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1/20/2023: Hey, What Stinks in Here?
PLUS: SBF Fights Back; The Stones Join TikTok; and Kim’s Cross to Bear
Today is Friday, January 20, 2023.
It is the 20th day of the year.
345 days remain.
WHAT’S ON TAP
Former FTX leadership say the company is actually solvent and that the law firm seeking to oversee the bankruptcy case should be kicked to the curb. More in HIT LIST.
The Supreme Court comes up empty in its investigation to track down the source of the leak for last year’s Dobbs decision. More in THE SWAMP.
New Music Friday and ALEC BALDWIN gets charged for his role in the “Rust” shooting. More in SHOWBIZ.
Find out what happens when American royalty collides with the Royal Family. More in THE ROYAL KARDASHOPUS.
Disgraced cryptodork SAM BANKMAN-FRIED and FTX’s top lawyer DANIEL FRIEDBERG appear to be launching a counteroffensive in the company’s bankruptcy case, centering on its use of tax law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
WORTH REMEMBERING: Earlier this month, news broke that Friedberg had already been cooperating with federal investigators for months.
NOW: In a lengthy article, SBF has laid out the case that FTX’s new management and lawyers haven’t accounted for more than $400 million in cash sitting in FTX bank accounts. But the case is built on assumptions and uses information he has admitted not having access to. When SBF stepped down as the company’s head, he lost access to the company’s financial data.
WORTH REMEMBERING: In the early days of the collapse, SBF was unable to produce simple bank records to support his claim that the company had the funds to back up customer accounts.
ALSO WORTH REMEMBERING: There’s an estimated $8 billion in missing assets, but FTX’s apparent total lack of accounting systems make this impossible to determine for certain.
IT GETS WORSE: In a court filing Thursday, Friedberg asserts that Sullivan & Cromwell was the primary outside counsel for FTX’s US operations and two subsidiary companies. That would make it a serious conflict of interest for the firm to also represent the company in its bankruptcy. Friedberg also asserts that the company is solvent.
TODAY: A judge will decide if Sullivan & Cromwell can move forward as the company’s counsel throughout the proceedings.
MEANWHILE: JOHN RAY, the fixer brought in to manage FTX’s bankruptcy, said Thursday he’s considering reopening the trading platform to help recover more customer funds. [via WSJ]
SPEAKING OF BANKRUPTCY: Regal Cinemas is closing 39 locations as part of its parent company’s bankruptcy. [via Variety]
On the same day that NETFLIX announced a boom in subscriptions, founder REED HASTINGS announced he’s stepping down as co-CEO, but will stay on as Executive Chairman. He’ll be replaced in the co-CEO role by the company’s current chief operating officer.
The streaming giant announced more than 7.6 million new subscribers for the last quarter of the year, the same time it rolled out a cheaper, ad-supported tier.
HOWEVER: Netflix hasn’t said how many of those new subscribers are in the discounted tier.
China’s space agency appears to have lost contact with its Mars rover, Zhurong.
It first powered down in May last year to conserve energy during a cold season on the Red Planet, and was programmed to reactivate in December. It never did.
WORTH NOTING: While the space agency hasn’t publicly made an announcement, sources leaked to the South China Morning Post that something was amiss. [via The Hill]
A Boston family visiting Florida got quite the surprise on a fishing trip, when the 12-year-old son reeled an 11-foot-long, 450 pound great white shark onto the boat.
The boat’s captain said he worked with the boy for almost an hour to reel it in, not knowing what was putting up such a fight.
After measuring and weighing it, the boat crew tagged the shark, which will assist researchers in studying migration patterns. [via ABC7]
Residents of a Florida town are complaining of a permeating, toxic smell – but no one is sure where it’s coming from.
Other than the retching discomfort, the residents of Mount Dora also fear the odor could be coming from something poisonous. After more than three years of dealing with it, the city is finally doing something about it.
City leadership say they’re investing in a device to locate the source of the stink. Current guesses include a nearby landfill, water treatment plant, or even some factories. [via ClickOrlando.com]
What’s Streaming This Weekend
New to Amazon Prime:
Hercules (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%)
New to Hulu:
One Way (Score: 56%)
Dig (Score: 17%)
Happening (Score: 99%)
The Tax Collector (Score: 18%)
Soccer star ANTON WALKES has died.
