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12/9/2022: Fried Iguana
PLUS: Griner Goes Free; Pete & Eli Do Instagram; and Harry & Meg Doc Roundup
Today is Friday, December 9, 2022.
It is the 343rd day of the year.
22 days remain.
Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends on Thursday after the Biden Administration worked out a deal to trade for the release of the WNBA player while leaving behind the Marine.
Celine Dion was trending after revealing she has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder. More in Showbiz.
Twitter reacted to the release of Harry and Meghan’s docuseries, using the hashtag #HarryandMeghanNetflix. Posts were evenly split over support for the couple speaking out and those who questioned why they felt the need to do this when all they have asked for is privacy. More on the series in Royals.
Microsoft’s acquisition of video game studio Activision Blizzard has hit a major roadblock: The Federal Trade Commission intends to stop it on the grounds the buyout would create an anti-competitive market.
WORTH NOTING: The Xbox console is a Microsoft product, and regulators fear that integrating Microsoft and Activision Blizzard would lead to fewer game titles for other consoles and platforms.
Microsoft says it will challenge the FTC’s suit, citing commitments to keep popular titles available to other platforms for at least the next decade.
A small break in the search for a suspect who killed four students in Idaho last month: Authorities say they’re looking for whoever was in a white Hyundai Elantra that was parked near the off-campus home where the victims were killed.
The breakthrough is a result of tips and leads, and there’s no license plate or camera footage.
So far, officials aren’t confident what role whoever was in the vehicle may have played, if any.
The Florida city of Lake Worth was without power this week because of a disruption at a major power transformer.
An immediate investigation revealed the transformer blew after an iguana’s tail came in contact with it. The iguana didn’t make it.
All told, power was only out for about 30 minutes.
A pair of thieves have become pretty brazen in their attempts to steal fuel from gas stations in Salt Lake City: Video footage shows the crooks pulling up in small, modified tanker trucks, and pumping them full of gasoline before driving off without paying.
So far, they’ve pulled the heist at at least seven gas stations in the area, and possibly as far as Arizona.
Video footage shows two trucks pulling up – one white and one black – and taking at least 1,000 gallons at a crack.
WORTH ASKING: At what point does a clerk not shut off the pumps? If two trucks pull up side by side, say they’re going to pay cash, don’t, and run up hundreds of gallons of fuel, doesn’t someone do something?
Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano has been active in recent days – but officials say the lava flow is no longer a threat to reaching a main highway that runs across the Big Island.
One chief at the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory tells the Associated Press that the volcano has slowed its production rate, stemming the flow, but encourages ongoing caution.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The Dow added 183 points (0.55%) to close at 33,781 on Thursday. The S&P added 29 points (0.75%) to close at 3,963 while the Nasdaq added 123 points (1.13%) to close at 11,082.
🛢 West Texas Intermediate slid to $71 a barrel; Brent Crude to $76.
⛽ The national average price of a gallon of gas was $3.32 on Thursday.
₿ Bitcoin surged Thursday evening, picking up more than $350 and trading around $17,200.
🛩 There were 2,261 flights delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Thursday and 58 such cancellations.
New to Amazon Prime:
Something from Tiffany’s (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%)
The Shack (Score: 27%)
New to HBO Max:
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (Score: 91%)
New to Hulu:
My Favorite Girlfriend (No Score)
White Elephant (Score: 14%)
Offseason (Score: 87%)
New to Netflix:
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Score: 97%)
GEORGE NEWALL, co-creator of “Schoolhouse Rock!” has died.
His wife, Lisa Maxwell, told The New York Times that he passed away after suffering a heart attack on November 30 at a hospital near their New York home.
He was 88.
“Bachelor” star TIA BOOTH, 31, has welcomed her first child with fiance TAYLOR MOCK, also 31.
The baby boy, named Tatum Booth Mock, arrived on Tuesday, December 6, according to Booth’s Instagram post.
Actress TONI COLLETTE, 50, is divorcing her husband of 20 years, musician DAVE GALAFASSI, 44, after photos of him kissing another woman surfaced.
Colette revealed the news in a joint statement on her newly reactivated Instagram account this week.
The couple share two kids, daughter Sage, 14, and son Arlo, 11.
Country singer ZAC BROWN, 44, is engaged to model KELLY YAZDI, 31.
A source told PEOPLE magazine that the engagement happened “a while ago” when the couple were in Hawaii.
The news comes four years after Brown split from his wife Shelly.
MAN OF HIS PEOPLE: MAXWELL ALEJANDRO FROST will be the first Gen Z Congressman when he’s sworn in next month – but the Florida representative-elect says he’s still looking for a place to crash when he’s in DC.
Alejandro Frost tweeted Thursday that his application to rent an apartment was rejected because he has bad credit. He said he lived on credit cards while he campaigned for office, which was an 18-month full-time job that he supplemented by driving Uber when he could.
WORTH NOTING: He’ll make $174,000 a year as a Congressman.
President JOE BIDEN said Thursday morning he had the option to secure the release of BRITTNEY GRINER from Russian prison in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout, or get no one home at all.
