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Member since: Thu Jul 23, 2020, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 295

Journal Archives

Norm Macdonald Dies: Influential Comedian & Former 'SNL' Weekend Update Anchor Was 61

Source: Deadline

Norm Macdonald, whose laconic delivery of sharp and incisive observations made him one of Saturday Night Live‘s most influential and beloved cast members, died today after a nine-year private battle with cancer. He was 61.

Macdonald’s death was announced to Deadline by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment. The comedian’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when died, said Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade but was determined to keep his health struggles private, away from family, friends and fans.

“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”

Read more: https://deadline.com/2021/09/norm-macdonald-dead-obituary-comedian-saturday-night-live-weekend-update-anchor-was-61-1234833212/

Should Congress & Staffers be required to vaccinate?


The New York Times reported on Thursday that the executive order doesn't apply to those who work for Congress or the federal courts, citing White House officials.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference on April 29 that the House couldn't require members to be vaccinated. Video clips of those remarks gained renewed attention online following Biden's announcement.

"So—so here is the thing. We are—we cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That's just not what we can do. It is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn't," Pelosi said.

"I can't go to the Capitol Physician and say, 'Give me the names of people who aren't vaccinated, so I can go encourage them or make it known to others to encourage them to be vaccinated.' So we can't—we can't do that," she said.

Pelosi's office reiterated that position in a statement to Newsweek on Friday, saying the speaker's April 29 remarks were "referring to the institution in which she serves."

Biden to address pandemic-weary nation

Source: Yahoo News

WASHINGTON — President Biden will address the nation on Thursday, the White House said, laying out a “six-pronged strategy” to combat the coronavirus pandemic throughout the fall. The speech will likely mark a stark departure from the upbeat announcements of last spring, as vaccination rates rose and infection rates declined.

The Delta variant frustrated Biden’s plans for a “summer of freedom.” With cold weather approaching and children returning to school, he faces a challenge in telling Americans that the end is still in sight — but that he, and they, must do more to bring the pandemic to its conclusion.

Americans’ confidence in Biden’s handling of the pandemic is waning. A new poll from Gallup found that only 40 percent of Americans say the president is communicating clearly on the pandemic; 42 percent say he lacks clarity. “This is the first time Americans have not been more positive than negative about his communication, as a presidential candidate or president-elect in 2020 or as president this year,” Gallup senior editor Jeffrey M. Jones wrote of those results on Tuesday.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/biden-to-address-pandemic-weary-nation-172846459.html

China bans men it sees as not masculine enough from TV

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government banned effeminate men on TV and told broadcasters Thursday to promote “revolutionary culture,” broadening a campaign to tighten control over business and society and enforce official morality.

President Xi Jinping has called for a “national rejuvenation,” with tighter Communist Party control of business, education, culture and religion. Companies and the public are under increasing pressure to align with its vision for a more powerful China and healthier society.

The party has reduced children’s access to online games and is trying to discourage what it sees as unhealthy attention to celebrities.

Broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics,” the TV regulator said, using an insulting slang term for effeminate men — “niang pao,” or literally, “girlie guns.”


WHO monitoring new coronavirus variant named 'Mu'

Source: AFP

The World Health Organization has said it is monitoring a new coronavirus variant known as "Mu", which was first identified in Colombia in January 2021.

Mu, known scientifically as B.1.621, has been classified as a "variant of interest", the global health body said Tuesday in its weekly pandemic bulletin.

The WHO said the variant has mutations that indicate a risk of resistance to vaccines and stressed that further studies were needed to better understand it.

"The Mu variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape," the bulletin said.

Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/health/20210901-new-coronavirus-variant-mu-under-close-scrutiny-by-who

Nigeria gunmen kidnap 73 students from high school in northwest

Source: AFP

Nigerian gunmen on Wednesday kidnapped 73 students after storming a high school in the northwest of the country in the latest in a series of mass abductions targeting pupils.

Kidnapping for ransom by armed gangs known locally as bandits has become a grim trend in northwest and central Nigeria, with around 1,000 students snatched this year -- most of them later released.

A large group of gunmen invaded the secondary school in Kaya in the Maradun region of Zamfara State late Wednesday morning, abducting the 73 students, the state police said in a statement.

"The abduction followed the invasion of the school by large numbers of armed bandits," police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said.

Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210901-nigeria-gunmen-kidnap-73-students-from-high-school-in-northwest

Disagreement With WH Over Booster Shots Prompt Senior FDA Directors to Step Down

Source: Newsweek

Two senior officials with the Food and Drug Administration will step down from their positions overseeing vaccine applications this fall, the FDA announced Tuesday.

The two officials, Marion Gruber, director of the FDA's Office of Vaccines Research & Review, will leave the administration in October and her deputy director Phil Krause will follow in November, the FDA shared in a statement shared by CNBC.

Endpoints News, a biotech industry new site, reported that a former senior FDA leader said the duo were frustrated that the CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) were involved in making decisions they felt should be up to the FDA.

When the White House moved to start administering COVID-19 booster shots by the week of September 20, despite not having FDA approval, the duo began the process of exiting the administration, Endpoints' source said.

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/disagreement-wh-over-booster-shots-prompt-senior-fda-directors-step-down-1624750

Mike Richards is out as producer of 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel'

Source: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Richards is out as executive producer of “Jeopardy!”, days after he exited as the quiz show’s newly appointed host because of past misogynistic and other comments.

Richards is also no longer executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune,” according to a memo to staff that was confirmed by Sony, which produces both of the shows.

“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened,” Suzanne Prete, an executive with the game shows, said in the memo.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/entertainment-arts-and-entertainment-37eacabee13704a8c6637cb9866f8283

Unvaccinated Millionaire Fired from Job

Patriots release Cam Newton; Mac Jones will start Week 1

Belichick immediately put Newton forward as the team’s starting quarterback following Jones’s selection and reiterated Newton’s position as the starter as late as last week, saying that someone — Jones — would have to outplay the veteran to earn the job.

But he continually declined to name Newton the starter, fueling speculation that Jones had fully overtaken the incumbent. What’s more, Newton’s release comes on the heels of a frustrating absence due to COVID protocols which revealed the former MVP was unvaccinated.

His release, therefore, can be read a few ways. Jones outplayed him to take the job, for one thing. Also, the team now may not have to worry about its starting quarterback being unvaccinated. (Jones has not confirmed that he is vaccinated but has made comments being favorable toward vaccination. He also has never been masked at the practice facility — a sign that a player is unvaccinated.)


The COVID-19 vaccines' ability to keep people out of the hospital appears to be dropping slightly

The COVID-19 vaccines' ability to keep people out of the hospital appears to be dropping slightly, particularly for those 75 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday during an advisory panel.

The CDC has previously estimated that 97% of people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, but that data was collected before the spread of delta, a hyper-transmissible variant that many doctors have warned appears to be making people sicker.

The latest CDC analysis estimates that the ability of the COVID vaccines to keep a person out of the hospital is now between 75% to 95%.

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