He passed away in a boating accident near the Miami Marine Stadium on Wednesday, his team, Charlotte FC, announced.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the crash.
He was only 25.
DAVID CROSBY, a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby and also Stills & Nash, has died.
He passed away Thursday, according to a statement from his rep. No cause of death was shared.
One day before his passing he tweeted a comment about heaven, writing “I heard the place is overrated…cloudy.”
He was 81.
An internal investigation has failed to determine who leaked a draft of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v Wade last year.
While the Marshal of the Court oversaw interviews with about 100 Court staff, they focused on more than thirty clerks for the Justices. Even after turning over their phones, the investigators found no incriminating evidence.
WORTH NOTING: They also concluded that it is very unlikely someone breached the Court’s data network – but also that the remote work policy made it easier for staff to take sensitive information.
The 2024 presidential primary season is heating up, with NIKKI HALEY strongly hinting that she’ll throw her hat in the ring.
She tells Fox News that she’ll make a decision soon, but adds, “I’ve never lost a race…. I’m not going to lose now.” [via Fox News]
BY THE WAY: It’s Haley’s birthday today. She turns 51.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW lost 252 points (0.76%) to close at 33,044 on Thursday. The S&P lost 30 points (0.76%) to close at 3,898 while the NASDAQ lost 104 points (0.96%) to close at 10,852.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE closed at $80; BRENT CRUDE at $86.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS increased to $3.37 on Thursday.
₿ Following an afternoon spike, BITCOIN traded just over $21,000 on Thursday evening.
🛩 There were 3,475 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Thursday and 244 such cancellations.
💰Tonight’s MEGA MILLIONS drawing will be for a $20 million jackpot or a $10.6 million cash payout. Saturday night’s POWERBALL drawing will be for a $473 million jackpot or a $255.7 million cash payout.
These albums drop today:
Abracadabra, “shapes & colors”
The Bad Ends, “The Power And The Glory”
Beauty Pill, “Blue Period”
The C.I.A., “Surgery Channel”
Celestial Wizard, “Winds Of The Cosmos”
Half Life, “Like A Jungle”
Jadu Heart, “Derealised”
John Cale, “Mercy”
Kali Malone, “Does Spring Hide Its Joy”
Ladytron, “City of Angels”
Lukas Graham, “4 (The Pink Album)”
The Murder Capital, “Gigi’s Recovery”
New Found Glory, “Make The Most Of It”
Oddisee, “To What End”
Spice World, “There’s No I In Spice World”
We Are Scientists, “Lobes”
After a year of investigating the fatal shooting of “Rust” cinematographer HALYNA HUTCHINS, the New Mexico District Attorney announced Thursday that her office will file two counts of involuntary manslaughter against ALEC BALDWIN and armorer HANNAH GUTIERREZ REED.
Baldwin’s attorney called the news “a terrible miscarriage of justice” while vowing to fight the charges.
Gutierrez Reed’s lawyer said the charges are the result of a “flawed investigation.”
Hutchins was killed after a prop gun held by Baldwin, that unknowingly contained live rounds, discharged on set. Director JOEL SOUZA was also shot in the incident, though no charges have been filed in regards to his injuries. Baldwin denied ever firing the gun, laying blame on those who prepped it, saying he was under the impression it only contained dummy rounds. [via People]
CLOONEY GETS IT: Following the “Rust” shooting, actor GEORGE CLOONEY questioned how it even happened because there is a proper procedure in place for filming with a gun. “Every single time I’m handed a gun on set, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I’m pointing it to, we show it to the crew,” he explained. [via CNN]
WORTH NOTING: The first rule of gun safety is…”Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.”
CHRISSY TEIGEN and JOHN LEGEND revealed Thursday that their newest family member is a baby girl named Esti Maxine Stephens.
The newborn made her Instagram debut yesterday alongside her big brother Miles and big sister Luna.
Legend announced the birth Monday at his concert, though no details were shared at the time. [via Instagram]
Radar Online shared a photo of country singer NAOMI JUDD’s alleged suicide note on Thursday.
