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PLUS: Chicken With A Side of Roach; Another Hunter Biden Gallery; and Ye Loses Honorary Degree
Today is Monday, December 12, 2022.
It is the 346th day of the year.
19 days remain.
There will be no newsletter the week of December 26-30.
Saturday was National Pastry Day.
#TwitterFiles3 was trending Saturday as more behind the scenes interaction between the social media platform and government agencies were revealed. Several Twitter users commented on the scandal, stating that they now believe the election was stolen from Donald Trump “not based on vote counts, but based on an FBI/DHS conspiracy to silence him.” More in The Swamp.
#IfYouCantBeFirst was trending Saturday. Tweets using the hashtag included, “reinvent yourself,” “at least have a spectacular pout,” “keep hitting the snooze button,” and “be as mediocre as possible.”
Patti LaBelle was trending after she was rushed off stage during a concert in Milwaukee. More in Showbiz.
Sunday was National Have a Bagel Day.
Fauci landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends Sunday as users called for Dr. Fauci to be investigated and/or prosecuted for his handling of the pandemic. Several others also pointed out that his daughter used to work for Twitter.
Heisman was trending over the weekend as the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner was announced. More in Sports.
The Artemis I mission concluded Sunday when the Orion capsule successfully splashed down just west of Baja California.
The re-entry procedure largely mirrored the technology developed for missions that took astronauts into space in the 1960s and ‘70s, but for the first time used a “skip entry” during the descent. This maneuver first uses Earth’s atmosphere to slow the descent before relying on the capsule’s lift to again increase altitude before deploying parachutes. Once astronauts are on board, this sequence will decrease the g-forces, minimize the external temperature, and assist the spacecraft in splashing down in a more consistent area.
The follow-up mission, Artemis II, which is expected to follow a similar flightpath, except with astronauts on board, is scheduled for 2024, with plans to put boots on the Moon in 2025.
MEANWHILE: A Japanese moon lander carrying a lunar rover built by the United Arab Emirates blasted off from NASA’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on SpaceX rocket on Sunday.
WORTH NOTING: While that sounds like the plot for a space adventure movie, it’s the real deal.
Some wild international intrigue just days after BRITTNEY GRINER was released from Russian prison: The man accused of creating the bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988 is in American custody, after years of living in Libya.
Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi is reportedly facing charges in a Washington DC courtroom this week, after spending years in Libya. News outlets reporting the development appear equally miffed as to how this came about; all indicate there have been no details yet explaining how American officials took custody of the alleged terrorist.
Guinness has certified the oldest living dog. Gino the Chihuahua was 22 years, 76 days as of Friday.
His owner, Alex, was a sophomore in college when he first got Gino. Alex is now 40. Alex says he feeds Gino boiled chicken and carrots with rice. Other than slowing down and struggling with his hearing, vets say Gino’s healthy and well.
All appears to be well after a significant, 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook southern Mexico Sunday morning.
No casualties or significant damage have been reported.
Chicken chain Popeye’s has shuttered a Detroit-area location, after a video posted by a DoorDash showing a cockroach infestation on the counter and around food went viral.
The video’s narrator says the workers were just laughing when he brought the infestation to their attention, which included roaches on food boxes and straws.
Popeye’s reps say an independent franchisee operates the store and they’re taking corrective action.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The Dow lost 305 points (0.9%) to close at 33,476 on Friday. The S&P lost 29 points (0.73%) to close at 3,934 and the Nasdaq lost 77 points (0.70%) to close at 11,004.
🛢 West Texas Intermediate dipped to $71; Brent Crude to $76.
⛽ The national average price of a gallon of gas was $3.27 on Sunday.
₿ Bitcoin ended up flat Sunday evening after a spike earlier in the day, trading just over $17,100.
🛩 There were 3,797 flights delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Sunday and 178 such cancellations.
Weekend Box Office
10. Ticket to Paradise: $599k (stayed at 10)
9. Spoiler Alert: $700k (up from 21)
8. I Heard the Bells: $750k (down from 6)
7. The Fabelmans: $1.1 million (up from 8)
6. Black Adam: $1.3 million (up from 7)
5. Devotion: $1.9 million (stayed at 5)
4. The Menu: $2.7 million (stayed at 4)
3. Strange World: $3.6 million (stayed at 3)
2. Violent Night: $8.6 million (stayed at 2)
1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: $11.1 million (stayed at 1)
Famed soccer journalist GRANT WAHL has died.
