of conservative content continues

Amazon continues to generate headlines for canceling content that doesn’t coincide with its liberal politics and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appears to be the latest victim.

The documentary film about Thomas, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” was removed from Amazon’s streaming service last month and the filmmaker said he was never given an explanation. 

“What Amazon has done is a disservice to anyone—black or white—who is interested in the rich history of black Americans,” Wall Street Journal columnist Jason L. Riley wrote about the decision.

The film features extensive interviews with Thomas and chronicles his journey from “the depths of poverty” to the Supreme Court and everything in between, including his contentious confirmation hearings where Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment.

President Joe Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearings that riveted the nation, grilled Hill in archival footage used in the film. The films does not paint Biden in a positive light; Thomas told viewers at one point he had “no idea” what Biden and other Senate questioners were talking about.

Thomas spoke on everything from race and politics to religion in the documentary. It aired on PBS back in May 2020 and landed on Amazon later that year.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Filmmaker Michael Pack told the Wall Street Journal he was never offered an explanation as to why Amazon removed it.

“Our distributor, who’s the one who made the deal with Amazon, has repeatedly asked them for explanations but they haven’t given any,” Pack told the Journal.

“They have the right to pull anything from their site and they don’t have to give an explanation,” he continued. “So it’s not a contract violation. But many people have complained and they haven’t put it back up.”

A search of Amazon Prime for “Created Equal” turns up a 2017 movie by the same name about an attorney suing the Catholic Church, a 1980 television series “Free to Choose,” “Anita: Speaking Truth to Power” about Hill and “Confirmation,” a 2016 HBO movie about Hill’s accusations.

Amazon’s online retailer still lists the DVD for “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” but notes it is currently out of stock.

The removal of the film irked Pack, especially because it happened during Black History Month. Thomas is the second African American to serve on the Supreme Court and its only current Black member.

“Clarence Thomas, to my mind, is the most important African-American leader in America today,” Pack told the Journal. “I don’t think Amazon should get away with doing these things without suffering at least some PR consequences.”

Last month, the book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” was also removed from Amazon. 

The decision caused swift backlash, as critics pointed out Amazon has a history of censoring books that don’t coincide with the company’s political views.

Author Ryan T. Anderson’s “When Harry Became Sally” aimed to provide “thoughtful answers to questions arising from our transgender moment” and offered a “a balanced approach to public policy on gender identity and a sober assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.”

A search of Amazon for “When Harry Became Sally” didn’t find Anderson’s book, instead suggesting books with the opposite view such as “The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society,” “Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture” and “Let Harry Become Sally: Responding to the Anti-Transgender Moment.”



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US-based Indian stuck in Dubai airport on way to attend father’s funeral in India gets help

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Stock Indian passport
Indian passport
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: An Indian American, flying home from the US following his father’s death, found himself stuck while in transit in Dubai on Tuesday morning as he was not carrying his old passport that is linked to his OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai then came to his rescue and helped him continue his journey by instantly issuing him an entry visa to India to attend his father’s funeral.

Hari Sukumaran, who was heading to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala to perform his father’s last rites, made a plea through Twitter seeking help with his onward journey after he failed to show the proper documents for entry in India.

As a US passport holder, Sukumaran received a visa on arrival in the UAE. The OCI card is issued to Indian-origin people holding passports from other countries, to facilitate their visits to India.

Tweet to rescue

Addressing his plea to Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, he stated: “Honourable Minister, I am unable to travel to Trivandrum to perform my father’s last rites because my OCI card has my old passport number. I am stuck in Dubai after travelling all the way from US. I am praying for your kind attention to my plight.”

A consulate employee, Amit Raghave, spotted the tweet and advised him to contact the mission or the help centre Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) working under its aegis with his details.

Quick action

“CGI Dubai sprang into action based on his Twitter request and immediately contacted the affected Indian passenger and requested him to visit the consulate,” Siddhartha Kumar Baraily, consul, Press, Information and Culture at the consulate, told Gulf News.

He said the passenger “was stopped at Dubai Airport while transiting as he was not carrying his old passport, the number of which was mentioned in his OCI card. He was then issued an entry visa on the basis of his Indian origin to attend his father’s funeral in India,” he added.

Grateful

By Tuesday evening, Hari posted a series of updates about how he was instantly supported by the mission and thanked them profusely for the gesture. “Indian Consulate in Dubai went out of their way today to help me get through a very difficult challenge that I had to face in Dubai soon after suffering a sad personal loss. I live in the US and had to reach Trivandrum urgently to perform my father’s last rites,” he tweeted.

“A tech issue was discovered at the last minute with my documents that prevented me from being allowed to board the flight from Dubai to Trivandrum. The issue was finally resolved thanks to the fine folks at Indian consulate Dubai. They were all extremely helpful and professional (sic).”

Community welfare service

The consulate said assisting Indians stranded while transiting in Dubai was also part of its community welfare service.

Last month, a housemaid from Saudi Arabia, who missed her connecting flight in Dubai, was supported by the mission. She was issued a fresh ticket and assisted with her inter-terminal baggage transfer fee. Air India Express also offered food to the affected woman who was without any money.



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Universal Studios Hollywood to reopen with a food and shopping event

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Universal Studios Hollywood to reopen with a food and shopping event

US HEADLINES

Nearly a year after it closed because of the pandemic, Universal Studios Hollywood plans to reopen on weekends to let fans buy food, shop and wander throughout most of the 415-acre park that celebrates moviemaking.

The theme park plans to rehire several hundred workers who were previously furloughed to staff the event.

Starting March 12, Universal Studios Hollywood will open most areas of the park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for a food and shopping event similar to an event recently announced at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim that starts March 18.

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park is also launching a similar event. Celebrating foods infused with boysenberry, the Knott’s event begins March 5.

The Universal Studios event is called Taste of Universal, with tickets starting at $44 for adults, which includes five dishes. General parking is free, and preferred parking will cost $10. The Disney event, dubbed A Touch of Disney, will charge $75 for adults, which includes parking and a $25 dining card. Tickets for Knott’s Taste of Boysenberry Festival are priced at $45 for adults, which includes parking and five food tastings.

Capacity will be limited at all three events to abide by state COVID-19 safety protocols.

At Universal Studios, parkgoers will be able to choose from 70 food options, including 30 new dishes created for the event. Outdoor seating will be available. Costumed characters will be on hand for physically distanced photo opportunities, the park said in a statement.

California’s pandemic safety measures forbid the parks from operating rides. Universal Studios will let visitors shop and dine at such popular park areas as “The Simpsons”-themed Springfield, U.S.A. and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Shops and eateries will also be open in the area around The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash ride. The attraction was scheduled to open last year, but the pandemic forced the park to shut before visitors could try it.

The pandemic has been a financial body blow to U.S. theme parks and their parent companies.

Comcast Corp., the parent company of Universal Parks and Resorts, reported in January that revenue from its theme parks for the fourth quarter of 2020 fell to $579 million, down 63% from the same period a year earlier.

Walt Disney Co. reported last month that during the three-month period that ended Jan. 2, revenue from its theme parks, experiences and products dropped to $3.5 billion, down 53% from the year-earlier period.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., which owns Knott’s Berry Farm, reported last month that net revenue for 2020 totaled $182 million, down from $1.47 billion for 2019. The company attributed the plunge in part to a 25.3-million-visit decrease in theme park attendance.



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Travis Barker Gushes Over Kourtney Kardashian and Her Love Note

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How Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker Celebrated Valentine’s Day

Days prior to Travis sharing the love letter, Kourtney made their relationship—which comes after years of the two being neighbors and good friends—Instagram official. As a source told E! in late January, the Poosh founder “has always been attracted to how Travis is as a parent.”

“He’s an amazing, hands-on dad, and Kourtney loves that about him,” the insider added. 

On The Drew Barrymore Show, Travis shared a similar sentiment about Kourtney after the actress-turned-host asked for advice on dating as a parent.

“Up until now, I would, you know, date girls that didn’t have kids, and I find it kind of hard,” the father of two explained. “I think they would have trouble understanding, ‘Well, why don’t you want to go to dinner every night with me?’ or ‘Why don’t you want to see me every night?'”

“And now, I’m spending time with a woman who’s a great mom; who’s, like, a great friend,” he continued. “And I just, you don’t have to worry about any of those things. It just comes natural. It’s like a maturity thing.”



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Montreal teen aims to make hockey more inclusive with online diversity group

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Montreal teen aims to make hockey more inclusive with online diversity group

When the hockey season resumes, 13-year-old Matéo Pérusse-Shortte will be taking a shot at a long-standing problem in his sport: racism.

The Montreal teen and his mother Moashella Shortte are starting a hockey diversity group in Quebec to make the sport more inclusive by allowing players of colour to share their experiences.

Pérusse-Shortte, a right winger, was only eight when he first had to confront racism head-on. As he pursued his hobby into his teens, the discrimination continued.

Matéo Pérusse-Shortte first experienced racism while playing hockey at the age of eight. (Kwabena Oduro/CBC)

“We were in the semi-finals and I scored the tying goal. I got to celebrate in the stands and there was a family flipping me off and calling me the N-word,” he said. “Coaches would look at me differently, maybe [give me] less ice time … I felt it, the ignorance of coaches.”

A self-described hockey mom, Shortte says being one of the only parents of colour in those stands was an additional barrier to speaking about the prejudice her son faced.

Teen hockey player Matéo Pérusse-Shortte says a family in the stands once called him the N-word. He first confronted racism head-on when he was eight years old. (Submitted by Moashella Shortte)

“If I start telling people, ‘Hey, you know, this happened to my son,’ I know exactly what’s going to happen: those people are going to talk to me less and less,” she said.

“People are not comfortable to talk about race, and Black people are not comfortable to put themselves out there because we know that we will be isolated.”

Plans for the group are still in development, but the first online session is scheduled for September and will be open to players, parents and coaches.

“I would love to see coaches seeking out information on how they can support their Black players, how they can learn to identify when racism is taking place and what to do about it,” said Shortte.

Once the group is launched, Pérusse-Shortte says he hopes to have a greater sense of belonging.

“I hope to feel more comfortable in my sport after all of this.”

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.



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See Pics – Hollywood Life

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See Pics – Hollywood Life

Georgia May Jagger, the supermodel daughter of Mick Jagger has starred in the latest Wrangler campaign, and rocked multiple pairs of classic denim jeans.

Mick Jagger‘s mini-me daughter Georgia May Jagger is fronting the new Wrangler campaign. The stunning 29-year-old has appeared in multiple new photos for the denim fashion label as part of their “Turn Heads. Capture Hearts” ad campaign. The daughter of the 77-year-old rocker, whom Mick shares with supermodel Jerry Hall, donned multiple pairs of jeans in the new pics — including very on-trend flared denim jeans. In one photo, the blonde beauty rocked a black tank top and turned her back to the camera to show off the back of the pants. Another shot showed her laying down on her side, offering the camera a subtle smile while rocking a simple white tee.

Georgia May Jagger for Wrangler. Image: MEGA/Wrangler

The photos were accompanied by the tagline, “The Wrangler woman confidently commands attention while living by her own rules.” Georgia certainly exudes confidence in these pics! Much of the modeling industry shut down in 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, however photoshoots and even fashion shows are beginning to take place again.