The yellow Post-it note read: “Do not let Wy come to my funeral. She is mentally ill.” The assumption is that she was referring to her daughter WYNONNA JUDD.
The word “not” was also underlined several times.
A source close to Wynonna, who was one half of the duo The Judds, alongside her mom, is “crushed” by her mom’s final words. [via Radar Online]
MICK JAGGER and the ROLLING STONES have joined TikTok.
Their first post was a compilation video of them dancing through the years to their song “Start Me Up.”
According to People Magazine, their account will feature “exclusive behind-the-scenes content from live shows, studio recordings and more from their 50-plus year career.”
Also, The Stones joining the app means their full music catalog is now available to be used in remixes by other creators. [via People]
Comedian PETE DAVIDSON and rapper SNOOP DOGG have been named team captains for the 2023 Pro Bowl.
Davidson will work alongside NFC coach ELI MANNING, while Snoop will join AFC head coach PEYTON MANNING.
Speaking to People Magazine about the matchup, Snoop said “The competition is going to go off, but we all know that Peyton and the AFC squad are gonna do some big things.” Meanwhile, Davidson told the outlet that he is “doing this to impress [his] Uncle Mike.”
The Pro Bowl will kick off on February 2 at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. [via People]
The search for British actor JULIAN SANDS continued Thursday.
Sands went missing over the weekend while hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains, located in Southern California.
The 65-year-old is an experienced hiker, having climbed the Andes and the Swiss Alps, a source told Deadline. [via Deadline]
For a limited time next month, Swifties can visit Bad Blood -- a “heartbreak bar” -- which is, of course, inspired by TAYLOR SWIFT’s hit song, “Bad Blood.”
For $22 a ticket, fans get 90 minutes in the joint and a specialty cocktail.
The pop-up event will take place at Electric Garden in Chicago from February 3 through the 26th aka anti-Valentine’s season. [via People]
Fans of the biblical drama “The Chosen” caused movie theater site Fathom Events to crash this week after creator Dallas Jenkins announced the final two episodes will air in theaters next month.
Jenkins told Fox News that the “stunning conclusion,” which features Jesus performing the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, “demands to be seen on the big screen.”
The show is also available on “The Chosen” app though the final two episodes won’t premiere until days after they land in theaters. [via Fox News]
“The Chosen” premiered in April 2019, becoming the largest crowdfunding media project in history. More than 16,000 people contributed over $10 million toward production on the first season, according to Angel Studios’ website. [via Angel Studios]
A sequel to the current box office hit “M3GAN” is in the works.
Several outlets reported this week that the murderous robot doll will return to the big screen in “M3GAN 2.0,” set to be released January 17, 2025.
ALLISON WILLIAMS and VIOLET MCGRAW, who star as the aunt-niece duo in the original, are set to return for the sequel, Deadline reported.
“M3GAN” has grossed $92 million globally. [via Deadline]
THE ROYAL KARDASHOPUS
KIM KARDASHIAN is the new owner of a piece of royal history and people are less than pleased.
Sotheby’s, a British auction house, announced that the reality star recently paid nearly $200,000 for PRINCESS DIANA’s amethyst cross necklace. The iconic piece was only ever worn by the late royal, and after her death was never seen again…until now, the auction house told Page Six.
The internet -- clearly still bitter about Kim wearing MARILYN MONROE’s dress to the Met Gala last year -- lit up with comments about the purchase.
One Twitter user wrote, “She’s really trying to traumatize the ghosts of iconic women, while another wrote, “thinking about kim k’s dedication to latching onto the already existing fashion legacies of dead people.” [via Page Six]
WORTH NOTING: Kim already owns several iconic pieces of pop culture, including Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier watch, the outfit Janet Jackson wore in her “If” music video and one of Michael Jackon’s jackets, which Kim gifted to her eldest daughter, North.