According to several sources, he passed away Friday while in Qatar covering the World Cup. His cause of death is unknown, but his brother, Eric, posted on Instagram Friday that he “suspects foul play.”
HERE’S WHY: Wahl had reportedly received death threats for wearing a rainbow shirt to the World Cup -- a non-negotiable topic in Qatar. He then came down with a terrible cough and was diagnosed with bronchitis, which he revealed on his podcast, “Futbol with Grant Wahl.” On Thursday -- one day before his death -- he said that he was feeling better, but took the day off to rest. The US State Department is now working with Wahl’s family to bring him home.
CHER’s mom, actress GEORGIA HOLT, has died.
“Mom is gone,” Cher wrote on Twitter early Saturday morning. No other details were shared.
The news comes three months after Cher revealed her mom was hospitalized with pneumonia.
She was 96.
HELEN SLAYTON-HUGHES, known for her role on “Parks and Recreation,” has died.
According to a statement from her family, she passed away Wednesday. No cause of death was shared.
She was 92.
RONNIE TURNER, the youngest son of TINA TURNER, has died.
The actor and musician passed away last Thursday, according to a social media post from his mom. While no official cause of death has been shared, he had been battling health issues recently, which included cancer.
He was 62.
RICHARD MILLER, the man behind Princess Leia’s infamous gold bikini, has died.
He passed away on December 8, according to The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death was shared.
He was 80.
Former NBA coach, and three-time champion, PAUL SILAS, has died.
He passed away Sunday, according to a statement from his family. No cause of death was shared.
He was 79.
SEAN “Diddy” COMBS revealed Saturday that he has a new daughter.
“I am so blessed to welcome my baby girl Love Sean Combs to the world,” he wrote on Twitter.
While he didn’t share any other news about the baby, one insider told TMZ that she was born in October. No word on who the mother is.
Soccer star MALLORY PUGH, 24, married MLB player DANSBY SWANSON, 28, in Georgia on Saturday.
The couple tied the knot at the Ritz Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro in front of their family and friends.
Remember when a bunch of “national security experts” said the New York Post’s reporting about HUNTER BIDEN’s laptop was just Russian disinformation? And then Twitter used those claims to justify suspending accounts that shared a link to it?
House GOP Leader KEVIN MCCARTHY said Saturday he will subpoena all 51 of those officials to sit before an investigation when Republicans take control of the House next month.
WORTH NOTING: McCarthy’s public commitment to exposing the lies around the laptop come amid concerns he doesn’t have enough votes to be elected Speaker of the House next month even from within his own party.
MEANWHILE: Another three-part dump of Twitter files over the weekend prove the platform’s former head of “Trust and Safety” YOEL ROTH was having confidential meetings with the FBI in the runup to the November 2020 elections.
WORTH ASKING: What were these meetings about? What was he told about the laptop? Did people in the FBI lie to Roth? Or was he in on the deception and told to play along as part of a deep state apparatus desperate to stop former President DONALD TRUMP from winning reelection?
MEANWHILE, IN SOHO: Hunter Biden has opened another art gallery in New York, with some works priced at $225,000. The gallery tells the New York Post at least two totally anonymous and totally not corrupt buyers are so far interested in a purchase.
No winner for Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Tuesday night’s drawing will be for a $400 million jackpot or a $216.2 million cash payout.
No winner for Saturday night’s Powerball drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $124 million jackpot or a $66.9 million cash payout.
PATTI LABELLE was rushed off the stage at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday night after someone called in a bomb threat.
According to TMZ, as the iconic singer accepted a bouquet of flowers from someone in the crowd, two bodyguards approached her and directed her backstage.
The place was then evacuated and the show was canceled.
No word yet on who called in the threat or if there was actually a bomb on scene.
R. KELLY’s legal team is trying to figure out who was behind an unauthorized album that recently dropped, using the singer’s name and recordings.
His criminal defense attorney, JENNIFER BONJEAN, told TMZ that a bunch of Kelly’s studio equipment, computers and masters were swiped shortly after his arrest in 2019.
For those who don’t know, the album called “I Admit It,” featuring Kelly’s SoundCloud tracks, hit streaming platforms on Friday. They were swiftly removed after it was discovered to be a bootleg version.
Kelly has denied having anything to do with the release.