Georgia May Jagger for Wrangler. Image: MEGA/Wrangler

Supermodel, and new mom, Gigi Hadid has returned to her jet setting lifestyle, five months after welcoming a baby girl named Khai in September 2020. She flew into Italy on February 28 ahead of Milan Fashion Week, and flashed her toned midriff in an unbuttoned cardigan. She was joined by her sister Bella Hadid and fellow supermodel Irina Shayk as they jetted into the fashion capital for the upcoming designer shows. 24-year-old Bella stepped out in a brown jacket with a plunging neckline and a belt around her waist. Meanwhile, Irina opted for a pair of black skinny jeans, a bright blue cardigan and knee high black boots. She also wore a black protective face mask, dark shades, and a black cap. Although new precautions are in place to protect both talent and crew members from getting sick, it’s great to see the industry slowly reopening.



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California city bans construction of new gas stations in climate-fight first

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California city bans construction of new gas stations in climate-fight first

US HEADLINES

A Northern California city is believed to be the first in the country to ban all new gas stations in an effort to curb carbon emissions.

The Petaluma City Council voted unanimously Monday to prohibit the creation, expansion, reconstruction and relocation of gas stations, encouraging owners of gas stations to convert their facilities into ones that serve electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The city of 58,000 people 40 miles north of San Francisco hopes to become carbon neutral by 2030.

“We need to do our part to help mitigate and adapt to our changing weather patterns that exist because of all the carbon we put in the atmosphere,” Councilwoman D’Lynda Fischer, who spearheaded the initiative, said Tuesday.

“I hope other cities will follow suit, and if they have existing fossil fuel stations that satisfy the needs of their community, they too will decide that they don’t need any more,” Fischer said.

States charge more for electric cars in 2020

03:45

Petaluma has 16 gas stations, with one more expected to be built as part of a grocery store. It had been approved before the vote.

The measure is happening in a state that’s been a leader in fighting climate change. In 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order intended to get California carbon neutral by 2045. Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the sale of new gas-powered vehicles would be banned starting in 2035.

Major car manufacturers are also taking steps toward eliminating gas- and diesel-powered engine models. General Motors, the country’s largest automaker, has pledged to replace its current fleet with all-electric cars, SUVs and light trucks by 2035. 

Volvo this week announced plans to phase out gas engines in all its cars by 2030.

The Petaluma resolution will take effect 30 days after the council’s approval.



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The Rise of Unapologetically Erotic LGBTQ+ Games

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The Rise of Unapologetically Erotic LGBTQ+ Games

“It became a project about portraying a realistic coming out experience, and trying to communicate a lot of the struggles I went through when I was coming to terms with my sexuality,” says Conway. A particular highlight is when a datable character reassures the player that there’s “no wrong way to come out” and “no wrong way to be gay,” advice Conway wishes he could have recieved when he was “young and scared and closeted.”

In Conway’s view, the indie scene is better equipped to handle such subject matter. “I feel like major studio writers can’t do justice to stories about marginalized characters when the writers are not a part of those groups. And generally, major studio writers are not.”

Dream Daddy, while not from a major studio, was funded by YouTube behemoths Game Grumps. It was praised for its engaging tone, and for giving a queer narrative mainstream attention, but was also criticized for not engaging with gay culture or using queer language. That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, but critics could tell that a game about the gay dating scene wasn’t made by gay men. Good representation needs authenticity, and Conway noted that indie games are freed from the market demands and design committees that can compromise accuracy.

“Representation of queer characters in mainstream video games isn’t great, although it’s getting better,” Conway said. “So queer people find they want ways to tell their own stories and represent their identities, and often end up creating games to do so.”

Charissa So and Tida Kietsungden, whose visual novel A Summer’s End portrays a romance between two women amid the rapidly changing world of 1980s Hong Kong, echoed the sentiment that freedom from market demands allows for a more honest portrayal of sexuality. “When sexual content is used as a selling point, the commodification of it produces content that may be disingenuous and lacking in emotional depth,” they wrote. “Distilling sexual content to what’s most marketable to a general audience erases the diversity in human sexuality. As LGBT+ creators, we wanted to depict lesbian sexuality in a way that was authentic and honest.”

Authenticity can sometimes limit appeal. One of Conway’s games, all of which feature queer characters, “received a comment from a player dissatisfied with the fact that the game contained gay sex”—despite a warning on the download page, a second warning within the game, and an option to skip the scene entirely. For Conway, that “was a good reminder that I should just make the games I want to make.” But while games about coming out or the unique social obstacles faced in 1980s Asia may not attract huge audiences, that doesn’t take away from the importance they have to those who do play them.

With authenticity, creators can tackle difficult subject matter in a way that feels productive rather than exploitative. Bobbi Sands’ Knife Sisters, about a nonbinary 19-year-old living in a diverse commune, sees its characters deal with anxiety, peer pressure, and other self-described “dark” subjects. But the game’s intimate moments, which explore BDSM and power dynamics, are always consensual and sex-positive, prompting one reviewer to note: “There are some sex games you play to get off, and there are some sex games you play to explore, to feel, to learn.”

Sands’ goal was to make her characters face hardships without basing those challenges on their identities. The trick, in her words, was “to balance real-world discrimination with the notion of a ‘queer utopia’—I wanted to create a world where it was completely fine to be a LGBTQ+ person, but I also wanted to bring up some issues for discussion.”

In a story-driven indie game, sex can also serve varying thematic purposes rather than exist for the sake of existing. Hardcoded was lauded as an unabashed celebration of the trans gaze, whereas sex in A Summer’s End was, according to So and Kietsungden, “intended to be expressions of intimacy, where the two leading characters reach an emotional peak in their relationship.” Sands elaborated on how eroticism can serve story.

This article is sourced from wired

Michael Strahan Calls Out Chris Harrison’s “Surface Response” Apology

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Michael Strahan Calls Out Chris Harrison's

The Bachelor Nation host said he has been working closely with a “race educator and strategist,” and faith leaders and scholars like Michael Eric Dyson, who he says “often talks to me about council. Not cancel, and that is full accountability, understanding what you didn’t understand, owning that, learning from that, seeking counsel often in the community that you hurt, learning from them, listening, gaining experience, knowledge and moving forward.”



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Tight security at US Capitol after intelligence warns of militia plot to storm building

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Tight security at US Capitol after intelligence warns of militia plot to storm building

The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Donald Trump will rise again to power on 4 March

Tight security at US Capitol after intelligence warns of militia plot to storm building

The Capitol. Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times

Washington: Law enforcement was on high alert Thursday around the US Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the iconic building again, two months after a mob of Donald Trump supporters smashed through windows and doors to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory.

The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that former president Trump will rise again to power on 4 March and that thousands will come to Washington, DC, to try to remove Democrats from office. 4 March was the original presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to 20 January.

Online chatter identified by authorities included discussions among members of the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia group, concerning possible plots against the Capitol on Thursday, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorised to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Members of the Three Percenters were among the extremists who stormed the Capitol on 6 January.

The threat came as the Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies were taking heat from Congress in contentious hearings this week on their poor handling of the 6 January riot. Police were ill-prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come.

By then, rioters had broken and smashed their way into the building and roamed the halls for hours, stalling Congress’ certification effort temporarily and sending lawmakers into hiding.

“The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” Capitol Police said in a statement.

Lawmakers, congressional staffers and law enforcement officials are still on edge after the attack on 6 January, even as the security posture around the Capitol remains at an unprecedented level.

The US House wrapped up its work for the week Wednesday night, but the US Senate still had a busy day scheduled for Thursday with votes going well into the evening. Police beefed up their presence in and around the Capitol. About 5,200 National Guard members remain in DC, the remainder of the roughly 26,000 that were brought in for President Biden’s inauguration that went off with no problems.

There’s also a very large fence around the US Capitol perimeter that walls off all avenues of entry including on the streets around the building, put in place after 6 January. And Trump is in Florida.

Initially it seemed as though the online chatter did not rise to the level of serious concern; an advisory sent earlier this week to members of Congress by Timothy Blodgett, the acting House sergeant-at-arms, said that the Capitol Police had “no indication that groups will travel to Washington DC to protest or commit acts of violence.”

But that advisory was updated in a note to lawmakers Wednesday morning. Blodgett wrote that the Capitol Police had received “new and concerning information and intelligence indicating additional interest in the Capitol for the dates of 4 to 6 March by a militia group.”

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said during House testimony Wednesday that her investigators had collected “some concerning intelligence,” but declined to provide any details publicly, saying that it was “law enforcement sensitive” and that she would provide a private briefing for the subcommittee members.

Meanwhile, federal agents looked for any increases in the number of hotel rooms being rented in Washington, as well as monitoring flights to the area, car rental reservations and any buses being chartered to bring groups into the capital, but found nothing significant, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person could not publicly discuss details of the security planning and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security also sent a joint intelligence bulletin to local law enforcement officials Tuesday warning that a group of militia extremists had discussed trying to take control of the Capitol on 4 March and encouraging thousands of people to come to DC to try to remove Democrats from power.

But there has been a noticeable decline in online activity on some social media platforms surrounding efforts on 4 March, and there was already considerably less online chatter than during the lead-up to 6 January, a day that Trump repeatedly had promoted for a his rally and encouraged thousands to come to the nation’s capital.

Several QAnon groups still operating on the social media messaging platform Telegram warned followers to stay away from any events on 4 March, claiming it was a setup for Trump supporters.

“If there are groups out there planning and advertising events on or around 4 March anywhere in the country (DC included) we strongly urge everyone to avoid them entirely,” one Telegram user wrote late last month in a QAnon group that has more than 65,000 followers.

Also, thousands of accounts that promoted the 6 January event that led to a violent storming of the US Capitol have since been suspended by major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, making it far more difficult for QAnon and far-right groups to organise a repeat of the mass gathering on Thursday.

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This article is sourced from FirstPost

Elaine Chao used Transportation Department resources for personal use, watchdog finds

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Elaine Chao used Transportation Department resources for personal use, watchdog finds

Washington — Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao used department resources to help her father and directed federal employees to perform personal tasks while serving under the Trump administration, an investigation from the Transportation Department’s inspector general found.

In a report released Wednesday, the department’s internal watchdog said it referred its investigation to the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia for criminal prosecution in December. Both declined to open criminal investigations on the matter. The inspector general also did not make a conclusion as to whether Chao violated ethics rules.

Chao, who is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, took the helm of the Transportation Department after former President Donald Trump took office in 2017. But she resigned her post January 7 in response to the assault on the U.S. Capitol, telling department employees at the time “it has deeply troubled me in a way I cannot set aside.”

A spokesperson for Chao said in a statement the report “exonerates the secretary from baseless accusations and closes the book on an election-year effort to impugn her” career.

The investigation from the inspector general into Chao’s potential misuses of her position was opened in late 2019 in the wake of press reports about her conduct, as well as in response to requests from Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Democrats raised questions about possible ethics violations regarding the use of Chao’s position to help her family’s shipping business, the Foremost Group, which was founded by her father, James Chao. Chao’s sister, Angela Chao, serves as its chairperson and chief executive.

According to the report, the inspector general discovered in the course of its investigation “evidence relating to potential ethics concerns arising” from Chao’s actions, including adding family members and personal events to a planned, but later cancelled, trip to China in 2017, providing Transportation Department Public Affairs and media support to her father, and using staff and government resources for personal tasks.

Chao was set to attend the U.S.-China Transportation Forum in November 2017. Emails obtained by the inspector general found Chao directed staff to include relatives in the planning of her trip to China and participation in official events and high-level meetings set to take place. According to the report, Transportation Department staff coordinated logistical support for Chao’s father, Angela Chao and her husband in the months leading up to the trip, including requesting to have the Chinese Ministry of Transportation provide two cars for “the Dr. Chao delegation.”

