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3/4/2022: Purdue Pharma Settles
PLUS: T-Rex Trio, Behar Takes a Tumble and Pete Davidson Heading to Space?
Today is Friday, March 4, 2022.
It is the 63rd day of the year.
302 days remain.
Pete Davidson was trending Thursday as social media reacted to Kanye West’s latest music video. In the video Ye is burying Davidson’s head.
Twitters users continued to show their support for Ukrainians with #StandWithUkraine.
#WorldWildlifeDay landed in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends Thursday. Tweets were a mix of information about global warming and photos of wild animals.
In honor of World Book Day, Twitter users shared their favorite books, series and genres.
French President Emanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly talked for 90 minutes on Thursday. A readout of the call said Putin has every intention to take all of Ukraine, while Macron continued to decry Putin’s bloody ambitions. Here’s some other developments from the day:
Lots of rumors that Putin will declare Martial Law in Russia at any moment. Trains and planes out of the country are sold out. Foreign nationals with vehicles are racing to the border. (It’s at least a six hour drive out of Moscow to the nearest border in Belarus).
Moody’s has hit Russia’ credit to junk rating.
RETURN OF THE RED PHONE: The U.S. and Russia have reportedly opened a hotline to maintain ongoing, proactive communication.
Ukrainians aren’t letting thieves take advantage of the chaos: One new trend includes capturing looters and duct taping them to light poles to then get shamed.
People looking to support everyday Ukrainians have been booking Airbnb listings with no intention of ever staying there.
Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia have resulted in an agreement to maintain humanitarian corridors that would allow safe passage of refugees and food supplies.
Despite the Biden administration’s refusal to ban oil imports from Russia so far, it appears refinery companies are doing that entirely on their own. One analyst tells Fox Business energy markets are already accounting for this shock in supply and to expect drastically higher prices soon.
The countries of Georgia and Moldova have also applied for membership into the European Union.
France has announced an end to its mask mandate and vaccine passport program, effective March 14.
Tesla has cleared a major regulatory hurdle to open its first production facility in Europe. The factory would be based in Berlin, Germany. Further regulatory review will be conducted before the first cars roll off the assembly line.
MEANWHILE: Elon Musk is actively inviting a vote of his employees to unionize.
On Twitter, Musk said, “If we don’t treat and compensate our (awesome) peoplewell, they have many other offers and will just leave! I’d like hereby to invite [United Auto Workers] to hold a union vote at their convenience. Tesla will do nothing to stop them.”
Musk also noted that Tesla factory compensation is the highest in the auto industry.
WORTH ASKING: Why does Elizabeth Warren so deeply hate a man who is building electric cars while paying his employees the best in the industry?
A new research paper suggests there were actually three species of Tyrannosaurus Rex.
There has long been a discrepancy in sizes and configurations of T-Rex fossils, which until now were chalked up to male bones being bigger, and female bones being smaller.
But the new study says there’s enough consistent difference to identify two completely different species. The authors propose calling them the Tyrannosaurus Imperator and Tyrannosaurus Regina. That’s “Emperor” and “Queen” in Latin, to accompany “Rex,” which means “King.”
Spring Break is making a roaring comeback.
Home rental app Vrbo says bookings are up 50% compared to last year.
But booked flights in the U.S. are still lagging 12% behind 2019 levels; international flights are down more than 20%.
The family behind Purdue Pharma has agreed to a $6 billion cash payout to settle lawsuits brought by state attorneys general for their part in creating and fueling the American opioid epidemic.
An earlier settlement amount of $4.3 billion was rejected.
The Sackler family was recently dramatized in the Hulu series “Dopesick.”
As part of the deal, they’ll be protected from civil lawsuits. A judge will review the settlement as soon as March 9.
Stocks finished relatively flat Thursday, with the Dow down just 100 points. The S&P finished down 23 points.
New to Amazon Prime:
Lucy and Desi (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%)
New to HBO Max:
F9: The Fast Saga (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%)
New to Hulu:
Benedetta (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%)
Fresh (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%)
Lantern’s Lane (Rotten Tomatoes Score: Not Rated)
Stronger (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%)
Mark, Mary & Some Other People (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%)
New to Netflix:
Meskina (Rotten Tomatoes Score: Not Rated)
The Invisible Thread (Rotten Tomatoes Score: Not Rated)
Beirut (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%)
FARRAH FORKE has died.
The “Wings” and “Lois & Clark” star passed away February 25 at her home in Texas. A friend told Variety that she died of cancer.
