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2/28/2021: Zelenskyy the Great
PLUS: SAG winners, lotto luck, and Kim’s new plane
Today is Monday, February 28, 2022
It is the 59th day of the year.
306 days remain.
#UkraineRussiaWar trended all weekend as Twitter users around the world reacted to devastating headlines and heartbreaking images from Ukraine.
Saturday was National Tell a Fairy Tale Day.
Johnny Cash would have turned 90 on Saturday.
Sunday was National Polar Bear Day.
#PokemonDay was trending on Sunday. Fans of the video game series were also tweeting about how one of the new Pokemon characters resembles Disney’s Donald Duck. Check out the image here:
Fans were excited about the return of American Idol on Sunday night.
#SAGAwards was trending Sunday evening. Head to Showbiz to find out who won.
The Ukrainian military and armed civilians appear to be putting up a much stronger fight against the Russian invasion than any observers expected.
HERO OF OUR TIME: The Associated Press reports that when American officials offered to evacuate Ukrainian President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, he replied, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”
WORTH NOTING: Facing a trucker convoy, Canadian Prime Minister disappeared for the week because he said he had covid.
BY THE WAY: As noted last week, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a TV star before winning the presidency of Ukraine. As @franklinleonard pointed out on Twitter, Zelensky is also the voice of Paddington in Ukrainian – the kids’ animated bear movie.
IT GETS BETTER: In 2006, Zelenskyy won the Ukrainian version of Dancing with the Stars.
Here’s some key updates from the weekend:
A coalition of countries have agreed to disconnect Russia’s banks from SWIFT, which will isolate the country’s financial resources and the money held by billionaire oligarchs allied with Vladimir Putin.
Russia reportedly holds $640 billion in assets abroad, but about $400 billion of those funds are in G-7 countries, which will be able to shut off access.
The bank disconnection has caused the value of the Ruble to plummet. Just a few days ago, it was trading at 83 rubles per dollar. By Sunday it was at 171 per dollar.
Visa and Mastercard have disconnected credit cards linked to Russian banks being used abroad.
On Friday, a meeting of the UN Security Council failed to condemn Russia, because Russia holds veto power.
Russia and Ukrainian diplomats are believed to be arranging an imminent meeting in Belarus for peace talks.
Videos abound on social media of armed Ukrainian civilians holding captured Russian soldiers at gunpoint – while the Russkies call their parents at home to tell them where they are.
Ukrainians are reportedly catfishing Russian soldiers with Tinder profiles. They pose as a hot woman ready to get down with a Russian invader, but use the connection to get intelligence.
Pornhub reportedly blocked access to anyone in Russia trying to access its porn trove, instead displaying the Ukrainian flag with a message of solidarity.
Even the consistently neutral Swedish government has pledged 5,000 anti-tank missiles for the Ukrainian army.
AWESOME: Late last week, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation tweeted at Elon Musk, asking him to provide access to his Starlink satellite internet service. Within hours, Musk replied on Twitter, “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”
New guidance from the CDC issued Friday relaxes mask mandate guidance in much of the country, now taking into account hospital capacity and other risk factors.
MEANWHILE, IN NEW YORK: On Sunday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the indoor mask mandate would also end for schools in her state on Wednesday.
MEANWHILE, IN DC: Axios reports that the attending physician to Congress has announced masks are no longer required in the complex.
MEANWHILE, IN OTTAWA: Canada’s State News Apparatus reports that residents of Ottawa are traumatized from the weeks of honking by the convoy parked there. CBC describes the phenomenon as “what sounds like blaring truck horns, but no actual sounds are there.”
MEANWHILE, ON THE ROAD TO DC: One American Convoy organizer says a rally is in the works to include performances by Ted Nugent and Kid Rock, as well as a third unnamed special guest – with many guessing it’ll be former President Trump.
A New York man has won $10 million on a scratch-off game – for the second time.
NBC News reports that Juan Hernandez won the prize earlier this month, just two years after winning the same amount in 2019. He tells NBC, “I’m still trying to spend the $10 million I won in .”
He’ll take home just north of $6.5 million in a lump-sum, post-tax payout.
Business executive and entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis announced Saturday he’s gifting $15 million to Marquette University. The gift will support the renovation of Memorial Library on campus, which will bear Lemonis’ name once it’s completed, as the Lemonis Center for Student Success.
Lemonis is a graduate of Marquette University, where he completed a bachelor's degree in political science in 1995.
Lemonis hosts the business revamp show “The Profit” on CNBC and is currently the CEO of Camping World. He’s believed to be worth half-a-billion dollars.
The central public library in Silver Spring, Maryland is set to be renamed after Charles McGee, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen who died a few weeks ago at 102.