Ethics attorneys at the department raised concerns about the events planned during Chap’s trip due to ties to the Foremost Group and a family foundation. An October 2017 ethics memo further expressed issues about Chao’s father and sister attending official events and bilateral meetings with Chinese officials, noting it “would be inappropriate for the Secretary to use her official position to provide her family members access not afforded to a private citizen.”

Around the time the memo was sent, however, Chao’s trip to China was canceled. 

The Transportation Department’s inspector general also found federal employees provided media and public affairs support to Chao’s father in 2017 and 2018. The report cites several instances where the secretary’s staff were directed to help promote his biography, including to send a copy to the “well-known CEO of a major U.S. corporation,” along with a request he write a forward for the book. Emails obtained by the inspector general reveal Chao asked a staffer to edit the sample forward.

The watchdog also found evidence that the former director of public affairs at the Transportation Department and employees drafted, edited and implemented a media strategy and public relations plan for Chao’s father. Chao also asked a department worker to edit her father’s Wikipedia page, according to the report.

The secretary was also found to have directed Transportation Department staff members to perform personal tasks for her and her relatives. In one example, Chao sent an email to an employee with the subject “Xmas ornaments” and directed them to “sort out and fedex on Monday to Dr. Chao, and my sisters.” She also asked Transportation Department staff to get photos of her father signed by an unidentified individual, and directed them in other instances to “research and/or purchase personal items for her online, to include searching for free shipping and coupon codes. These purchases were paid for using the Secretary’s personal credit card,” according to the report.

Chao declined to share her thoughts on the ethics issues under investigation by the inspector general, though the department’s general counsel did provide a memo titled “The Importance of Asian Cultural Values to the Success and Effectiveness of Secretary Elaine L. Chao.”

In response to the report, Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio of Oregon said he was “disappointed” the report wasn’t finished and released while Chao was in office.

“Public servants, especially those responsible for leading tens of thousands of other public servants, must know that they serve the public and not their family’s private commercial interests,” he said in a statement. 



This article is sourced from CBS News

UAE: Baby, who caught Dubai Ruler’s attention, gets life-saving treatment – News

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UAE: Baby, who caught Dubai Ruler's attention, gets life-saving treatment - News

The therapy is considered the world’s most expensive treatment.

The baby girl, who won the hearts of UAE residents after the Ruler of Dubai personally promised to sponsor the treatment needed to save her life, successfully received the required gene therapy on Thursday.

“Beautiful baby Laveen received the genetics treatment for spinal muscular atrophy successfully today,” said Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital in a post on its official Instagram account.

The one-year-old was the subject of an emotional plea on social media by her parents, Iraqi nationals Ibrahim Jabbar Mohammed and his wife Massar Mundhar, who acted in desperation when they learnt her treatment would cost Dh8 million.

Tagging His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on the post, Massar begged for assistance for Lavine, who suffers from a rare and fatal genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

The therapy — which includes a one-time infusion of the drug Zolgensma (AVXS-101) — is considered the world’s most expensive treatment.




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Bella Thorne Rocks Short Shorts & Unbuttoned Top On IG — Watch – Hollywood Life

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Bella Thorne Rocks Short Shorts & Unbuttoned Top On IG — Watch – Hollywood Life

Bella Thorne jammed out on Instagram in the tiniest shorts and unbuttoned shirt to her new single, ‘Shake It’. Fans were loving it!

Bella Thorne can shake it! The singer and actress, 23, got flirty on Instagram with a cute video showing herself shimmying and lip synching to her new single while wearing an ultra sexy outfit: an oversized red flannel with only the top button fastened, and a pair of high-waisted black leather short shorts. And no, Bella wasn’t wearing anything underneath that open flannel.

The Babysitter star captioned the March 3 post, “ITS A BANGER thanks for all the love on SHAKE IT you guys are amazing!!!!” She added a red heart emoji. Her fans flooded the comments section with major love for the song and her outfit. “Get it girlll,” one fan wrote accompanied by flame emojis. “Shake it go on!!!” another fan commented, leaving lots of heart emojis.

“Shake It,” Bella’s latest hit, dropped in February accompanied by an ultra racy music video that shows her objecting to a wedding and seducing the bride. Cue the two ladies rolling around in bed while wearing bridal white lingerie, veils, and thigh-high boots — shaking what they’ve got, of course. It’s a must-see, frankly.

Bella Thorne spotted out and about in Los Angeles while rocking short shorts, 6/5/19 (gotpap/ Bauergriffin.com / MEGA)

Bella’s new Instagram comes shortly after she opened up about her Disney Channel days in a candid interview. The actress revealed that she and Zendaya didn’t get along at first when they began filming their show Shake It Up. “[It was hard] not having someone pitted against you [before] and then all of a sudden, now everyone is pitting you against each other. That fed into our heads. It made us not [be] friends in that first season,” she told Us Weekly.



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Alex Bonilla sentenced for cutting off penis of wife’s lover

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Alex Bonilla sentenced for cutting off penis of wife's lover

A Florida man will spend two decades behind bars for pulling a gun on his wife’s lover and cutting off his penis with a pair of scissors.

Alex Bonilla, 51, was ordered to spend 20 years in prison for the July 2019 attack at a home in Bell, news station WKMG reported Wednesday.

Bonilla allegedly barged into his neighbor’s home, where he proceeded to threaten the man with a handgun and metal pipe.

He then forced the man into the bedroom and tied him up before he “forcefully cut off the victim’s penis with a pair of scissors,” officials said.

The married father allegedly told the man, “This is normal, you will not die today,” the Smoking Gun reported.

Bonilla then took the severed appendage and ran off across the street to his own home, WKMG reported.

The grisly attack came two months after Bonilla had discovered the man was having sex with his wife, authorities said.

Bonilla pleaded no contest last month on charges of kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In addition to the 20-year prison sentence, Bonilla has been ordered to pay more than $251,000, WKMG reported.



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Watch: Pro paragliding pilots team up in Dubai to defy gravity over world’s largest fountain

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Horacio
Red Bull athletes Horacio Llorens and Rafael Goberna teamed up to take part in an exclusive one-off stunt to showcase the beautiful Palm Fountain at the Pointe, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai on Thursday.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Red Bull athletes Horacio Llorens and Rafael Goberna teamed up to take part in an exclusive one-off stunt to showcase the beautiful Palm Fountain at the Pointe, Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

And this performance didn’t just involve a typical paraglide. With the world-renowned Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah resort as a backdrop, Llorens and Goberna donned special paramotors to take to the sky, gliding between the Palm Fountain’s water jets that were so close that they could even feel them.

Hailing from Madrid, Llorens is an aerial legend — a five-time world champion and Infinity Tumbling Guinness World Record holder.

After starting acrobatic paragliding flying at an early age with his father, Brazilian native Goberna established himself as the country’s youngest-ever pilot, as well as one of the youngest pilots in the world.

In fact, Goberna, now 26, entered the Guinness World Records at only 12 years old.

Horacio
The entire team worked tirelessly to be “fountain-ready”.
Image Credit: Supplied

“As soon as we got the opportunity, we wanted to fly there!” explained pro paragliding pilot, Llorens. “The ultimate challenge is that we were flying in the night, which means low visibility. Therefore, we needed to know the area really well beforehand. “Also, we needed to know how to ‘play’ with The Palm Fountain because this was new for us. And with such strong streams of water shooting up, 100 metres, we had to be really prepared!”

Llorens, along with fellow athlete and friend Goberna, had been discussing and practising the tricks and choreography for some time prior to arriving in Dubai. Once in the emirate, the duo — along with the entire project team — conducted trial runs in the Margham Desert in daylight for two days.

Adjusting to the climate

Paragliding with a paramotor is a complicated process and requires skill, patience and precise planning. What many extreme adventure and sporting fans might not know is that paramotors require to be adjusted according to the location they’re in.

“During training that’s when we were testing the paramotors, adjusting the gliders and the brakes,” continued Llorens. “Rafael [Goberna] did have a little problem with his motor.”

Goberna elaborated: “The motor wasn’t flying so good, because prior to arriving in Dubai, it was last used in Europe at high altitude. Therefore, I needed to adjust the carburettor in the air inside the motor. “In the first practice flight over the water, I broke one propeller. I really couldn’t understand what was happening. And then another one broke. Eventually, a back-up motor was required.”

Refusing to give up, the entire team worked tirelessly to be “fountain-ready” and show day — and the results, as showcased in the video, are spectacular.

“It was super nice for us to have finished for us this way — the process was definitely challenging from the very beginning,” concludes Goberna. “After a long journey, the result was beautiful! The team worked incredibly hard to make it.

“The highlight for me was playing between the super shooters with Rafael, because it’s something we’ve never done before; it felt really new and really powerful — with the water coming to our sides extremely high.”

Goberna added: “You feel the air coming up with the water — and the water splashing against your face because it’s so strong. It was such a nice experience.”

Safety and precision

As the film ‘The Breaking Pointe’ demonstrates, a lot of work went into the showcase. One of the most important aspects being learning how to navigate the Palm Fountain. With both sides having different choreography, Llorens and Goberna had to study the movement of the water with great precision in order not to get caught up in the jets of water.

“Obviously, safety is paramount, and there are a multitude of safety devices we use on paramotors,” explains Director of Safety, Alan Gates. “Each athlete used two parachute systems — the main which they fly normally. In the case of an emergency or when they have a technical issue, they would use a reserve parachute. When we’re flying over water, it’s also mandatory to wear a life jacket with automatic and manual inflation. We always have rescue boats, jet skis and divers. It’s important we have multiple teams for rescue and safety.”



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Air Canada ready to refund flight cancellations in exchange for bailout: union – National

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Click to play video 'Trudeau says COVID-19 case counts, presence of variants being looked at with Canada-U.S. border restrictions'

Air Canada is poised to refund customers who have had their flights cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 in exchange for a bailout.

Read more:
Air Canada to pause Rouge operations, cut 80 employees amid new COVID-19 travel rules

News of the refunds was first reported by the Toronto Star.

Global News has confirmed comments made in the article by Unifor president Jerry Dias, who said Air Canada had “absolutely agreed” to Ottawa’s demands that the airline repay customers who weren’t reimbursed for their plane tickets.

In an emailed statement to Global News, a spokesperson for the Finance Ministry confirmed that the government is “in discussion” with airlines on “potential additional financial assistance.”

“We remain committed to supporting airlines and air sector workers during this unprecedented and difficult time for the industry,” the statement said.

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“Any further taxpayer support will prioritize refunding Canadians for cancelled flights; retaining and reinstating regional routes in Canada; and protecting jobs across the air sector. We continue to emphasize this in our ongoing conversations with the airlines.”






Trudeau says COVID-19 case counts, presence of variants being looked at with Canada-U.S. border restrictions


Trudeau says COVID-19 case counts, presence of variants being looked at with Canada-U.S. border restrictions

However, Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told Global News there is “no update,” and pointed to a Feb. 12 news release regarding the negotiations.

In the release, Air Canada said it is “encouraged with the constructive nature of discussions that it has had with representatives of the Canadian government with a view to securing financial support to help ensure the competitiveness of Air Canada and the Canadian airline industry.”

Air Canada said if successful, the airline would be expected to “take into account” policy considerations set out by the government which include requiring airlines to provide ticket refunds for flights postponed or cancelled in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Air Canada, Transat deal up in the air as deadline passes

“While discussions are advancing, there can be no assurance that such discussions will lead to the completion of definitive agreements with the Government of Canada on sector financial support on terms acceptable to Air Canada,” the release reads.