Comedian GABRIEL IGLESIAS recently spent $100,000 on a quinceanera for his chihuahua, Risa.
Typically held in honor of a young girl coming of age, Iglesias told “Today” that Risa is like a daughter to him.
For the celebration, Risa had three custom-ordered dresses and a specially made carriage. In attendance were 300 human guests and 12 pups.
BRITNEY SPEARS returned to Instagram on Friday with another bizarre post.
Decked out in a red jumpsuit, Spears danced around, popped champagne, flipped off the camera and then smashed her face into a heavily frosted birthday cake, which she then smeared all over herself.
She also shared her New Year’s resolutions, which include crashing a wedding and singing.
JAY LENO doesn’t want anyone feeling sorry for him after suffering severe burns to his face and hands.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Leno said, “Eight days later, I had a brand new face. And it’s better than what was there before.”
He also has been using the accident as material for his standup act, telling the crowd at his first show back, “I never thought of myself as a roast comic,” before adding, “We have two shows tonight: regular and extra crispy.”
As previously reported, Leno was working on one of his vintage vehicles when he suffered severe burns on his face, hands and chest.
While speaking with JASON BATEMAN, WILL ARNETT and SEAN HAYES on their “Smartless” podcast, actress EMILY BLUNT shared a story about some tough love she once received from former co-star TOM CRUISE.
During filming of their 2014 flick “Edge of Tomorrow,” Blunt said the massive metal suits they had to wear were so heavy that she broke down crying because she didn’t think she could continue to shoot.
In response, Cruise reportedly told her to “stop being such a p***y,” which she laughed at and found the strength to carry on.
Members of the NYPD are pissed at former Green Bay Packers player RYAN GRANT after he kicked in $500,000 cash toward the bail of a man accused of shooting an NYPD detective.
Ex-con NELSON PIZARRO was released from jail last week after Grant’s payout secured his $5 million bond.
President of the Detectives Endowment Association, PAUL DIGIACOMO is in disbelief over the act, asking, “Would Mr. Grant spring this criminal if his family member was the victim or just when it’s a hero detective protecting the public?”
The relationship between Grant, who played for the Packers from 2007 to 2012, and Pizarro is unknown.
TAYLOR SWIFT is making her directorial debut.
She has written an original script, which will be produced by Searchlight Pictures, according to Variety.
Key details are being kept under wraps until a later date.
WORTH REMEMBERING: Swift was honored with two best direction awards at the MTV VMAs for her work on “All Too Well: The Short Film” and “The Man.”
LIZZO will be the musical guest on next weekend’s episode of “SNL” after the YEAH YEAH YEAHS were forced to drop out.
In a statement, the band said guitarist NICK ZINNER has been battling pneumonia and their focus right now is on his health, so they will have to miss the show.
AUSTIN BUTLER is set to host the episode.
After years of fans begging, actor JOSH LUCAS says he would be on board for a “Sweet Home Alabama” sequel if it works with his costar REESE WITHERSPOON’s busy schedule.
“I’m not gonna say that she’s the problem, but I think part of it is Reese is so busy,” he told Entertainment Tonight.
For those unfamiliar, the 2002 flick follows Witherspoon’s character Melanie Smooter who travels back home to Alabama to demand a divorce from her high school boyfriend-turned-husband, Jake (Lucas), who refuses to give her one. The film also stars PATRICK DEMPSEY.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
Kanye West -- who officially goes by YE -- has been stripped of his honorary college degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
According to an official letter, obtained by TMZ, university bigwigs decided to rescind the degree due to his “antisemitic, and incendiary statements.”
Ye was awarded the honorary doctorate in 2015 for his accomplishments and contributions to art and culture.
ALSO: He has been named “Antisemite of the Year” by the watchdog group StopAntisemitism. The organization’s executive director told TMZ that antisemitism is “out of control in the United States” and the last thing the country needs “is a celebrity like Kanye to add fuel to that fire.”
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
Reaction to PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE’s Netflix series:
THE MARKLES: Meg’s estranged half-sister, SAMANTHA MARKLE, told TMZ that she advised their dad, THOMAS MARKLE, not to watch the show, which she called “disrespectful.” She explained that he needs to focus on his health right now, especially after suffering a stroke earlier this year.