McGee retired as a Brigadier General.
Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission reports that one lucky fisherman caught a 45.5” musky that weighs 25 pounds last week.
Fisherman Daniel Salter grabbed a photo with the catch, and ultimately released it.
Be sure to read the fine print on your home insurance policy if you’re shopping for a pet.
One Phoenix couple says after adopting a pit bull, Hartford Financial Services Group canceled their policy, calling the pooch “an ineligible breed.”
MEANWHILE: A state representative in Arizona is working on legislation to ban dog discrimination when it comes to insurance policies.
Weekend Box Office
10. Scream: $1.3 million (down from 8)
9. Cyrano: $1.4 million (new)
8. Studio 666: $1.5 million (new)
7. Marry Me: $1.8 million (down from 6)
6. Sing 2: $2.1 million (up from 7)
5. Jackass Forever: $3.1 million (stayed at 5)
4. Death on the Nile: $4.5 million (stayed at 4)
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home: $5.7 million (stayed at 3)
2. Dog: $10.1 million (stayed at 2)
1. Uncharted: $23.2 million (stayed at 1)
JULIA RESTION ROITFELD, 41, is a mom of two!
The designer welcomed her second baby, a son named George Hayden, on February 19.
This is her first baby with boyfriend, singer TIM WHEELER, 45.
Roitfeld is also a mom to 9-year-old daughter Romy Nicole, whom she shares with her ex-boyfriend ROBERT KONJIC.
Country singer MORGAN WALLEN, 28, and model PAIGE LORENZE, 24, have split after a year of dating.
According to multiple sources, the pair broke up because Lorenze suspected that Wallen was cheating on her.
Meanwhile, Wallen-sources confirmed the breakup to Page Six and said that he is “focused on being a dad” to his 1-year-old son, Indigo, whom he co-parents with ex-fiancee KATIE SMITH.
Lost in the shuffle of war in Ukraine, President JOE BIDEN announced Friday he’s appointing Judge KETANJI BROWN JACKSON to the Supreme Court.
She currently sits on the DC Court of Appeals.
GET THIS: She’s related to former Speaker PAUL RYAN.
Ryan’s sister-in-law is married to the judge’s brother-in-law.
TOMORROW: President JOE BIDEN will give the State of the Union address. There’s lots of expectation he’ll piggyback off of last week’s CDC guidance that called for most of the country to move on from masking, and declare victory over covid.
MEANWHILE: A Washington Post/ABC News poll has Biden’s approval at 37% – his lowest ever in that poll. Among Democrats, his disapproval is 19%.
JUST FOR KICKS: Here’s Biden in 2019 warning about the peril in Ukraine if former President Trump got reelected.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday, former PRESIDENT TRUMP all but announced his re-election campaign.
“We did it twice, and we’ll do it again. We’re going to be doing it again a third time,” Trump said – suggesting he actually won the election in 2020.
WORTH NOTING: Trump also won the admittedly unscientific CPAC straw poll with 59%. America’s Governor RON DESANTIS came in second with 28%.
No winner for Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Tuesday night’s drawing will be for a $102 million jackpot or a $67.7 million cash payout.
No winner for Saturday night’s Powerball drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $65 million jackpot or a $43.3 million cash payout.
The 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards took place Sunday evening.
And the winners are…
Male Actor (Leading Role) — Will Smith, “King Richard”
Female Actor (Leading Role) — Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
Male Actor (Supporting Role) — Troy Kotsur, “CODA”
Female Actor (Supporting Role) — Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”
Cast — “CODA”
Action Stunt Ensemble -- “No Time to Die”
Male Actor (TV Movie/Limited Series) — Michael Keaton, “Dopesick”
Female Actor (TV Movie/Limited Series) — Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown”
Male Actor (Drama) — Lee Jung-Jae, “Squid Game”
Female Actor (Drama) — Jung Ho-yeon, “Squid Game”
Male Actor (Comedy) -- Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Female Actor (Comedy) -- Jean Smart, “Hacks”
Ensemble (Drama) — “Succession”
Ensemble (Comedy) — “Ted Lasso”
Action Stunt Ensemble -- “Squid Game”
There were no laughs during this weekend’s cold open on “Saturday Night Live.”
KATE MCKINNON and CECILY STRONG opened the show by introducing the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York, who sang a song called “Prayer for Ukraine.”
In front of the choir was a table filled with candles, spelling the name of the capital Kyiv.
“SNL” has broken from tradition in light of tragedy before. One of the most notable times was after 9/11.
And then there was the bizarre post-2016 election episode when McKinnon, as HILLARY CLINTON, played “Hallelujah” on the piano.