Click to play video 'Some air travellers refusing to follow regulations regarding hotel quarantine when arriving in Canada'



Some air travellers refusing to follow regulations regarding hotel quarantine when arriving in Canada


Some air travellers refusing to follow regulations regarding hotel quarantine when arriving in Canada – Feb 24, 2021

‘Profoundly troubling’

Gabor Lukacs, founder and president of Air Passenger Rights, told Global News that he is “concerned and troubled that compliance with the law is used as a bargaining chip.”

“The law has been and remains that when an airline cancels a flight for whatever reason, it must refund passengers in the original form of payment,” he said. “Air Canada has been delinquent in fulfilling its obligations to passengers and the federal government has been aiding and abetting Air Canada in misappropriating passengers’ money.”

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Lukacs said Air Canada stating that it would refund passengers in exchange for some form of bailout is “profoundly troubling.”

Read more:
How a B.C. airline passenger refused a travel voucher on a cancelled flight and got her money back

“Airlines have to be brought to compliance,” Lukacs said. “And I’m disappointed that the government is even negotiating with the airlines about compliance instead of governing.”

He said ultimately, it is an issue with enforcement.

“It seems that Canada is reaffirming the existence of a two-tier legal system, one law for the average Joe, another set of laws for large corporations,” he said.

Lukacs said his organization — Air Passenger Rights — estimates around 3.9 million Canadians are waiting on refunds from the various airlines, and around $3.9 billion is at stake.

However, he said that is an estimate, adding it is “very likely much more.”




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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See the First Look at Season 4 of Good Girls

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See the First Look at Season 4 of Good Girls

There’s some unfinished business to attend to in season four of Good Girls

Nearly a year ago, fans were left on a real cliffhanger when the coronavirus pandemic shut down production on season three of the NBC series. Though the network ordered 16 episodes of the popular show, fans only got 11 episodes. 

That means, Beth (Christina Hendricks), Ruby (Retta) and Annie (Mae Whitman) still had more up their sleeves when the cameras stopped rolling. So, as Retta puts it, “There’s a few kinks to work out.”

Now, in an exclusive first look at season four, the cast reveals how this hiccup has allowed for an action-packed season that’s not to be missed.

What is there to look forward to, you ask?

Well, there’s the little fact that Dean (Matthew Lillard) is now a full-fledged member of Beth’s criminal enterprise, which Christina says is “really interesting.”



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The Reason Behind It All – Hollywood Life

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The Reason Behind It All – Hollywood Life

Remember when Tia Mowry first revealed that she schedules sex with husband Cory Hardrict? — After reading comments from critics that doubted her marriage because of how she prioritizes sex, Tia revealed why the couple’s unique sex life actually helps their marriage.

What’s that old saying?… Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! — Tia Mowry appeared on The Wendy Williams Show for a virtual interview on March 4, where the outspoken host questioned her about previous comments she made about sex with husband Cory Hardrict. “So you and Cory schedule sex?”, Wendy asked, to which the actress, 42, confirmed, “Yes!” Though, the latter confession is no secret to fans who follow Tia.

Last October, the Sister Sister alum revealed that she schedules “sex dates” with her husband because of how hectic things can get with work and raising their two kids:  daughter Cairo, 2, and son Cree, 9. Following the intimate admission, Tia told Wendy that she read negative comments from critics who doubted her marriage because of it.

Cory Hardrict & Tia Mowry at the 13th Annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon, held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California on February 6, 2020. (Photo credit: MEGA)

I had said that long ago, and it kind of went viral. I saw some comments and some people are like, ‘Oh, there must be trouble in paradise because they have to schedule their sex lives. But, it’s actually the opposite,” Tia said, explaining, “It means that you actually care, right? It is marriage, it takes work, especially when you both have great careers, we’re grateful for that. We’re busy with two kids. If I’m being honest, things can get in the way, but we value our marriage and we want to make sure our marriage is hot and spicy,” she admitted.

Tia, who tied the knot with Cory in 2008, noted that the couple has been married for 22 years, “and that’s one way how we do it. I’m not the only one scheduling, Cory is as well,” she said, adding, “It’s fun!”

Tia Mowry & Cory Hardrict take their kids, son Cree and daughter Cairo, and to the world premiere of Jumanji: The Next Level in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA on December 9, 2019. (Photo credit: MEGA)

During the same interview, Tia also explained to Wendy why fans haven’t gotten a Sister, Sister revival or reboot — something that’s been talked about for years, especially since Netflix recently began airing old episodes of the hit ’90s sitcom.

“I’m going to have to put a pin in it. Nothing has happened and it’s very frustrating and it makes me very sad,” she said. Tia went on to explain that her and her twin sister Tamera [Mowry-Housley] “can’t make the show” because “we don’t own the rights to it.” — “So that’s one of the main reasons it hasn’t happened. But, what was so interesting was, when we were pitching it, some outlets were like, that’s not gonna work, it’s not that popular. It just came out on Netflix and it was a number one show, so obviously people want to see it,” she explained.



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Video: UAE athletes pull off daring stunt above world’s largest fountain – News

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Video: UAE athletes pull off daring stunt above world's largest fountain - News

The Red Bull athletes donned special paramotors for the feat, gliding so close to the Palm Fountain’s water jets they could feel them.

Is anything — absolutely anything — possible? World-famous athletes Horacio Llorens and Rafael Goberna think so — and the duo recently chose Dubai to prove their point.

The feat? A daring, one-off stunt at the world’s largest fountain — Palm Fountain at The Pointe in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.

This was no typical paraglide either, as the Red Bull athletes donned special paramotors for the event, gliding so close to the Palm Fountain’s water jets they could feel them.

For anyone presuming this was just a case of turning up and flying, think again. A newly released film demonstrates just what it took to plan a stunt of this nature — from pre-event training to engineering, intensive training sessions, and practising choreography.


“As soon as we got the opportunity, we wanted to fly there!” said pro paragliding pilot Llorens. “The ultimate challenge is that we were flying in the night, which means low visibility. Therefore, we needed to know the area really well beforehand.

“We also needed to know how to ‘play’ with The Palm Fountain,” he added. “With such strong streams of water shooting up — 100 metres is a lot! — we had to be really prepared.”

Preparing for the big night

Paragliding with a paramotor is a complicated process and requires skill, patience and very precise planning. The duo conducted multiple trial runs in the Margham Desert during the day after their arrival in Dubai.

There were several hiccups and obstacles — like when Goberna faced issues with his equipment.

“I broke a propeller during the first practice flight over the water,” he explained. “I couldn’t understand what was happening. And then another one broke. Eventually, a back-up motor was required.”

Refusing to give up, the entire team worked tirelessly to be “fountain-ready” — and the results, as showcased in the video, are spectacular.

With both sides of the Palm Fountain having different choreography, Llorens and Goberna had to study the movement of the water with great precision in order not to get caught up in the jets of water.

“Obviously, safety is paramount, and there are a multitude of safety devices we use on paramotors,” explained Alan Gates, Director of Safety. “Each athlete used two parachute systems. When flying over water, it’s also mandatory to wear a life jacket with automatic and manual inflation. We always have rescue boats, jet skis and divers… it’s important we have multiple teams for rescue and safety.”

The process was definitely challenging from the beginning, according to Goberna. But they’re all thrilled with their success.

“The highlight for me was playing between the fountain’s super shooters with Rafael,” he said. “It felt really new and powerful with the water coming to our sides extremely high.

“It was super nice for us to have finished this way,” he summed up. “After a long journey, the result was beautiful.”




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Deals for Real: Spring Trends You Need at Prices You’ll Love

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Deals for Real: Spring Trends You Need at Prices You'll Love

We independently selected these products because we love them and we think you might like them at these prices. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our QR code or links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!

E! viewers, it’s time to save big!

With springtime in sight, it’s finally acceptable to start shopping for pastel hues, outdoor accessories and shoes that aren’t boots. Whether you’ve been saving all winter to buy the spring wardrobe of your dreams or want to cop the latest trends without breaking the bank, we’ve got a treat for you!

E!’s very own Lilliana Vazquez rounded up limited-time deals, exclusive to E! viewers, on this season’s hottest trends. Now through March 10, you can shop cozy sweatsuits, stunning jewelry, mask chains and other accessories at incredible prices!

Scroll below to check out Lilliana’s deals on the spring must-haves your wardrobe needs.



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North Carolina Cop Under Fire for Choking, Hanging Police Dog by its Leash

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North Carolina Cop Under Fire for Choking, Hanging Police Dog by its Leash



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Bow Wow May Have Fathered Another Baby — Video – Hollywood Life

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Bow Wow

Bow Wow isn’t talking until he gets the results. His manager confronts him about the ongoing paternity drama in this EXCLUSIVE preview of the all-new ‘Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.’

Bow Wow’s just chilling in this EXCLUSIVE preview of the March 4 episode of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta when his manager, Andy, stops by for a very important chat. He wants to talk about what’s going on in the news about Bow Wow, specifically that he may be the father of another child. All this talk is exactly what Andy didn’t want to happen. “I don’t know anybody no explanation. If he’s mine, he’s mine. If he’s not, he’s not,” Bow Wow says.

Andy thinks the whole situation is a complete mess. Bow Wow isn’t sweating the drama, though. Bow Wow reveals he doesn’t talk to the mother of the child anymore. He admits that he feels “betrayed” that his former fling just went public with it all.

Bow Wow in the March 4 episode. (WE tv)

“I wish she could have done it in a better way or we could have talked about it in a nice release through PEOPLE magazine or however we could have done it other than just, bam, internet,” Bow Wow admits. “Alright cool. Like, what are you looking for other than attention? And I get enough of that.”

Andy tells Bow Wow everyone wants an interview, but Bow Wow says nothing is happening until he gets the baby’s paternity results. Another problem Andy brings up is legal matters. “These bills have to be footed,” Andy says, which includes bills for both her lawyers and Bow’s lawers. Bow Wow isn’t dealing with anything until he gets the results of the paternity test. “It’s all good,” he stresses to Andy.

Bow Wow
Bow Wow is already a dad to daughter Shai Moss. (MEGA)

Turns out, Bow Wow is the father. The reality star confirmed his baby news by posting a photo of his baby boy in Sept. 2020. The baby’s mother is model Olivia Sky.

The synopsis for the March 4 episode reads: “Pimpin’ and Diamond call it quits, and Khi can’t resist making a move when he learns Diamond is single. Meanwhile, Bow anxiously awaits the results of his paternity test and considers how a baby son could impact his future.” Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on WE tv.



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People waste way more food than thought, UN finds. Here’s how Canada compares

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People waste way more food than thought, UN finds. Here's how Canada compares

Instead of finishing your leftovers, you let them go bad and buy takeout.

It’s a familiar routine for many — and indicative of habits that contribute to a global food waste problem that a new United Nations report says needs to be better measured so that it can be effectively addressed.

The UN report estimates 17 per cent of the food produced globally each year is wasted. That amounts to 931 million tonnes (1.03 billion tons) of food.

The waste is far more than previous reports had indicated, though direct comparisons are difficult because of differing methodologies and the lack of strong data from many countries. However, Canada was among 17 countries deemed to have high-quality data.

The report found that the average Canadian wastes 79 kilograms of food a year at home, more than the average American (59 kg) and similar to the amount wasted by the average person in the U.K. (77 kg).

“Improved measurement can lead to improved management,” said Brian Roe, a food waste researcher at Ohio State University who was not involved in the report.