She was 54.
SHANNA MOAKLER is pregnant.
The 46-year-old made the announcement Thursday — one week after her ex-boyfriend MATTHEW RONDEAU, 29, was arrested for felony domestic violence.
Moakler told PEOPLE magazine that she is “taking everything day by day.”
She did not share whether Rondeau is the father.
Moakler is mom to son Landon, 18 and daughter Alabama, 16, whom she shares with her ex-husband TRAVIS BARKER. She also has a daughter Atiana, 22, with ex-fiance OSCAR DE LA HOYA.
The Biden Administration has been quietly renegotiating a deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.
The administration is reportedly willing to lift sanctions on Iranian military officials connected to terrorist activity and on Iranian banks that finance terrorist activity.
In return, the United States gets a promise that Iran will play nice in the international community.
The Senate voted 48-47 to end the covid state of emergency. All Democrats voted against.
WORTH ASKING: Why – especially when Biden said Tuesday night it’s time to learn to live with the virus? That doesn’t constitute the existence of an emergency. A challenge, perhaps, but not an emergency.
No winner for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $113 million jackpot or a $77 million cash payout.
No winner for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. Saturday night’s drawing will be for an $85 million jackpot or a $56.6 millions cash payout.
Bob Moses, “The Silence In Between”
The Dip, “Sticking With It”
Dolly Parton, “Run, Rose, Run”
The Flower Kings, “By Royal Decree”
Matt Anderson, “House to House”
Nashvillians, “Tumbling Down”
Peach Pit, “From 2 To 3”
Scott Hardware, “Ballad Of a Tryhard”
Shane Parish, “Liverpool”
The Weather Station, “How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars”
Zander Schloss, “Song About Songs”
JOY BEHAR took a tumble Thursday on “The View.”
The co-host was attempting to take a seat at the table when she apparently misjudged the chair and fell to the floor.
Her co-host WHOOPI GOLDBERG helped the 79-year-old back on her feet.
Joy laughed off the fall and then threatened legal action, which she claims was a joke.
A film set used in “Downton Abbey” and “Peaky Blinders” went up in flames this week.
Multiple reports stated that a fire engulfed the historic Dalton Mills building in Keighley, West Yorkshire midday on Thursday.
It is unclear what caused the fire.
The building was an old textile factory.
MELINDA GATES claims her ex-husband’s friendship with JEFFREY EPSTEIN was a factor in their divorce.
Speaking to GAYLE KING on Thursday, Melinda said she made it known to her ex, BILL GATES, that she did not approve of his meetings with Epstein, who she called “evil personified.”
Melinda said she met Epstein a total of one time and it “creeped” her out.
As previously reported, Bill and Melinda split in May 2021 after 27 years of marriage. The divorce was finalized in August.
MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY is back on American soil.
The “Dancing With the Stars” pro reunited with his wife and son at the airport this week after fleeing from his native Ukraine.
He told photogs at LAX that he is still trying to “process” all that happened.
Broadway’s Cort Theatre will be renamed after legendary actor JAMES EARL JONES.
The Shubert Organization announced this week that in celebration of Jones’ “lifetime contributions to Broadway and the entertainment community,” the 110-year-old theater will be named in his honor.
The 91-year-old actor made his Cort Theatre debut in 1958 in the play “Sunrise at Campobello.” He starred in a total of 21 Broadway shows in his career.
KEVIN COSTNER, ZOE KRAVITZ, LADY GAGA, ROSIE PEREZ, CHRIS ROCK and YUH-JUNG YOUN have been announced as the first batch of presenters at this year’s Oscars.
More presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 94th annual Academy Awards will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 27.
Rapper JACK HARLOW will star in the “White Men Can’t Jump” reboot.
He will play Billy Hoyle, who was WOODY HARRELSON’s character in the original film from 1992, according to Deadline.
WORTH NOTING: Harlow has ZERO acting experience.
The search is on for who will play MADONNA in a biopic based on her life.
The women at the top of the shortlist include JULIA GARNER, FLORENCE PUGH, EMMA LAIRD, ALEXA DEMIE, BEBE REXHA and SKY FERREIRA.
Production sources told The Hollywood Reporter that those vying for the gig will endure a “grueling” audition process that includes a “Madonna boot camp” with the pop icon herself.
Madonna described the project on Instagram, describing it as the story of her “struggle as an artist…trying to survive in a man’s world.”
