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12/14/2022: Banning TikTok
PLUS: SBF Testimony; Jay Leno Shares Accident Details; and Messi’s World Cup Record
Today is Wednesday, December 14, 2022.
It is the 348th day of the year.
17 days remain.
#SpiderManAcrossTheSpiderVerse was trending Tuesday after a new trailer for the forthcoming animated film dropped. More on the movie in Casting Call.
Lionel Messi landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends yesterday for his record-breaking performance during the World Cup. More in Sports.
Dick Van Dyke was trending as Twitter users sent the actor birthday wishes for his 97th birthday on Tuesday.
Mississippi State was trending as the Twitterverse reacted to news of the passing of their head football coach. More in Deaths.
As reported yesterday, disgraced FTX founder SAM BANKMAN-FRIED was arrested on various charges of fraud and money laundering. He was supposed to testify to Congress on Tuesday, albeit remotely; of course, his arrest precluded the testimony appearance. On Tuesday, Forbes published the text and outline of the testimony SBF was going to give were he to appear. Here’s some highlights:
SBF accuses management of forcing him to rush into bankruptcy as a pretext to pay millions of dollars to law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, which is managing the company’s bankruptcy.
SBF rejects the assertion that FTX is insolvent, and that new management is lying when they say it’s not.
SBF says the reports of a hard-partying culture at FTX are untrue; that he’s never been drunk and has been on an antidepressant for the last decade.
MEANWHILE: Major FTX competitor Binance – which is another crypto exchange that provides similar services to FTX – paused customer withdrawals of funds on Tuesday, after the company saw nearly $2 billion taken out by customers in the preceding 24 hours.
But reps for the company say they are properly managed and have the funds to cover all withdrawals, and being able to do so – even when a flood of customers take money out – is just business as usual.
Geologists in Hawaii have formally declared that the active volcano Mauna Loa has stopped erupting, as has Kilauea.
Mauna Loa reactivated November 27 after nearly four decades of relative quiet, but fortunately never caused a significant threat.
Vaccine maker Moderna says they’ve produced a cancer-fighting drug that reduces relapse and death risk by 44% when combined with Merck’s Keytruda treatment.
Results of the study have not yet been peer reviewed.
If ultimately approved, it would be the first mRNA vaccine on the market after the one developed “to stop covid.”
Antonio Romero Monteiro has been certified as the owner of the world’s largest video game collection, with more than 24,000 titles under his roof.
Monteiro also holds the record for the most items each for Xbox, Playstation, Sega, and Nintendo systems, which include a mishmash of consoles, controllers, and accessories.
Monteiro says he has a dedicated air conditioning unit in his collection room and uses an inventory system to track everything. He says he has 98 games to go before owning every game made for the Nintendo DS – and about 1700 games before owning a complete collection of all games made in North America.
United Airlines is looking to significantly upgrade its fleet, after placing an order for 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, along with an option to buy 100 more. The order makes for the largest wide body commercial airline purchase ever.
The first round of 100 planes will be delivered starting in 2024 and continue through 2032.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The Dow added 103 points (0.3%) to close at 34,108 on Tuesday. The S&P added 29 points (0.73%) to close at 4,019 while the Nasdaq added 113 points (1.01%) to close at 11,256.
🛢 West Texas Intermediate closed at $75; Brent Crude clicked up to $80.
⛽ The national average price of a gallon of gas was $3.24 on Tuesday.
₿ Bitcoin surged more than $500 on Tuesday, trading over $17,700.
🛩 There were, 4,431 flights delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Tuesday and 397 such cancellations.
Top 5 Fiction & Nonfiction Books Currently on the New York Times Best Sellers List:
“A World Of Curiosities,” Louise Penny
“It Starts With Us,” Colleen Hoover
“It Ends With Us,” Colleen Hoover
“Verity,” Colleen Hoover
“The Boys From Biloxi,” John Grisham
“The Light We Carry,” Michelle Obama
“Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing,” Matthew Perry
“I’m Glad My Mom Died,” Jennette McCurdy
“The Body Keeps the Score,” Bessel van der Kolk
College football coach MIKE LEACH has died.