WATCH | How to change your diet to shrink your carbon footprint

We look at the most common foods and meals that have a larger carbon footprint than you might think. 10:55

Most of the waste — or 61 per cent — happens in households while food service accounts for 26 per cent and retailers account for 13 per cent, the UN found. The UN is pushing to reduce food waste globally, and researchers are also working on an assessment of waste that includes the food lost before reaching consumers.

The authors note the report seeks to offer a clearer snapshot of the scale of a problem that has been difficult to assess, in hopes of spurring governments to invest in better tracking.

“Many countries haven’t yet quantified their food waste, so they don’t understand the scale of the problem,” said Clementine O’Connor, of the UN Environment Programme and co-author of the report.

Food waste has become a growing concern because of the environmental toll of production, including the land required to raise crops and animals and the greenhouse gas emissions produced along the way. Experts say improved waste tracking is key to finding ways to ease the problem, such as programs to divert inedible scraps to use as animal feed or fertilizer.

Different reasons for food waste in rich, poor countries

The report found food waste in homes isn’t limited to higher income countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Roe of Ohio State noted that food sometimes is wasted in poor countries without reliable home refrigeration. In richer countries, people might eat out more, meaning food waste is simply shifted from the home to restaurants.

Roe said cultural norms and policies also could contribute to waste at home — such as massive packaging, “buy one, get one free” deals, or lack of composting programs.

WATCH | Grocery store apps discount almost expired food to reduce waste:

Grocery store apps offer shoppers a discount on food that is about to expire; it’s a bid to reduce losses from food waste while increasing the number of customers. 1:55

That’s why broader system changes are key to helping reduce waste in households, said Chris Barrett, an agricultural economist at Cornell University.

Solutions to reduce waste

For example, Barrett said, people might throw away food because of a date on the product — even though such dates don’t always say when a food is unsafe to eat. “Food waste is a consequence of sensible decisions by people acting on the best information available,” he said.

To clarify the meaning of labelling dates, U.S. regulators have urged food makers to be more consistent in using them. They note that labels like “Sell By”, “Best By” and “”Enjoy By” could cause people to throw out food prematurely, even though some labels are intended only to indicate when quality might decline.

WATCH | Reducing food waste by turning beer into bread:

A Montreal co-op is helping to reduce food waste by turning a byproduct of beer brewing into bread. 1:58

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a family of four wastes about $1,500 US in food each year. But accurately measuring food waste is difficult for a variety of reasons including data availability, said USDA food researcher Jean Buzby, adding that improved measurements are part of a government plan to reduce waste.

Richard Swannell, a co-author of the UN report, said food was generally more valued even in richer countries just a few generations ago, since people often couldn’t afford to waste it. Now, he said, awareness about the scale of food waste globally could help shift attitudes back to that era.

“Food is too important to waste,” he said.



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TV news reporter robbed of camera at gunpoint in San Francisco

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A wide view of Twins Peak in San Francisco

A TV news reporter was robbed of his camera at gunpoint while conducting interviews about car break-ins in San Francisco, authorities said.

KPIX reporter Don Ford said he was preparing to interview residents Wednesday for reaction to a string of thefts around Twin Peaks when four men pulled up in a white luxury sedan.

“The car came up here while we were about to do an interview, three guys jumped out,” Ford told the news station. “One had a gun and put in my face and said, ‘We’re taking the camera.’”

Ford said he focused on remaining calm despite the weapon directed at him.

“My whole thought at the moment was ‘Be calm. Let’s not get this guy excited. He’s got the gun. I don’t. So you take you the camera. It’s yours, Buddy,’” he said.

The assailants fled with the camera, but the device — which had a tracking chip — was recovered later on Wednesday, cops said.

No arrests have been announced in connection to the theft.

A wide view of Twins Peak in San Francisco
Getty Images/iStockphoto

City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman called the incident “ridiculous and unacceptable.”

“We need to adequately resource public safety agencies, adopt better strategies to stop repeat offenders and make clear that San Francisco is not a place that you can commit crimes and put people’s lives at risk with impunity,” he wrote on Twitter.



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A to Z of the best things to do with kids in Dubai

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A to Z of the best things to do with kids in Dubai

A to Z of the best things to do with kids in Dubai



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Google Updates PageSpeed Insights Scores

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Google Updates PageSpeed Insights Scores

PageSpeed Insights (PSI) scores have recently improved across the board. But the improvements have nothing to do with any changes made to the websites experiencing better scores.  The improvements happened over on Google’s side.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is a Google tool that provides reports on a website speed performance. The tool provides both mobile and desktop page speed reports along with actionable insights about different problems that were discovered.

PSI provides two kinds of reporting, lab data and field data.

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Lab Data

Lab data is a report generated using simulated devices and Internet speeds. The purpose of testing a site using simulated environments is to provide insights into issues that may cause a slower user experience.

Lab data can note code-level factors that can cause the user experience to degrade and suggests ways to fix those problems.

The lab data is a way to audit a web page and identify areas that need improving.

Field Data

Field data is information gathered through actual users browsing the site with Chrome and archived in the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX).

Field data is useful for understanding what kind of performance site visitors are actually experiencing on the site under real-world environments.

The Core Web Vitals scores come from the field data archived in CrUX.

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These metrics consist of Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift.

The field data that is reported in the PageSpeed Insights tool is from a previous 28 day cycle. Recent changes to the website may not be reported in the field data portion of the report.

That’s why targeted improvements to a website will not be reflected in the field data, particularly the Core Web Vitals scores, until the next 28 day cycle is reported on.

Google Updated How PageSpeed Insights Gathers Data

Google announced an important change in how the PageSpeed Insights tools gathers information. The change is a switch to using the http/2 protocol for connecting to a web page.

PageSpeed Insights Using HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is an advanced network connection protocol that allows faster transmission of data. Under the previous HTTP/1.x protocol there were limits to how much data could be transmitted, which led to various workarounds.

The HTTP/2 protocol does not have those limitations.

According to an HTTP/2 explainer published by Google:

“HTTP/2 modifies how the data is formatted (framed) and transported between the client and server, both of which manage the entire process, and hides all the complexity from our applications within the new framing layer.

As a result, all existing applications can be delivered without modification.”

HTTP/2 allows faster transfer of data. That in turn improved the PageSpeed Insights scores across all metrics. The only hangup is if your server does not support HTTP/2.

It’s highly likely your server supports HTTP/2.  If the server hosting your site does not support HTTP/2 you may want to consider calling your web host customer support and finding out how to activate it.

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There are many tools that test websites for HTTP/2 compatibility. Google’s Lighthouse tool goes further by reporting if third party resources loaded by a site that do not support HTTP/2.

HTTP/2 provides a performance boost for clients (browsers and crawlers) that support HTTP/2.

That performance boost is why the PageSpeed Insights scores are going up across the board, because the PSI data is now gathered using the new faster protocol.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights Update Announcement

According to Google’s announcement:

“As of March 3, 2021, PageSpeed Insights uses http/2 to make network requests, if the server supports it.

…With this change, network connections are often established quicker. Given your requests are served in h2, you can likely expect metrics and the performance score to improve.

In general, performance scores across all PageSpeed Insights runs went up by a few points.”

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PageSpeed Insights Scores are Now Higher

If you have been pleasantly surprised to see better PageSpeed Insights scores beginning March 3rd, this is the reason why. So don’t get a big head about it.

KeyCDN HTTP/2 Testing Tool

Official Announcement of PSI Now Using HTTP/2

Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX)



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Thousands of Android and iOS Apps Leak Data From the Cloud

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Thousands of Android and iOS Apps Leak Data From the Cloud

For years, simple setup errors have been a major source of exposure when companies keep data in the cloud. Instead of carefully restricting who can access the information stored in their cloud infrastructure, organizations too often misconfigure their defenses. It’s the digital equivalent of leaving the windows or doors open at your house before going on a long vacation. That leaky data problem applies to more than just the web services that typically grab headlines. Mobile security firm Zimperium has found that these exposures pose a major problem for iOS and Android apps as well.

Zimperium ran automated analysis on more than 1.3 million Android and iOS apps to detect common cloud misconfigurations that exposed data. The researchers found almost 84,000 Android apps and nearly 47,000 iOS apps using public cloud services—like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure—in their backend as opposed to running their own servers. Of those, the researchers found misconfigurations in 14 percent of those totals—11,877 Android apps and 6,608 iOS apps—exposing users’ personal information, passwords, and even medical information.

“It’s a disturbing trend,” says Shridhar Mittal, Zimperium’s CEO. “A lot of these apps have cloud storage that was not configured properly by the developer or whoever set things up and, because of that, data is visible to just about anyone. And most of us have some of these apps right now.”

The researchers reached out to a handful of the app makers they found with cloud exposures, but they say the response was minimal and many apps still have exposed data. This is why Zimperium isn’t naming affected apps in their report. Additionally, the researchers can’t notify tens of thousands of developers. Mittal says, though, that the services they looked at run the gamut from apps with a few thousand users to those with a few million. One of the apps in question is a mobile wallet from a Fortune 500 company that’s exposing some user session information and financial data. Another is a transportation app from a large city that’s exposing payment data. The researchers also found medical apps with test results and even users’ profile images out in the open.

Given that Zimperium found nearly 20,000 apps with cloud misconfigurations, the company didn’t attempt to individually assess whether attackers have already discovered and abused any of the exposures. But these open doors and windows would be easy for bad actors to find using the same publicly available information that Zimperium used in its research. Hacking groups already do this type of scanning to find cloud misconfigurations in web services. And Mittal says that, in addition to sensitive user data, the researchers also found network credentials, system configuration files, and server architecture keys in some of the exposed app storage that attackers could potentially use to gain deeper access to an organization’s digital systems.

On top of all of that, the researchers found that some of the misconfigurations would allow bad actors to change or overwrite data, creating additional potential for fraud and disruption.

Though major cloud providers like AWS have made an effort to proactively detect possible misconfigurations and warn customers about them, it ultimately comes down to developers and IT administrators checking to confirm that things are set up as intended.

“It absolutely makes sense that misconfiguration could be a widespread issue,” says Will Strafach, a longtime iOS security researcher and creator of the Guardian Firewall app. “I’ve seen AWS buckets with bad permissions, and I’ve also seen multiple VPN nodes exposing data. I’ve seen a lot of apps from companies who should know better that have horrible security issues.”

This article is sourced from wired

Chris Harrison’s Apology Is Surface Level – Hollywood Life

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michael strahan chris harrison

After interviewing Chris Harrison about his racism controversy on ‘GMA,’ Michael Strahan admitted he won’t believe the longtime host is actually sorry until he actually sees a change.

Michael Strahan doesn’t seem too convinced by Chris Harrison’s apology for defending a Bachelor contestant’s racist behavior. “It felt like I got nothing more than a surface response on any of this,” Michael admitted, after his interview with Chris about the situation aired on Good Morning America. “Obviously, he’s a man who clearly wants to stay on this show, but only time will tell if there’s any meaning behind his words.”

During the interview, Chris apologized for diminishing the fact that contestant Rachael Kirkconnell attended an antebellum-themed party when she was in college. He admitted that he made a “mistake” when he excused Rachael’s past behavior during an Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay in February. However, he also insisted that what he said in the Extra interview does not represent who he is, and admitted that he plans to return to The Bachelor franchise.

Michael Strahan interviewed Chris Harrison about his controversy on the March 4 episode of ‘GMA.’ (Shutterstock)

In February, Chris announced that he would be “stepping aside” from his hosting duties for an undisclosed amount of time. So far, it has been confirmed that he will not be hosting After the Final Rose during the finale of The Bachelor, which airs on March 15. However, his departure appears to be temporary. “I plan to be back and I want to be back,” he explained. He also promised to continue doing the work to learn from his mistakes. “There is more work to be done and I am excited to be part of that change,” he concluded.