Critics quickly pointed out that former US Marine PAUL WHELAN is coming up on the fourth anniversary of his internment in Russia on espionage charges. Also detained is Marc Fogel, an American teacher who was arrested for bringing prescription medical marijuana into Russia last year.
Following Griner’s release, Whelan told CNN, “I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.”
No winner for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $379 million jackpot or a $202.6 million cash payout.
No winner for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. Saturday night’s drawing will be for a $116 million jackpot or a $61.3 million cash payout.
These albums drop today:
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, “Me Vs. Myself”
Dead Meadow, “Force Form Free”
Idles, “Five Years of Brutalism”
Leland Whitty, “Anyhow”
Lionheart, “Welcome to the West Coast III”
Lostboycrow, “Indie Pop”
Taken By Trees, “Another Year”
CELINE DION has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff-person syndrome.
The disorder affects about one in a million people, and causes frequent muscle spasms due to heightened sensitivity to things such as touch and noise. It can cause some people to lose the ability to walk and speak.
Dion told fans that she has a team of medical professionals working on getting her back on tour, which is currently set for March 2024.
PETE DAVIDSON is back on Instagram, but with a joint page with ELI MANNING.
The former Giants QB and comedian launched their joint account on Wednesday night, with a video filmed in Davidson’s apartment. The whole thing appears to be a stunt to promote Manning’s YouTube channel.
Followers applauded the account, with several commenting how the combo was the “link” they never knew they needed.
BY THE WAY: Their account only follows one page -- the New York Giants.
ABC head honchos are taking a closer look at “GMA3” co-anchors AMY ROBACH and TJ HOLMES’ affair to see if they violated any company policies.
Sources connected to the network told TMZ that the human resources and legal department are working together to look into “all aspects of their relationship.”
Specifically, they are looking to see if the two used company resources to aid in their rendezvous.
ELLE KING was forced to cancel shows this week after taking a tumble.
The 33-year-old singer shared the unfortunate incident on Instagram, telling her followers that she slipped down the stairs while going to make a bottle for her 1-year-old son in the middle of the night.
“I knocked my ass out, resulting in a concussion,” she explained.
King assured fans she will make it up to them after the holidays.
NICK CARTER, one-fifth of the Backstreet Boys, is being sued for sexual battery after an alleged incident with a minor from 2001.
According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, the accuser, SHANNON ROTH, says she was 17 when Carter invited her to his tour bus after a concert in Tacoma, Washington. Once on the bus, Roth said she was given a “red-colored drink” that she believes was a mix of alcohol and cranberry juice.
After consuming the drink, Roth claims Carter forced himself on her. She is now seeking damages.
Carter sources told TMZ the accusation is “categorically false.”
BRITNEY SPEARS’ husband SAM ASGHARI took to Instagram this week to explain why she has been absent from social media.
“Social media can be traumatizing. Sometimes it’s good to take a break,” he wrote before reassuring all her fans that she “has her voice and is a free woman.”
The statement comes after Spears once again deactivated her Instagram, which is something she has done time and time again.
Actress JENNA ORTEGA has gained more than 10 million new Instagram followers in just 10 days following the release of her new Netflix series, “Wednesday.”
She had 9.39 million followers prior to the show’s premiere and, according to Pop Crave, now has 24.3 million followers.
Ortega plays Wednesday Addams in the “Addams Family” spin-off series. Before that she appeared in “Stuck in the Middle,” “Jane the Virgin” and “The Babysitter: Killer Queen.”
DOLLY PARTON is releasing a new children’s book about her god-dog, Billy the Kid.
“Dolly Parton’s Billy the Kid Makes it Big” follows the country-music loving pup who wants to make it big as a country star in Nashville.
The story is aimed at readers ages 4 to 7.
It will hit shelves in April.
NBC announced Thursday that comedian JERROD CARMICHAEL will host the 2023 Golden Globe Awards.
The ceremony airs live on Tuesday, January 10 from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
JACKIE CHAN says “Rush Hour 4” is in the works.
Speaking at the Red Sea Film Festival, Chan told fans that he is currently in talks with the film’s director about the next installment. While he did not name the director, filmmaker BRETT RATNER directed the three previous films in the franchise.
SPEAKING OF RATNER: He was accused by several actresses, including OLIVIA MUNN and NATASHA HENSTRIDGE of sexual harassment and misconduct, causing Warner Bros to severe all ties with him.
No word on whether CHRIS TUCKER will return for the fourth film.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
SETH ROGEN made sure to point out KIM KARDASHIAN’s absence at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women In Entertainment this week.
“Are we going to talk about how Kim Kardashian didn’t show up? Is that going to happen?” Rogen joked on stage, before appearing to remember the drama with her ex-husband Kanye West -- who now goes by YE.
“She’s honestly…she’s probably dealing with a lot right now,” Rogen followed-up, seeming to refer to all the headlines Ye’s recently made.
As for why Kim wasn’t there, a Kardashian source told Page Six that her team was given the wrong date and by the time the error was realized, it was too late for her to change her schedule.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE’s Netflix docuseries dropped yesterday.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
Here are some of the biggest takeaways:
RACISM: Meghan stated that she had never been treated like a “Black woman” until she moved to the UK, where she says it was more of an issue.