Mississippi State confirmed the news Monday night, just one day after he was rushed to the hospital after “suffering a personal health issue at home.” The school stated his death was due to “complications from a heart condition.” No further details were released.
He was 61.
“Rockford Files” star STUART MARGOLIN has died.
The actor passed away Monday of natural causes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He was 82.
ANGEL BADALAMENTI has died.
The composer passed away Sunday of natural causes, his nieces told The Hollywood Reporter.
He was 85.
Actress BILLIE LOURD, 30, has welcomed her second child with husband, actor AUSTEN RYDELL, also 30.
Her dad, talent agent BRYAN LOURD, revealed the news at Variety’s Dealmakers Breakfast in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. No other details about the child have been shared.
The newborn joins big brother, Kingston, 2.
WORTH NOTING: Billie is the daughter of the late CARRIE FISHER.
A USA Today poll shows two-thirds of Republicans want an option other than former President DONALD TRUMP in 2024.
Head-to-head, 56% pick America’s Governor RON DESANTIS over Trump.
WORTH NOTING: DeSantis hasn’t even declared his candidacy yet – and still may not!
IT GETS WORSE (FOR TRUMP): Trump would lose a hypothetical matchup with Biden 47-to-40%. DeSantis would win that same contest, 46-to-42%.
A bipartisan group of legislators have introduced legislation to ban the Chinese spying app TikTok in the United States.
Florida Senator MARCO RUBIO, Wisconsin Congressman MIKE GALLAGHER, and Illinois Congressman RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI authored the Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act – that’s an acronym for “ANTI-SOCIAL CCP.”
The bill would require the president to deploy the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to stop and prevent the app from operating in the US.
President JOE BIDEN got away with a whopper of a misrepresentation Tuesday when he said “inflation is coming down” in America while it runs rampant across major economies across the globe.
HERE’S THE THING: Inflation was up month-over-month yet again. In order to say it’s down, his economists excluded the costs of fuel and food.
IN OTHER WORDS: If you exclude two budget items that are the most expensive, and consume the most of a family’s budget, sure, the inflation rate is down.
WORTH NOTING: Even if the inflation rate has decreased, overall prices are still up more than 7% year over year. Saying that “inflation is down” just means the rate at which prices are increasing is slowing.
No winner for Monday night’s Powerball drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $134 million jackpot or a $72.3 million cash payout.
JAY LENO opened up to People magazine about the details of his burn accident.
He explained that he and his longtime friend DAVID KILLACKEY were working on a clogged fuel line in the undercarriage of a 1907 White Steam Car, which contains gasoline and a vaporizer that is heated by a pilot light.
At one point, an air bubble caused gas to spray on his face, which was a huge issue considering his close proximity to the pilot light. A spark reacted with the gas and Leno said his face was “instantly aflame.”
“It felt like my face was on fire. Maybe like the most intense sunburn you’ve ever had,” he explained.
Even with his face on fire, Leno told the outlet he knew to shut his eyes and hold his breath as he slid out from under the car to protect his lungs and eyes. His friend was able to quickly pull him out and used his shirt to put out the flames.
Within a day, Leno was checked into The Grossman Center, where he was treated for second-degree burns on his face, neck, chest and hands.
“Jay is definitely an outlier in terms of how well he’s healed considering the severity of his injuries,” Dr. Peter Grossman told PEOPLE.
WHAT’S MORE: Leno declined to take any pain medication, saying “The pain is a reminder that I’m an idiot!”
JIN, the oldest member of BTS, has reported for military duty.
The 30-year-old arrived at a training facility in the Gyeonggi Province, which is close to the North Korean border, on Tuesday. There he will be instructed in shooting rifles and throwing grenades, according to the Associated Press.
Fans and paparazzi were on hand to catch a glimpse as he entered.