During the interview, it was revealed that Chris is working with race educators and strategists, as well as faith leaders and scholars. One of those leaders is Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, who Chris said he has already learned from. “Dr. Dyson often talks to me about council, not cancel, and that is full accountability — understanding what you didn’t understand, owning that, learning from that, seeking counsel often in the community that you hurt, learning from them, listening, gaining experience, knowledge and moving forward,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Rachael Kirkconnell remains in the running to end up with Matt James on this season of The Bachelor. She has publicly apologized and taken accountability for her past actions. She has also insisted that fans do not defend her, and urged others to do the work to learn what she has after this scandal. “If you are a person who doesn’t understand the offense in question, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and encourage you to use this as a teachable moment,” she explained in her apology post. “I want to put my energy towards preventing people from making the same offensive mistakes that I made in the first place, and hope I can prove this to you moving forward.”



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Mandy Moore Believes This Heartwarming News Helped Induce Labor

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Mandy Moore Gives Birth, Welcomes First Baby With Taylor Goldsmith

Mandy Moore Gives Birth to Baby No. 1!

This is just doggone great news.

Just before Mandy Moore went into labor she and husband Taylor Goldsmith learned that their pup Jackson was doing much better following emergency surgery for a mass in his abdomen.

It was exactly what the This Is Us star needed to hear before welcoming son August Harrison Goldsmith, a.k.a. Gus.  “In the flutter of all things Gus, I’d be remiss to mention that this guy got a clean bill of health,” she captioned a picture of Jackson March 3. “His tumor was benign. Cancer-free. We found out about 3 hours before I went in to labor and I know my relief was what set things in motion.”

“So much gratitude these days,” she added. “We love you so much, Jackson!!!”

On Feb. 23, the couple took to social media to announce Gus’ arrival. “Gus is here,” the new mom wrote. “Our sweet boy, August Harrison Goldsmith. He was punctual and arrived right on his due date, much to the delight of his parents. We were prepared to fall in love in all sorts of brand new ways, but it goes beyond anything we could have ever imagined.”



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Germany approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for citizens over 65 years of age

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Germany approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for citizens over 65 years of age

The country had previously cited lack of sufficient data to greenlight the vaccine for older people

Germany approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for citizens over 65 years of age

Representational image. AP

Berlin: Germany’s vaccine commission on Thursday approved the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for people over 65 following the publication of new data from the UK.

“The vaccine commission now recommends the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over 65 as well. This is good news for older people who are waiting for a jab,” said Health Minister Jens Spahn.

Germany had previously said it lacked sufficient data to greenlight the vaccine for older people.

But in an online statement, the vaccine commission said it had now revised its decision based on new data from England and Scotland, where the vaccine is already being rolled out among older people.

“The data, which have only been available for a few days… provide the first robust results showing effectiveness in older people after one dose,” the statement said.

It added that the studies had shown the vaccine to be effective in preventing the most serious cases of the COVID-19 disease.

The commission recommended that the first and second AstraZeneca jabs should be administered 12 weeks apart where possible, while people who had already been infected should receive one jab at least six months after diagnosis.

Health Minister Spahn said that Germany’s vaccine law would soon be changed to reflect the new recommendations.

Thursday’s announcement came after Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the commission would be changing its position on the AstraZeneca jab.

The German government had been criticised in recent weeks for muddled communications about the AstraZeneca jab, leading to a public perception that the vaccine was less effective than those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Some of the Germans first in line for a COVID-19 jab have spurned the AstraZeneca offer, leaving the country with hundreds of thousands of unopened doses.

Greenlighting the jab for the oldest age groups is expected to help Germany work through the backlog and pick up the pace of its sluggish vaccine rollout.

 

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This article is sourced from FirstPost

Justice Amy Coney Barrett pens first majority Supreme Court opinion in FOIA dispute

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Amy Coney Barrett faces questions on Day 2 of Senate hearings

Washington — The Supreme Court on Thursday shielded draft documents from a pair of federal agencies from disclosure under a widely used federal public records law, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett authoring her first majority opinion since joining the high court in October.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and National Marine Fisheries Service in their dispute with the Sierra Club, which sought records related to the services’ consultations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

The legal battle stems from a rule the EPA proposed in 2011 regarding “environmental water intake structures,” which are used to cool industrial equipment. The agency consulted with the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service before proceeding with its measure, as marine wildlife can become trapped in the structures and die.

The two services issued draft “biological opinions” in late 2013 in response to the proposed rule, which found it was likely to jeopardize certain species, though the documents were never sent to the EPA. The following year, in March 2014, the EPA sent another proposed rule that differed from the earlier 2013 version.

In response to the 2014 proposed rule, the services issued a final “no jeopardy” biological opinion, finding the revised rule was unlikely to harm protected species. The EPA then issued its final rule. 

The Sierra Club submitted requests under the Freedom of Information Act for records related to the services’ consultations with the EPA. But the services invoked a FOIA exemption that protects “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters that would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency,” and declined to turn over the draft biological opinions that analyzed the 2013 proposed rule from the EPA.

The exemption used by the services lists privileges afforded to federal agencies during civil litigation, including the “deliberative process privilege.”

The Sierra Club then sued to obtain the documents, and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found the draft biological opinions were not privileged.

But the Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, finding the deliberative process privilege shields the draft opinions because they reflect a preliminary review about the proposed, not final, rule.

“It is true, as Sierra Club emphasizes, that the staff recommendations proved to be the last word within the Services about the 2013 version of the EPA’s proposed rule,” Barrett wrote in her 11-page opinion. “But that does not change our analysis. The recommendations were not last because they were final; they were last because they died on the vine.”

The staff recommendations, she wrote for the majority, were “part of a deliberative process that worked as it should have.”

“The deliberative process privilege protects the draft biological opinions from disclosure because they are both predecisional and deliberative,” the court found.

The opinion from Barrett is her first for a majority of the Supreme Court. In a dispute involving California’s restrictions on indoor worship services to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, Barrett authored a concurring opinion, in which she was joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Barrett was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Donald Trump in October following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her nomination was controversial, as the vacancy on the high court came just weeks before the 2020 presidential election.

Democrats contended, as Republicans did in 2016 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, that the voters should be able to choose the president who would fill the seat. But the GOP-led Senate charged ahead with Barrett’s nomination, confirming her to the Supreme Court a week before Election Day.



This article is sourced from CBS News

Man Accused of Dragging Dog with Truck Threatens Accuser with Broom

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Man Accused of Dragging Dog with Truck Threatens Accuser with Broom



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UAE’s best professor helps fresh graduates get a job – News

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author

Earlier this week, she had won this year’s Emirates Award for being the ‘Best National Professor in the UAE’ from the Ministry of Education.

A female teacher, who was earlier this week named the best Emirati professor in the country, has won her second award for an initiative to help fresh graduates gain vital work experience before joining the job market.

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Dr Badreya Al Jenaibi from UAE University in Al Ain bagged the Musallam Bin Ham Al Ameri Innovation Award for her non-profit initiative ‘Mubadarah Community Engagement Programme’.

Earlier this week, she had won this year’s Emirates Award for being the ‘Best National Professor in the UAE’ from the Ministry of Education.

“I’m humbled after being recognised for my work. I am happy winning these two awards,” said the professor, who has snapped up more than 29 awards for teaching and community service.

“Many university graduates miss job opportunities because of lack of experience. The initiative provides professional experience and work experience certificates from governmental institutions — especially after completing the voluntary and professional programme or the educational programme.”

Dr Jenaibi from the Department of Media and Creative Industries at the UAE University started the non-profit initiative in 2012 with the aim of integrating undergraduates in the community, involving them in voluntary work, and helping them enhance their professional qualifications.

“This innovative new programme has been applied for the first time in a government university. The main aim of the initiative is to deal with social issues facing the country, especially unemployment among graduates,” she said.

“The programme helps fresh graduates by equipping them with practical experience — which is one of the main requirements to get a job. Students’ participation in this programme and their integration with domestic institutions help them gain practical experience certificates extended to four months.”

Al Jenaibi said her project established the first vocational centre of its kind in a government university, which qualifies students, so that they graduate with practical experience.

“The programme is concerned with a new idea in society which is voluntary professional education. The programme makes use of students’ free time through engagement and preparing programmes, projects, seminars, lectures, and new and innovative campaigns that are consistent with state policy such as innovation policy, reading, and smart learning,” she explained.

Citing an example of how her programme helps graduates, the Emirati professor said: “If a student volunteers for preparing a project about reading with the Ministry of Education, they will share their creative ideas to draw up the plan with the initiative team, and then they will participate in the activities and practically apply the project. Thereafter, the student gets an experience certificate from the Ministry as a reward for his/her time, valuable ideas, and volunteering efforts.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country’s parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.






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Rhinestones & More – Hollywood Life

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Meghan McCain

From rhinestones to top knots, the new mom is having fun with her on-screen look. Now her hair and makeup artist Carmen Currie is sharing her style secrets.

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Ever since Meghan McCain returned to The View from her maternity leave, fans have seen her switch up her looks almost on a daily basis. From glittery eyeliner and red lips, to top knots, braids and Princess Leia buns, the 36-year-old has rocked them all.

Along the way the Republican co-host has praised Carmen Currie, the talented woman behind the stunning looks. “@ccprostyles is the most incredible, creative hair and makeup artist,” Meghan wrote in a Feb. 23 Instagram post showing off the bejeweled middle hair-parting she rocked on TV that day. “Such a privilege to work together every day getting ready for @theviewabc.”

Carmen values their collaboration behind the scenes too. “I really, really enjoy working with Meghan,” she tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, adding, “We get along great. We laugh. We share some of the same interests in music. We have a great relationship.”

Carmen started working with Meghan in January when the new mom returned to The View, after taking time off to have her baby Liberty, who is now 5-months-old. The blonde appears on the show remotely, filming from the ABC News Bureau in Washington, D.C. where she is currently located. For 20 to 30 minutes a day, she sits in the makeup chair, while Carmen (who you can see in the Instagram post below) works magic while wearing a mask, plastic face shield and gloves.

Asked how they collaborate on their various styles, the former model says it’s simple. Meghan gives her free rein to create. “From the first time of us working together it’s just like, ‘Hey, do you,’” Carmen says of Meghan’s directions. “’I know you’re a good artist. Just do you.’”

“[Meghan] just really lets me be me artistically. However, she’s really artistic herself and she’s open to things too,” adds Carmen who has also worked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “I’m really excited to have someone that I could just do a little bit more fun looks on… I get to play more with color and hairstyles and it’s great. It’s an outlet for me.”

Meghan’s Princess Leia buns style is one of the looks that grabbed the attention of The View fans. (“Yaaas @MeghanMcCain for these beautiful blond [sic] buns!” one viewer tweeted on Feb. 10.) The buzzworthy look was surprisingly simple to achieve, according to Carmen.

Meghan McCain rocked Princess Leia style buns while filming ‘The View’ in February 2021. (ABC)

“Part [the hair] down the middle [into two ponytails],” she says, as she walks through the steps, which included pulling a few tendrils out to frame Meghan’s face. The buns were created with temporary extensions. “I like to wrap the hair extensions around her ponytail and just simply create a bun shape with that and pin it nice and secure,” she says.