ROYAL RESPONSE: Royal expert TOM BOWER told Page Six that KING CHARLES and the rest of the Royal Family are “shocked” by what was said in the Netflix series. As for whether the family will issue a response, Bower says that is all “up in the air.” He also noted that the claims made in the series could cause Harry and Meghan to not be invited to Charles’ coronation ceremony this Spring.
OTHER REACTIONS: Country singer MAREN MORRIS, who says she hasn’t even watched the series yet, shared her thoughts on the couple in a TikTok video, saying, “People are saying a woman should never take a man away from his family, that’s all that this is. Um, have you seen his family?”
USC Trojans QB CALEB WILLIAMS is this year’s Heisman Trophy winner.
He beat out TCU QB MAX DUGGAN, Ohio State QB CJ STROUD, and Georgia’s QB STETSON BENNETT.
Williams is USC’s 8th Heisman winner. He is also the third QB to win the award under head coach LINCOLN RILEY.
DAY OF THE YEAR
Gingerbread House Day
National Poinsettia Day
ON THIS DATE
1787 – Pennsylvania is the second state to ratify the new Constitution.
With so much religious and ethnic diversity in the state, this was no easy feat. Powerful anti-federalist voices frequently clashed with their federalist counterparts. One staunch proponent of the new constitution was James Wilson, who would later sit on the Supreme Court.
As one of the largest states, in both size and population, Pennsylvania could have stood to lose by joining a united conglomerate of states. But ultimately the federalist cause won out.
1862 – The USS Cairo is the first ship ever to be sunk by an electrically-detonated naval mine.
The ironclad vessel was actually searching for mines in the river. When it came close enough to a floating mine hidden just below the surface of the water, Confederate soldiers spying from the shore blew it up.
It took 12 minutes to sink. Miraculously, no one was injured.
The USS Cairo was raised from the bottom of the Yazoo River in 1964.
1901 – Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi sends the first radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean.
It was just one letter -- Morse code for S.
But the transmission was successful nonetheless. Marconi won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1909.
1913 – Da Vinci's masterpiece “The Mona Lisa” is recovered 2 years after being stolen from the Louvre Museum.
It was found inside the hotel room of an Italian waiter living in Florence named Vincenzo Peruggia. He had spent some time working at the Louvre, and was complicit in the heist in August 1911.
Peruggia spent just 14 months in jail for the crime.
1980 – A notebook that once belonged to Leonardo Da Vinci sells for $5.1 million at auction.
It was dated to 1508. The 72 loose pages contained notes and drawings relating to the physics of water.
The notebook sold for more than an original Gutenberg Bible, which went for $2 million 2 years earlier.
1989 – Leona Helmsley is sentenced to 4 years in prison, 750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million fine for years of evading taxes.
The wealthy woman and her real estate mogul husband were known for living in gaudy penthouses and mansions, and treating their staff terribly.
Many of their business partners complained about the Helmsleys not paying bills on time, if at all.
It finally caught up with them when Leona was sent to jail -- she served 2 of her 4-year sentence.
2000 – The US Supreme Court issues its ruling in the landmark case Bush v. Gore.
The High Court ruled that the method Florida's Supreme Court outlined for recounting ballots violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. They also ruled that there would not be enough time to develop a fair recounting process for the ballots.
Not that it mattered -- after the fact, all recounts showed Bush as the winner anyway.
2015 - 196 countries sign on to the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris, agreeing to limit the rise in global average temperature.
The 12-page document states that members will reduce their carbon output ASAP and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
It would go into effect the following April.
Indi Star - actress, “Dead to Me” & “Charmers” - 16
Sky Katz - actress, “Raven’s Home” - 18
Jaime Lorente - actor, “Money Heist” & “Elite” - 31
Dawin Polanco - pop singer - 32
Kate Todd - actress, “Life With Derek” - 35
Mayim Bialik - actress, “Blossom” & “The Big Bang Theory” - 47
Madchen Amick - actress, “Riverdale” & “Twin Peaks” - 51
Jennifer Connelly - actress, “A Beautiful Mind” & “Blood Diamond” - 52
Regina Hall - actress, “Scary Movie” & “The Best Man” - 52
Bill Nighy - actor, “Pirates of the Caribbean” - 73
Dionne Warwick - pop singer - 82
Bob Barker - game show host, “The Price Is Right” - 99
Born On This Date
Frank Sinatra - swing-era singer - 1915 (d. 1998)
Caroline Ingalls - mom of Laura Ingalls Wilder - 1839 (d. 1924)
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