JOHN MULANEY hosted the show for the 5th time.
LOUIS TOMLINSON cut the music during his sold-out concert in Minneapolis last week when he noticed someone in the audience was in distress.
As security guards rushed to the fan, Louis was on the mic telling everyone to “Make a hole.” He then told everyone to “take five” as the person was taken out of the building by paramedics.
Louis eventually returned to the stage and completed the show.
WORTH NOTING: Several musicians have stopped shows if they see someone in the crowd who appears to be in distress. The new wave comes on the heels of the tragedy that unfolded during TRAVIS SCOTT’s performance at an Astroworld event.
RICK ROSS decided to save himself a buck — or $10,000 — and do some tree trimming himself.
While landscaping at his Atlanta estate, the rapper decided to cut down a group of oak trees.
While shopping around for quotes on what a job like that might cost him, he was shocked when he was told it would be about $1,000 per tree.
After scooping up the “biggest damn chainsaw” he could find at Home Depot, Ross went to work on slicing down ten trees.
AMANDA BYNES may soon be out of her conservatorship.
The actress has her parents’ full support if she tries to end the conservatorship, as they feel she has put in “tremendous work,” her rep told TMZ.
Amanda was placed under the conservatorship in 2013 following a string of bizarre episodes.
WORTH NOTING: Amanda’s pull to end her conservatorship is not because of BRITNEY SPEARS’ recent win. And according to her rep, Amanda put the wheels in motion to remove the conservatorship before the #FreeBritney movement gained momentum.
AARON RODGERS, 38, was spotted out and about in Los Angeles this weekend with SHAILENE WOODLEY, 30, despite multiple reports that the two have split.
The former (or current) couple grabbed a bite to eat at the Erewhon market, where eyewitnesses snapped photos of them.
As previously reported, the two allegedly called off their engagement so they could focus on their respective careers. But then Rodgers posted a mushy Instagram message about Woodley and now no one knows what their status is.
SHARON OSBOURNE has no plans to work with CBS again.
When asked by TMZ if she would ever consider going back to “The Talk” if the network asked her, she replied: “I would never go back to that show because CBS sucks big time d**k.”
As previously reported, Sharon got fired after defending her friend PIERS MORGAN who made negative comments about MEGHAN MARKLE on his show.
“Euphoria” is the most tweeted about show of the decade in the US.
According to Twitter, the HBO show, which is in its second season, has been the topic of over 30 million tweets.
The Most Tweeted About Episodes:
Episode 5: Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
Episode 7: The Theater and Its Double
Episode 6: A Thousand Little Trees of Blood
The Most Tweeted About Characters:
Fezco — played by Angus Cloud
Rue Bennett — played by Zendaya
Nate Jacobs — played by Jacob Elordi
JULIUS “DR. J” ERVING is producing a new TV series based on the book “Asphalt Gods” by Vincent M. Mallozzi.
The scripted project will take viewers on an in-depth look at some of the legendary players who played hoops at Rucker Park aka the uptown Mecca of basketball in NYC, Page Six reports.
WILT CHAMBERLAIN, EARL “The Pearl” MONROE, KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR and many more will have their stories told.
STEVEN SPIELBERG is working on a new original story centered on Frank Bullitt, the iconic character played by STEVE MCQUEEN in the 1968 flick “Bullitt.”
With no script yet written, sources told Deadline that the project will likely begin after Spielberg finalizes post-production on his semi-autobiographical pic “The Fablemans.”
CHRIS LICHT is being tapped to take over for JEFF ZUCKER as president of CNN.
Licht’s resume includes running “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
KIM KARDASHIAN has upgraded her air travel.
The billionaire dropped $95 million on a new private jet — a G65OER — which she had built from scratch.
The custom interior and exterior are painted a Creme color and the cabin is laced with cashmere finishes and leather seats, according to designers Tommy Clements and Waldo Fernandez — who designed TRAVIS BARKER’s home alongside KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN.
WORTH NOTING: $95 million is a base price estimate, the final cost is likely closer to $150 million or even $200 million, insiders told TMZ.
ALSO: It is the same type of plane that JEFF BEZOS travels in.
KANYE WEST and CHANEY JONES are not officially a couple, but insiders told TMZ that Ye was attracted to the model because of how much she looks like his estranged wife, KIM KARDASHIAN.
Chaney and Ye started hanging out shortly after he and JULIA FOX split.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
PRINCE ANDREW will be allowed to keep one of his military titles.
A source told The Mirror that Andrew has been “so distraught” over the fallout from the sexual abuse allegations that he should be “allowed to dress up in a naval uniform once in a while.”