INSTAGRAM BEGINNINGS: Harry said he was scrolling through Instagram when he saw a post from one of his friends that Meghan was in. He asked himself “Who is THAT?” and quickly reached out to the friend. That friend then told Meghan that Harry was interested to which she (allegedly) claimed to have no idea who he was. After checking out his Instagram page, Meghan said she decided she was interested and the two exchanged numbers, thus kicking off their royal love story.
ARCHIE & LILIBET: The docuseries featured never before seen shots of their two kids.
DIANA, HARRY’S MOM: There was footage featuring Harry as a young boy with his mom. Sources told Page Six that PRINCE WILLIAM reportedly begged Harry not to include their late mother in the series, but he clearly chose otherwise. In his defense, her life and death are a huge part of Harry’s story and why he feels he needs to protect his family.
BIGGEST BOMBSHELL: Arguably one of the most surprising revelations from the first half of the series was Meghan’s relationship with her niece, ASHLEIGH, who is the daughter of SAMANTHA MARKLE (Meghan's estranged half-sister). Raised by her grandparents, Ashleigh said she does not have a relationship with her “biological mom” over how she treated Meghan, whom she says she is extremely close to.
LASTLY: Netflix says they reached out to the Royal Family to see if they wanted to add to or speak about the docuseries, yet the Palace says no such communication happened.
Part two of the limited series drops on December 15.
Rams player BOBBY WAGNER will not face criminal charges for tackling a fan who ran out onto the field during their Week 4 game against the 49ers
The fan, who stormed the field with a smoke bomb advocating for animal rights, claimed he suffered a concussion and other injuries after being tackled by Wagner.
A spokesperson for the Santa Clara Police Department told TMZ Sports this week that no charges have been or will be filed against Wagner.
LIST OF THE WEEK
Google released its list of most searched terms of 2022 this week.
Topping the list overall was “Wordle” -- the daily brain game in which players have six chances to guess a five-letter word of the day.
Notable deaths searched in 2022 were BETTY WHITE, QUEEN ELIZABETH II and BOB SAGET.
JOHNNY DEPP, AMBER HEARD and WILL SMITH were the top trending people of the year.
KIM KARDASHIAN and PETE DAVIDSON were the top trending celebrity breakup of the year.
Top film searches were for “Encanto,” followed by “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Top Gun: Maverick” in second and third, respectively.
“Euphoria” and “Stranger Things” topped the trending TV show searches.
DAY OF THE YEAR
Christmas Card Day
National Pastry Day
World Techno Day
International Anti-Corruption Day
Lost & Found Day
International Day of Veterinary Medicine
National Llama Day
ON THIS DATE
1835 – The Army of the Republic of Texas takes control of San Antonio, which was then a Mexican territory.
Texas, not yet a state, was fighting with Mexico for its independence.
The victory ended four days of fighting, with Santa Ana and his Mexican army suffering severe casualties. But Santa Ana would have his revenge in March of the following year at the Alamo.
1861 – Congress convenes a task force to oversee military progress in the Civil War.
It was called the War Committee, formed after the Battle of Ball's Bluff in October, to function as a check against potentially poor administrative decisions in the waging of war.
Not surprisingly, the war committee was frequently at odds with Lincoln's administration, second-guessing and micromanaging many of his decisions. They were responsible for leaking secrets to the media and fomenting distrust between Union generals.
1968 – The first Graphical User Interface of a computer debuts at Stanford University in California.
It was complete with a mouse and two-way video conferencing.
The whole computer was larger than most TV sets at the time.
1983 – "Scarface" premieres across the country.
It tells the story of Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant to Florida who makes all kinds of money selling cocaine.
The bloody flick would earn more than $45 million domestically in its initial run.
1992 – The first American Marines land in Somalia to help quell a civil war that had killed thousands from battle and another 300,000 from starvation and malnutrition.
The American force consisted of nearly 2,000 Marines.
Fighting continued until March 1994, when President Clinton ordered the troops' withdrawal.
2018 – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady breaks Peyton Manning’s record for most touchdown passes in NFL history.
The milestone was reached with 3 TD passes in a 34-33 loss against the Miami Dolphins.
The record includes TD’s thrown in regular season and postseason.
Isaiah Russell-Bailey - actor, “Family Reunion” & “Raven’s Home” - 16
Kelly Oubre Jr. - basketball player - 27
McKayla Maroney - Olympic gymnast - 27
Simon Helberg - actor, “The Big Bang Theory” - 42
Booba - rapper - 46
Tre Cool - drummer, Green Day - 50
Lori Greiner - entrepreneur, “Shark Tank” - 53
Kurt Angle - wrestler - 54
Felicity Huffman - actress, “Desperate Housewives” - 60
Donny Osmond - pop performer - 65
Judi Dench - actress, “Shakespeare in Love” & “James Bond” films - 88
Born On This Date
Redd Foxx - actor, “Sanford and Son” - 1922 (d. 1991)
Kirk Douglas - actor, “The Odyssey” & “It Runs in the Family” - 1916 (d. 2020)
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