Jin is the first from the group to join the South Korean military under the country’s strict conscription laws. The band will be on hiatus for several years as all members serve.
A lawsuit filed against TAYLOR SWIFT by songwriters SEAN HALL and NATHAN BUTLER has been dismissed.
The suit, filed in 2017, claimed that Swift stole lyrics from 3LW’s 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” for her hit song, “Shake It Off.”
Attorneys for Swift and the songwriters filed a joint stipulation this week, asking that the suit be dropped “in its entirety,” sources told Page Six.
The decision came just weeks before the trial was set to begin.
Swift commented on the matter for the first time just months ago, saying she had “never heard” of the song she was accused of plagiarizing.
For the fourth year in a row, MARIAH CAREY’s 1994 holiday hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
The hit also marks the longest span of time between a song’s first week at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and its latest week -- December 2019 to the current week.
Other Christmas tunes in the Top 10 include BRENDA LEE’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (No. 2), BOBBY HELMS’ “Jingle Bell Rock” (No. 3), BURL IVES “A Holly Jolly Christmas” (No. 4) and WHAM!’s “Last Christmas” (No. 9).
NICOLAS CAGE says he was “shocked” to discover that he is in fact NOT an alien.
The actor shared the revelation with Rampstyle, telling the publication that he was in utter disbelief when he went to the doctor’s office as a child and found out he “had normal organs and a normal skeleton.”
“I was certain I was from another planet,” he added.
Cage shared the story while discussing his childhood and the difficulties he had connecting to others.
The hotel employees who comedian MARK CURRY accused of racial profiling have been suspended.
As previously reported, Curry claims he was harassed by two employees while staying at The Mining Exchange Hotel in Colorado Springs over the weekend.
The hotel apologized to Curry, and comped his stay. They also said they would be using the incident as a teachable moment for staff.
DRAKE recently showed off a new necklace featuring 42 engagement ring diamonds.
The piece, called “Previous Engagements,” according to celebrity jeweler ALEX MOSS, is a tribute to all of the women that the rapper once considered marrying, but never did.
In total the necklace has about 351.38 carats in diamonds. No word on the cost.
“SNL” PUNKIE JOHNSON heads to her local Taco Bell every Saturday and orders the same item, a Mexican pizza with extra Mexican-pizza sauce, extra onions and replaces the beef with chicken.
“No weekend is complete without Taco Bell,” she told New York Magazine’s The Grub Street.
A trailer for the new animated film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” dropped on Tuesday.
Reactions on Twitter were mostly positive, with the only complaint being about how long fans have to wait to see it. It hits theaters next June.
The movie is a sequel to 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.”
The 2023 Tony Awards will air live from the United Palace in upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, The Broadway League announced Tuesday.
The show will take place on Sunday, June 11, 2023 on CBS and will live stream on Paramount+.
Hosting information will be announced in the coming months.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
In his latest rant, Kanye West -- who now goes by YE -- discussed his issues with historical and political figures on the audio-only site, The Neighborhood Talk.
In one clip, Ye calls out activist ROSA PARKS.
“Since 1948, all of these movements…I know woke’s going to be mad at me. But, all of these heroes, man. It’s only one, that’s Jesus Christ. You’re gonna find out something about MLK, something about JFK, something about Malcolm, Rosa Parks. We know Rosa Parks was a plant,” he said.
He continued on, talking about how the media exploits deaths.
“They use media outlets to outrage. Outrage is an economy. The trauma economy. What death are we gonna promote this week? It ain’t like 14 people ain’t getting killed every week in Chicago. But no, we’re going to publicize this on our -- I’m not gonna say whose platform it is…”
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
The Royal Family is “breathing a sigh of relief” after the release of part one of PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE”s Netflix docuseries.
Royal expert JONATHAN SACERDOTI spoke to Us Weekly about the family’s reaction explaining that there wasn’t really anything new that was shared in the first three episodes, so there was nothing “surprising” to them.