While the royal has denied the allegations, he recently settled with his accuser VIRGINIA GIUFFRE. Insiders say the settlement was around $12 million.
WORTH NOTING: As for the title Andrew is allowed to keep, it all goes back to his time in the Royal Navy in the Falklands War. His mom, QUEEN ELIZABETH, bestowed upon him the vice admiral rank, which is the same as an honorary degree.
FIFA is allowing the Russian National Soccer team to play against some neighboring countries prior to the World Cup.
While many were calling for an all out ban, FIFA says they are instead, not going to allow the Russian flag to be displayed and won’t play the Russian anthem. They are also making the team go by a new name — the Football Union of Russia.
Lastly, all games will be played at a neutral site -- none of which will be in Russia.
IN RESPONSE: Poland called the news “totally unacceptable” and doubled down on their commitment not to play against the team.
AND: FIFA made it clear that more sanctions would be imposed on the team should the situation in Ukraine not improve.
WORTH NOTING: The World Cup is set to take place later this year in Qatar.
ALI MARPET is retiring from the NFL at just 28-years-old.
The Pro Bowl guard from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced his retirement from the league on Sunday afternoon.
It is unclear why he is choosing to retire now.
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Chocolate Souffle Day
National Floral Design Day
National Public Sleeping Day
National Tooth Fairy Day
Rare Disease Day USA
ON THIS DATE
1521 – Hernando Cortés and his forces execute Aztec King Cuauhtémoc.
Cuauhtémoc succeeded Moctezuma, who was also killed by the invading Spaniards.
Before killing him, the Spaniards tortured Cuauhtémoc, trying to squeeze out where to find all the Aztec gold. While there was plenty of gold to go around the Aztec kingdom, it was not used as a currency; instead, it was used to plate wood and rocks.
The tales of Aztec gold and stockpiles of coins continue to be considered a myth.
1854 - The Republican Party formally organizes in Ripon, Wisconsin.
The first of two meetings regarding naming the party occurred on this day. Women were allowed to attend this meeting.
Also at the initial gathering, a committee was formed consisting of Alvan Bovay, Amos Loper, Abram Thomas, Jehdeiah Bowen and Jacob Woodruff.
At the second meeting, which would take place a month later, the party would officially be named.
1940 - The population in the United States is: 131,669,275.
1953 – Cambridge researchers James Watson and Frances Crick discover DNA's double-helix structure.
Deoxyribonucleic Acid was first discovered in 1869, but it wasn't until 1943 that scientists understood its importance as the foundation for genetic inheritance.
It wasn't until April that they formally announced and explained the findings, as described in an article in Nature magazine.
Since then DNA research has helped in countless fields of research science and medicine.
1959 – The U.S. military launches Discoverer 1, a prototype for the Corona spy satellite program.
It was hoped the satellite would achieve polar orbit, but the mission failed.
It is believed to have crashed near the South Pole.
The KH-1 satellites would eventually adopt similar structures and technology as Discoverer 1.
1983 – “M*A*S*H” airs its finale episode; ending an 11 season run.
The two-and-a-half hour episode was the most-watched in history, bringing in 77 percent of the viewing audience and 60 percent of households -- that's more than 100 million people.
In its run, Alan Alda won a series of Emmys. He was the first to win awards for acting, directing, and writing on the same show.
It also became one of the most successful syndication franchises in the world.
1987 – Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev announces his desire for a nuclear weapons treaty with the United States. His proposal called for removing all American and Soviet medium-range nuclear weapons from Europe.
Talks between Reagan and Gorbachev had begun two years earlier, and the leaders had discussed a similar treaty, but on the grounds that Reagan abandon the Strategic Defense Initiative.
When Gorbachev came back to the table in February 1987, SDI was not included in negotiations. By the end of that year they agreed to the treaty. The Soviets dismantled 1500 missiles; the U.S. about 700.
2019 – YouTube announces it will stop all comments on videos featuring children.
The decision comes after pedophiles were leaving inappropriate comments.
2021 - Chadwick Boseman posthumously wins Best Actor at the 78th Golden Globes.
The award was for his role in the film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Boseman passed away in August 2020 of colon cancer.
Jonathan Daviss - actor, “Outer Banks” - 22
Alex Caruso - basketball player - 28
Jason Aldean - country singer - 45
Tasha Smith - actress, “For Better or Worse” - 51
Daniel Handler - novelist - 52
Ainsley Harriott - chef - 65
Gilbert Gottfried - comedian - 67
Kelly Bishop - actress, “Gilmore Girls” - 78
Mario Andretti - auto racer - 82
Born On This Date
Audrey Williams - country singer - 1923 (d. 1975)
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel - American gangster - 1906 (d. 1947)