Meghan and Carmen love using the Hidden Crown extensions line. “Some of them are clip-ons,” the hairstylist says. “I don’t always use clip-ons because I can pin it with bobby pins. Nothing we do is permanent as far as extensions because I like the versatility.”

When it comes to hair products, Carmen is a fan of the Oribe range. For example, she uses the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray to give the hair “a little bit of roughness” so she can “tease it” and “have a foundation for the clip-ins.” When Meghan is rocking a slicked back top knot, Oribe’s Crème for Style from the brand’s Signature range is her go-to.

“A little bit goes a long way,” Carmen says. “I’d just put it in my hand, warm it up and then try to spread it out as evenly as possible to your hair. I would use a bristle brush to get a [smoother] appearance.”

Another look that has created a lot of buzz on social media is Meghan’s bejeweled eyeliner, which some Twitter followers mistook for glitter. Carmen points out that – while they do use glitter sometimes – that look in particular was created by gluing rhinestones (yes, rhinestones that you can pick up in any arts and crafts store), just over her eyes.

“I put a little bit of eyelash glue [above] her eyes and then I put them where I want to see the rhinestone,” says Carmen who recommends using water soluble glue that comes off easily when wet. “Make sure the glue is tacky before you lay down your rhinestone,” she advises.

As for the size of the gems, Carmen adds, “Just make sure it’s something that fits the entire eye, if that’s what you prefer. I use smaller rhinestones and then move to a bigger rhinestone from the inner corner of her eye to the outer corner of her eye.” She also recommends using either a rhinestone application pen or “special tweezers” that are “curved at the end and thin” for precision.

While Meghan has received some online shade from her haters, she is thrilled with her various looks. “I’m just having fun switching up, playing around and experimenting,” she tweeted on Feb. 25. “It’s covid and I just had a baby, let a b*tch live!”

“I like to say that she’s more like a modern woman,” Carmen says of her client. “A modern woman to me is someone who [lives] unapologetically.” In that way, Carmen believes they’re very similar. “I like to create and that’s me, unapologetic. Just really confident in self, really OK with doing something out of the box and [I] don’t necessarily need any validation to do that.”



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Novavax filings give first glimpse of deal Canada made for COVID vaccines – National

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Click to play video 'Montreal facility to produce Novavax vaccine in the fight against COVID-19'

Novavax has made public some of the details of its January contract with the Canadian government to supply millions of doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate if approved by the country’s regulator.

Though key details such as price per dose and penalties for missing delivery targets are redacted, the company’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission marks the first time a vaccine supplier’s deal with the Canadian government has been released in even a redacted form.

The Canadian government has repeatedly refused to release those contracts.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the seven contracts the government has signed for coveted vaccine doses include confidentiality clauses and breaking those could jeopardize the deals.

She has also refused to say whether any of the contracts signed by the government waived the right to sue in the event delivery targets are missed, as the European Union did in its contract with AstraZeneca.

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Read more:
Anand won’t say whether Canada waived right to sue over vaccine delays

The filing by Novavax does not appear to answer that question.

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The contract states that the company will provide 52 million doses of its vaccine candidate with an option to purchase 24 million more, and that deliveries will take place monthly to fulfill quarterly allotments.

“Customer acknowledges that the delivery schedule may change due to the impact of several variables including, but not limited to, speed of clinical trial enrollment and accrual of events, manufacturing delays and/or timing of regulatory approval,” the contract reads.

“Novavax will use commercially reasonable efforts to deliver the product to customer in accordance with the delivery schedule and will, on at least on a (redacted) basis, communicate any anticipated changes to the delivery schedule to customer.”

If the company gets regulatory approval but then fails to meet quarterly deliveries, they will provide to the Canadian government what the contract describes as “the cause of the inability to supply” as well as a “good faith remedial plan.”

If the company can’t manufacture enough vaccine to meet all of its international contracts, the contract says that “Novavax shall allocate to customer (redacted) for the period of short supply.”

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If the remedial plan can’t make up for the shortfall, Canada can cancel future deliveries or terminate the deal, the contract states.

It’s not clear whether Canada would incur financial penalties for cancelling.

The contract states Canada agreed to pay a redacted portion of the total cost of the vaccines upfront given the company was manufacturing them before getting regulatory approval.

Read more:
Novavax deal won’t speed up vaccine rollout, but experts still say it’s a ‘big win’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this year a deal with Novavax to produce vaccines at a facility in Montreal, though that will not be operational until towards the end of the year.

If the vaccine is approved before that, doses will need to be shipped from abroad.

Phase 3 clinical trial data shows the vaccine is 89 per cent effective against COVID-19, with evidence it is effective against both the B.1.1.7. variant that first emerged in the U.K. and the B.1.351 variant that first emerged in South Africa.






Montreal facility to produce Novavax vaccine in the fight against COVID-19


Montreal facility to produce Novavax vaccine in the fight against COVID-19 – Feb 2, 2021

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Ape named Karen among animals at San Diego Zoo given COVID-19 vaccine

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Karen the orangutan

US HEADLINES

As people go ape trying to find COVID-19 vaccines, a group of primates at the San Diego Zoo became the first non-humans to be administered the jab — including an orangutan named Karen.

In January, eight gorillas at the zoo’s Safari Park tested positive for the illness in what was believed to be the first case of the bug infecting great apes.

Nadine Lamberski, a global conservation and wildlife health officer told Business Insider that “alarm bells” first went off when Winston, a 49-year-old silverback gorilla, began coughing days after a wildlife specialist tested positive.

“As soon as we knew that an employee was positive, we were on high alert, so just that one or two coughs really sent the alarm bells off, and we immediately started to get the permissions necessary to submit samples for diagnostic testing,” Lamberski told the outlet.

After the infected apes made a full recovery, Lamberski said the team then worked hard on obtaining vaccines for the animals.

Four orangutans — including one named Karen, who was also the first ape in the world to have open-heart surgery in 1994 — and five bonobos received the vaccine.

Veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis developed the experimental jab, which is not built nor suitable for human use, according to Insider, which cited the National Geographic.

In total, four orangutans — including one named Karen, who was also the first ape in the world to have open-heart surgery in 1994 — and five bonobos received the vaccine.

8 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19.
Eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo had tested positive for COVID-19.
Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global

There are fewer than 5,000 gorillas left in the wild and researchers have expressed concern that the COVID-19 could spread rapidly if just one ape caught the virus.

Little is known about the effect the bug has on animals, though various animals — including cats and dogs — have already tested positive for the illness.

Paul Baribault, CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance says, "We are dependent on the health of wildlife."
Paul Baribault, CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance says, “We are dependent on the health of wildlife.”
Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global

Lamberski said that despite the inoculations, “that big sigh of relief isn’t going to come until our entire community is vaccinated, until the vaccine gets to, you know, remote communities all over the world, to areas where gorillas live in the wild.”

Paul Baribault, President and CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, told Insider: “As we move forward out of COVID, I think we certainly hope that the world has a greater understanding of our interdependency, that we are dependent on the health of nature.

“We are dependent on the health of wildlife. Our health is tied to all of it,” he said.



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Chris Harrison Apologizes to Rachel Lindsay, Plans to Return to ‘Bachelor’

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Chris Harrison Apologizes to Rachel Lindsay, Plans to Return to 'Bachelor'



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Woman sentenced for sexually abusing boyfriend as he died

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Woman sentenced for sexually abusing boyfriend as he died

A Virginia woman has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for recording herself laughing and sexually abusing her boyfriend — as he died from a drug overdose.

Megan Anne Walthall, 32, was ordered to serve the sentence Friday in Stafford County Circuit Court, the Roanoke Times reported.

Prosecutors allege that Walthall called 911 on July 15, 2019, to report that her boyfriend Brandon Dye was unresponsive.

Dye was brought to Mary Washington Hospital, where he died from a heroin overdose, the outlet reported.

Officers recovered drugs, paraphernalia and a video from the Stafford home.

The footage was recorded by Walthall as her boyfriend was dying from the overdose, prosecutors said.

Walthall could be seen laughing as she sexually abused him then waiting at least 45 minutes before calling 911 for help, the Roanoke Times reported.

Her attorney argued that Walthall, who was also on drugs at the time, made the tape to show Dye later, in order to get him to quit using the substances, the outlet reported.

“It was done stupidly and wrongly, but there was no malice,” attorney Price Koch said.

But prosecutor Sandra Park rejected that argument, saying the delay in calling for help was inexcusable, the paper reported.

Walthall previously pleaded guilty to abusing an incapacitated adult, sexual battery and two counts of possessing illegal drugs.

The second drug charge stemmed from an incident in which she gave a man drugs that caused him to overdose on Dec. 12, 2019, at a motel in Stafford, officials said.



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UAE students celebrate grades for GCSE, A-level exams taken in January

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Brighton
Brighton College, Dubai, students Madeleine Cranitch and Ross Bannerman, who received 9 grades.
Image Credit: supplied

Abu Dhabi: Students across the UAE are today celebrating some of their GCSE and A-level grades, which were announced by British curriculum exam boards.

The grades pertain to subjects and subject modules that were tested during the winter. In many major British exam boards, students can attend certain final exams, or subject modules, in exams held over the winter or they can opt to appear for the exams during the May-June exam session.

Al Yasmina Academy, under the Aldar Academies group, announced a 100 per cent pass rate for Math GCSE’s and A-level Biology exams taken in January 2020.

“The results exceeded expectations, with 50 per cent of students awarded an A* grade in Maths. All the students’ Maths exams were higher than expected. Year 13 students who took the International A-level in Biology achieved grades between A* to B,” Al Yasmina said in a statement.

Jared Nolan

“Our students across the board continue to impress and set new levels of achievements. It is nothing short of remarkable. Preparing for exams is a stressful time for students. So for everybody to get these results under difficult circumstances during COVID-19 is absolutely outstanding. Each and every student is a credit to themselves and their families for the way they have prepared for these exams and got the results to match their hard work,” said Jared Nolan, Al Yasmina principal.

IGCSE or GCSE results are graded between 9 to 1, with 9 being the topmost grade. In the case of A-levels, grades range from A* to E, with A* being the highest achievable grade.

At GEMS Cambridge International School in Abu Dhabi, a total of 269 students in Years 11, 12 and 13 received their final grades and modular results for Arabic, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Math, and Statistics. The school reported outstanding performance in all subject areas.

In Year 11 IGCSE Math, 145 students appeared for the exams, with 87 per cent gaining a grade between 9-4, and 77 per cent achieved scored between 9-5. In addition, 18 per cent achieved the top grade of 9.

“More impressively, 90 per cent of the students made better than expected progress, with 47 per cent surpassing this by more than one grade,” the school said in a statement.

On the other hand, there were notable highlights in Year 13 grades. In Psychology, there was a 100 per cent pass rate, with 75 per cent of the grades being between A-B, and 50 per cent of the students achieved an A grade. A total of 19 students at the schools also achieved full marks in one of the A-level exams.

Meanwhile, two Brighton College Dubai pupils — Madeleine Cranitch and Ross Bannerman, Head Girl and Head Boy respectively, achieved impressive 100 per cent Grade 9 for GCSE Mathematics.

“I am incredibly proud of the achievements of our first GCSE pupils who have exceeded their targets. Given the worldwide exam uncertainty, this year has been a demanding one and we do not underestimate the amount of effort that has been required from both pupils and teachers who have had to adapt to a fluid learning style. There is no doubt in my mind that Brighton College Dubai pupils have benefited enormously from a relatively uninterrupted education, with dedicated teachers who go above and beyond. My warmest congratulations to our excellent pupils and staff on these fantastic achievements! As well as being academically dedicated, our pupils have been involved in all other aspects of school life, including taking on wellbeing initiatives, sports and leadership positions,” said Simon Crane, headmaster at Brighton College Dubai.