That’s not to say there won’t be bombshells dropped in the second part, which hits the streamer on Thursday.
MEANWHILE: On her podcast, MEGYN KELLY called the Netflix show an “uninspiring, interminable waste of time.” She also said Harry needs a therapist, “not a whiny, woke, annoying wife.”
ALSO: On his SiriusXM show, HOWARD STERN said Harry and Meghan come off as “whiny bitches.”
Argentina’s star soccer player LIONEL MESSI scored two goals against Croatia yesterday in the World Cup, bringing his total for the event to five.
At 35-years-old, Messi is the oldest player to score that many goals in one World Cup.
Also, the game was his 25th career World Cup match, tying Germany’s LOTHAR MATTHAUS for the most ever by a male player.
DAY OF THE YEAR
Free Shipping Day
Roast Chestnuts Day
National Bouillabaisse Day
ON THIS DATE
1799 - The Great Founding Father George Washington dies.
He suffered from acute laryngitis in his final days, where he rested at his beloved Mount Vernon.
Henry Lee famously eulogized him as "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
1900 - The first study of quantum theory is published by German physicist Max Planck.
The paper explored the existence of particle-like matter -- called "quantum" -- that fueled radiant energy.
He would receive the Nobel Prize almost 20 years later for his continued study in the matter. His findings are the basis for all studies conducted by greats like Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.
1902 - Cable begins to be laid across the Pacific Ocean, beginning in California en route to Hawaii.
The Cable Ship Silvertown had on board more than 2200 miles of cable.
On January 1st the next year, the ship would dock in Honolulu, and the first message would be sent that day.
Public messages opened the following week. By the end of the year, the cable reached all the way to Manila.
1911 - Roald Amundsen and his crew reach the South Pole – the first to do so.
The Norwegian explorer was in a race against British explorer Robert Falcon Scott.
Amundsen's base camp was 60 miles closer to the pole than Scott's. He also used sleigh dogs, while Scott chose to use motor sledges, Siberian ponies, and dogs.
While Amundsen reached the pole and returned to camp in late January the next year, Scott and his crew would not survive their journey; they died on the return trip, only 11 miles from base camp.
1962 - The Mariner 2 space probe comes within 34,000 kilometers of Venus.
It's the first to transmit information about the planet, including data about Venus' heavy, carbon dioxide atmosphere.
On the surface, it was about 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
Contact was lost early the following year.
2008 - An Iraqi journalist throws 2 shoes at President Bush while speaking at a press conference in Iraq.
It was Bush’s last trip to the foreign country as president.
Secret Service men quickly subdued the man, and rushed to the president's aide, but Dubya waved them off.
Muntadhar al Zaidi was initially celebrated for his shoe-throwing antic, but he would be given a three-year prison sentence in 2009 for the attack by an Iraqi court.
2019 – The Bel Air mansion featured in the 1960s TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” sells for $150 million, making it California’s most expensive property.
The 25,000-square-foot residence was scooped up by Lachlan Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch.
2020 - The US begins administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The total death count from the virus hits 300,000.
Reign Disick - son of Kourtney Kardashian - 8
Mason Disick - son of Kourtney Kardashian - 13
Jay Cinco - rapper - 20
DK Metcalf - football player - 25
Tori Kelly - pop singer - 30
Offset - rapper - 31
Vanessa Hudgens - actress, “High School Musical” & “Powerless” - 34
Alex Gaskarth - rock singer, All Time Low - 35
Andrew Tate - kickboxer - 36
Mike Fuentes - drummer, Pierce The Veil - 38
Jackson Rathbone - actor, “Twilight” films - 38
Michael Owen - soccer player - 43
Miranda Hart - actress, “Hyperdrive” & “Spy” - 50
James Comey - former FBI director - 62
Cliff Williams - bassist, AC/DC - 73
Born On This Date
George VI - English monarch, dad of Queen Elizabeth II - 1895 (d. 1952)
Nostradamus - astrologist & prophet - 1503 (d. 1566)
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