ABOUT THE CROSS: The Attallah Cross, set with square-cut amethysts, surrounded by circular-cut diamonds, was worn by Diana at a 1987 charity gala in London. It has a total diamond weight of 5.25 carats. The cross was designed by Garrard, the same jeweler who created Diana’s iconic sapphire engagement ring, that is now worn by PRINCESS CATHERINE. [via Page Six]
LIST OF THE WEEK
You, too, can live like royalty. Here’s some of the other finds in the auction where KIM KARDASHIAN snatched up PRINCESS DIANA’s necklace:
A set of flatware belonging to Philippe, Count of Flanders
A carved art frame from the mid-1600s
A bust of an unidentified Roman emperor
A bunch of swords
A 19th century mahogany specimen cabinet for weird things you find in your garden
DAY OF THE YEAR
Take a Walk Outdoors Day
National Coffee Break Day
Penguin Awareness Day
National Cheese Lovers Day
National Buttercrunch Day
National Disc Jockey Day
International Day of Acceptance
National Camcorder Day
ON THIS DATE
1909 – General Motors buys a stake in the Oakland Motor Car Corporation.
As GM grew, so did its control of Oakland Motor Cars. Eventually, it was transformed into the Pontiac division of GM.
OMC had only started two years earlier - in Pontiac, Michigan, hence the name.
1945 – FDR is inaugurated to his fourth term - a record number, now impossible due to term limits.
In his final days, observers were shocked to see President Roosevelt's declining health, especially following the Yalta conference.
On April 12, while sitting for a portrait, he complained of a shooting pain in the back of his head, later determined to be a fatal stroke. He was succeeded by Harry Truman.
1949 – To begin his second term as president, Harry Truman announces an initiative to flood foreign countries-in-need with money and resources.
He called it the Point Four program, because it was the fourth main topic of his inaugural address.
While he did not point to Soviet communism specifically, it was obvious that the program was designed to showcase internationally the strength and beneficence of a democratic system compared to an authoritarian one.
1973 – Music pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis establishes himself in country music stardom when he rocks the Grand Ole Opry.
His hits include "Great Balls of Fire" and "Breathless." Later, his country hits included, "What's Made Milwaukee Famous" and "Another Place, Another Time."
After his country set on stage at the Opry, he launched into a set of his 1950s hits - much to the chagrin of Opry organizers.
1981 – Just as Ronald Reagan is sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, Iranian kidnappers release 52 American hostages held in Tehran.
The captives had been held for 444 days in total.
Their ordeal began when the U.S. allowed the ousted Shah to receive medical treatment in New York City. Militant Iranian youths captured the American embassy in Tehran in retaliation.
The Ayatollah refused to cooperate and release the hostages - even though the United Nations voted unanimously in favor of letting them go!
After two weeks, women and ethnic minorities were allowed to leave, but 52 remained for the next 14 months.
Jimmy Carter met the freed men in West Germany on their way home the next day.
1996 – The Palestinian National Council elects Yasser Arafat as President, making him the first democratically-elected leader in Palestinian History.
He won with 88.1 percent of the vote. Arafat was also the founder of terrorist network the PLO.
2009 – Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America.
He is the first man of color to hold the office.
2022 - British-Belgian aviator Zara Rutherford becomes the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, at just 19-years-old.
Her journey was expected to take three months, but several weather issues, among other things, forced her travels to be extended by two months.
The circumnavigation, which started and ended in Belgium, included more than 60 stops across five continents.
Blueface - rapper - 26
Dena Kaplan - actress, “Dance Academy” - 34
Nick Foles - Colts QB - 34
Evan Peters - actor, “American Animals” & “Pose” - 36
Kevin Parker - rock singer, Tame Impala - 37
Brantley Gilbert - country singer - 38
Will Young - pop singer - 44
Nikki Haley - politician - 51
Gary Barlow - pop singer - 52
Skeet Ulrich - actor, “Riverdale” & “Scream” - 53
Kellyanne Conway - political consultant - 56
Stacey Dash - actress, “Clueless” - 56
Rainn Wilson - actor, “The Office” - 57
John Michael Montgomery - country singer - 58
David Baszucki - entrepreneur, ROBLOX - 60
James Denton - actor, “Desperate Housewives” - 60
Lorenzo Lamas - actor, “Falcon Crest” - 65
Bill Maher - comedian & political commentator - 67
Paul Stanley - guitarist, KISS - 71
Buzz Aldrin - astronaut - 93
Born On This Date
Patricia Neal - actress & wife of author Roald Dahl - 1926 (d. 2010)
Charles White Whittlesey - war hero, WWI - 1884 (d. 1921)
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