“I’m completely overwhelmed and so thankful to my teachers at Brighton College Dubai. It’s nice knowing that all the hard work really does pay off!” Cranitch said.

“Opening the results was a massive relief after all the hard work. To know that we’re the first Brighton College Dubai pupils to receive GCSE results and to have these as our legacy is a tremendous honour,” Bannerman added.

Cancelled summer exams

Meanwhile, Pearson Edexcel and Oxford AQA, two major British exam boards, earlier announced that they had cancelled all IGCSE, International GCSE, AS and A-level exams — taken in Years 11, 12 and 13 — for the May-June 2021 series. The exams — which were cancelled in light of the global COVID-19 outbreak — will be replaced with Teacher Assessed Grades.



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Nicki Minaj & More Who Rocked The Industry – Hollywood Life

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Nicki Minaj & More Who Rocked The Industry – Hollywood Life

It’s Women’s History Month, and today, we’re celebrating female rappers that changed the genre, plus a few rising stars you need to know about!

Rap has never been just a man’s game. From its humble origins in a Bronx apartment in 1973 to today’s hip-hop heavyweights like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion, rap has been driven by powerful female voices. In honor of s Women’s History Month, HollywoodLife is looking at some of the women who have helped shape hip-hop into the dominant music genre that it is today.

Even though women were there from hip-hop’s creation, female rappers have fought for their place in the limelight and their fair share of the respect. It’s a shame since if it weren’t for Cindy Campbell, there wouldn’t be hip-hop. “When we talk about Hip Hop, we know the story of Kool Herc,” hip-hop journalist and historian Davey D said in 2010,” but there is always a woman that stands alongside and usually behind holding up the man that is taking credit, or getting bows and the accolades and we wanted to talk to the first woman of Hip Hop Cindy Campbell.” During the summer of 1973, young  Cindy Campbell decided to throw a party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue to raise some money. She hired her brother, Kool Herc, to DJ. This party, on Aug. 11, 1973, is considered the genesis of hip-hop, and it wouldn’t have happened without Cindy.

As the scene was starting to pick up in New York City, female emcees emerged alongside their male counterparts. Sharon Green, aka MC Sha-Rock, is often credited as “the first female rapper.” As a member of the hip-hop crew Funky Four Plus One More, MC Sha-Rock “straight-up B-girl, carrying records to the parties, and my presence elevated from there,” she told the Huffington Post in 2017. “I just want everyone to know my official title: I am the First Female of Hip-Hop Culture.” If one has any doubts, tune into the Feb. 14, 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live.

Queen Latifah performed in 2019 (Michael Dwyer/AP/Shutterstock)

“We appeared on Saturday Night Live,” said MC Sha-Rock, “hosted by Deborah Harry from the band Blondie. At the time, we were on The Sugar Hill Records label and hanging out downtown at the punk rock music clubs. Fab-Five Freddy brought Deborah Harry to hear our show, and she liked us. She also liked our label mates, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, but she chose our group because we had a female, and she wanted the world to experience this.”

Since then, the world has experienced what women could bring to hip-hop. One of the first major hip-hop beef came thanks to Roxanne Shanté. After rap group UTFO released “Roxanne Roxanne,” a song about a woman who refuted their romantic advances, 14-year-old Lolita Shanté Gooden changed her name, dropped “Roxanne’s Revenge,” and became a hit. A series of answer records, dubbed “The Roxanne Wars,” followed, kicking off one of the genre’s first major musical feuds.

Roxanne Shante attends =the “Roxanne Roxanne” Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2017 (MEGA)

As hip-hop evolved, so did the women involved in the genre. Groundbreaking acts like Salt-N-Peppa, Queen Latifah, and MC Lyte (the first solo female rapper to release a major label full-length album) helped hip-hop flourish in the 1980s and into the 1990s. That latter decade saw names like Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, Da Brat, and TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes flex their hip-hop muscles while carving out their own niche in the male-dominated rap landscape.

At the turn of the century, women struggled to find love on the charts, but some stars – like Nicki, Cardi, Young M.A., and more – would not be denied. In 2021, with stars like Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Flo Milli poised to take over, women continue to reign supreme when it comes to hip-hop.

Click through the gallery to see pics of everyone mentioned here. Happy Women’s History Month! Oh, and don’t forget to check out our Women’s History Month playlist.



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News Analysis: Cuomo and Newsom, once pillars of the Democratic Party, now look for paths to survival

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US HEADLINES

It wasn’t supposed to be like this for Democrats, who expected to honeymoon into spring as Republicans sifted through the political wreckage Donald Trump left behind.

But the bad behavior and grave unforced errors of two of the party’s biggest outside-the-Beltway stars is spoiling that reprieve, distracting from the Democrats’ work in Washington and forcing them to divert their attention to triage in parts of the country where they usually draw strength.

The missteps, unforced errors and aloofness that now have California Gov. Gavin Newsom facing the threat of recall from office have been overshadowed by the sexual harassment scandal that has rapidly engulfed his counterpart in New York, Andrew Cuomo. The two men took very different paths in their descent from darlings of liberal voters to the targets of scathing parody on SNL, but they both share problems so big they are stealing oxygen from a party that doesn’t have much to spare.

In this image taken from video from the Office of the N.Y. Governor, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Albany, N.Y. (Office of the NY Governor via AP)

(Office of the NY Governor via AP)

“I feel awful about it,” Cuomo said Wednesday of his behavior that led two women decades his junior who worked for him and a third he met at a wedding to accuse him of sexual harassment. “And frankly, I am embarrassed by it.”

He pledged at a news conference to cooperate with an investigation by the state attorney general, while still maintaining that he did not intentionally harass or inappropriately touch anyone. “I’m not going to resign,” Cuomo said, adding later: “I never knew at the time I was making anyone uncomfortable.”

Cuomo is vowing to serve out the rest of his term at the same time Newsom is battling a well-funded effort to eject him before his term ends. Political experts predict that if the recall qualifies for the ballot, by the time the election is held, voters are likely to be more forgiving of Newsom’s missteps: dining maskless at French Laundry while ordering the state locked down, bobbling school reopenings, botching the vaccine rollout, failing to halt billions of dollars in fraudulent unemployment payments.

Nobody is counting either of them out at the moment, as both Cuomo and Newsom have clawed their way back from the political abyss before — Newsom from personal scandals as San Francisco mayor, Cuomo from ethical lapses that resulted in his allies going to prison as governor. But the realities of the #MeToo era for Cuomo and a pandemic that has brought voters to the brink may have made obsolete the playbooks that worked so well for the men in the past. Calling in political favors, circling wagons inside the party and public displays of contrition are less potent tools than they once were.

Cuomo, in particular, is finding the aggressive tactics that helped him survive multiple scandals over the course of his three terms in office are not all that effective when facing claims of unwanted sexual advances. Putting party officials on notice that their loyalty will be rewarded and dissent punished, as Cuomo has in the past, is not going to fly. The allegations compounded a political crisis Cuomo had already created for himself by hiding data related to COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes.

“His problem right now is really big,” said Robert Shrum, director of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future. “He’d be lucky to stay governor, and incredibly lucky to run and get reelected.”

The Democrats have set a very different standard on matters of sexual harassment than their GOP counterparts. Republicans overlooked multiple serious allegations against Trump and aggressively backed confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh even after hearing Christine Blasey Ford testify that he assaulted her when they were in high school. Among Democrats, there is zero tolerance.

Several New York legislators have called for Cuomo to resign. Some of the most powerful New Yorkers in Congress said the behavior described by Cuomo’s accusers is outrageous and unacceptable, suggesting he should face harsh consequences if it is confirmed by the state investigation. Among those demanding Cuomo be held accountable are Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, the senator who led the drive to expel former colleague Al Franken from office amid charges he behaved inappropriately toward an actress and former model he appeared with for troops abroad.

“If this were a regular workplace, he would be in hot water. He’d be fired,” said Rachel Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, a female-led progressive group that is demanding Cuomo’s resignation. She noted that the governor has not denied accusations of impropriety, which include crude remarks and unwanted kisses, but has tried to contextualize them as misunderstandings.

“We need to have a conversation that is deeper than is this legal or illegal,” Carmona said. “Is there a pattern of behavior that is unethical, unprofessional, immoral?… I don’t think we can [expect] less of men who believe they are above the rule of law and the rules of common decency and professionalism.”

With both Cuomo and Newsom, the intense political headwinds they face are remarkable considering how beloved they were just a year ago. In the early days of the pandemic, admirers coined the term “Cuomosexuals.” They were willing to overlook his history as a bully and a control freak amid the yearning for competence in confronting the virus. Californians were also relieved to have a governor who seemed to be taking decisive action as Trump’s White House dawdled, denied medical realities and undermined its own public health experts.

Gov. Gavin Newsom visiting a mobile COVID-19 vaccination site.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, center, visiting a mobile COVID-19 vaccination site to discuss the state’s efforts to vaccinate hard-to-reach communities on Sunday at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Briefings by the governors explaining the measures their states were taking to protect residents presented a stark contrast to the haplessness of the Trump administration. Cuomo even penned a book while the country was still in the grips of the pandemic, sharing his “Leadership Lessons” from the crisis.

The performances in New York and California at the time crystallized the argument of Democrats that they could make government work again.

But both states would soon run into challenges managing the pandemic that were not easily overcome as schools stayed shut down and hospitals were inundated. Cuomo meanwhile, had accumulated a long list of enemies over his decades in New York politics, many of them fellow Democrats in the Legislature who had run-ins with him in which they found his approach to be not just uncompromising, but also inappropriately intimidating.

The tensions Cuomo had created inside New York politics ultimately caught up with him when an aide revealed to lawmakers last month that the governor had concealed data on COVID-19 at nursing homes, understating the number of deaths at the facilities after he required them to accept patients who had the virus.

The scandal consumed the Cuomo administration, triggering investigations and emboldening his rivals to speak out against him. Soon after, the harassment allegations surfaced; by then the governor had become an albatross for the Democratic Party.

The first of Cuomo’s accusers to tell her story publicly, Lindsey Boylan, wrote an essay recounting years of uncomfortable exchanges with the governor, including his suggestion they play strip poker and his kissing her on the lips without asking. Her story was followed by that of Charlotte Bennett, a former aide who told the New York Times that she was so unnerved by the governor’s sexual overtures that she reported them to his chief of staff, who transferred her to another job.

Then a photo appeared in the New York Times this week of the governor with his hands on the face of the wedding guest, Anna Ruch, who appeared extremely uncomfortable with the interaction. She told the Times he asked to kiss her, and the incident left her embarrassed and shocked.

As Cuomo falls deeper into crisis, Newsom appears to be in a stronger position. If the recall qualifies for the ballot, Newsom will be a formidable candidate backed by the Democratic establishment with enormous resources to fight to keep his seat.

Regardless, the baggage both men have dropped on the Democratic Party will be weighing it down for some time.

In California, what Democrats have to look forward to is a potentially bruising and expensive recall. In New York, they are facing a damaged but stubborn governor who is unlikely to step down no matter how many erstwhile allies abandon him.

While Newsom’s colleagues are rallying around him, many Democrats in New York would be relieved to see Cuomo go away. “The time has come,” tweeted Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, a former ally of Cuomo’s from Long Island. “The Governor must resign.”

Cuomo has no plans to oblige.