PAMELA ANDERSON is ready to tell her side of the sex tape scandal in a documentary for Netflix.
According to the streamer the film will “feature the pop culture icon setting the record straight as she looks back on her professional path and personal journey.”
Anderson’s son BRANDON LEE is listed as co-producer on the doc.
CHARLIE SHEEN has teamed up with creator DOUG ELLIN for a new dramedy series.
“Ramble On” will star Sheen, KEVIN CONNOLLY and KEVIN DILLON as themselves — Hollywood veterans looking to reinvent their image alongside up and coming actors.
Sheen’s father MARTIN SHEEN is also set to appear in the series.
WORTH NOTING: Ellin, Connolly and Dillon previously worked together on HBO’s “Entourage.”
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
The final issue in KIM KARDASHIAN and KANYE WEST’s divorce is custody of their four kids.
Per Ye’s attorney, Kim will likely be “home base” for the children and their dad will be able to see them “whenever he chooses.”
Sources told TMZ that with Kim and Ye’s crazy schedules, having a set custody agreement would be “impractical.”
Rumor is…PETE DAVIDSON wants to head to space alongside JEFF BEZOS on a Blue Origin flight.
As many may remember, Davidson and KIM KARDASHIAN dined at Bezos’ Los Angeles mansion in January. Sources told Page Six that at the dinner there was a discussion about traveling to space.
It is unknown if Kim is also interested in blasting off.
WORTH ASKING: Is space far enough away from Kanye?
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
SAMANTHA MARKLE is suing her half-sister MEGHAN MARKLE for defamation.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Sam is suing Meg over claims made in the infamous OPRAH WINFREY — specifically her “rags to riches” story.
Specifically, Sam has an issue with Meg telling O that she is an “only child” and that the two have not seen each other for “at least 18, 19 years.”
Sam also claims that their dad THOMAS MARKLE funded Meg’s “elite and expensive private schools” as well as her tuition and living expenses at Northwestern University — something Meg claimed she worked to pay for herself.
As for why Meg lied about her life, Sam says it's all part of a “calculated effort” to make the Markles look bad.
IN RESPONSE: Meg’s lawyer called the suit “baseless and absurd.”
QUEEN ELIZABETH made a generous donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee in support of Ukraine.
The organization tweeted out their thanks to Her Majesty for supporting those in need amid Russia’s invasions of the country.
The donation comes on the heels of PRINCE CHARLES and CAMILLA meeting with Ukrainians in London midweek.
Other members of the Royal Family, including PRINCE WILLIAM and KATE MIDDLETON have spoken out in support of Ukraine and its people.
The NFL has done away with all COVID-19 protocols.
The league sent a memo Thursday to all 32 teams stating that due to recent trends showing the declining spread of the virus, and evolving guidance from the CDC, all restrictions have been suspended.
The league noted that should there be reason to reinstate any of the protocols, it would do so in conjunction with the NFLPA.
LIST OF THE WEEK
Want to travel to a mask-free location? As of March 1, these countries have lifted (or will soon lift) their mask mandates:
DAY OF THE YEAR
Marching Music Day
National Grammar Day
National Hug a G.I. Day
National Pound Cake Day
National Sons Day
Tartar Sauce Day
National Day of Unplugging
National Dress in Blue Day
National Speech and Debate Education Day
National Employee Appreciation Day
ON THIS DATE
1681 - King Charles II hands over a large piece of his North American land holdings along the North Atlantic Ocean to English Quaker William Penn.
The land was handed over in part to pay off the debts King Charles owed to Penn’s father, the admiral and politician Sir William Penn.
The land included the present-day states of Pennsylvania and Delaware.
1789 - The first US Congress meets.
With the initial meeting, the US federal government officially begins operation under the new (and current) frame of government established by the 1787 Constitution.
1797 - John Adams is inaugurated as the second President of the United States.
Thomas Jefferson as VP.
1809 - James Madison is the first US President to be inaugurated in American-made clothes.
1861 - Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States.
1933 – Franklin Roosevelt becomes the last President to be sworn in on March 4.
Until the 20th Amendment, the constitution mandated March 4 as the day the president would begin his term. As technology and communications systems improved, less time was required after the election to install the new head of state.
1952 – Ronald Reagan marries Nancy Davis.
The two met when Nancy sought Ron's help to keep her name off the Hollywood Blacklist during Joe McCarthy's ambitious purge of communist sympathizers. He was, at the time, President of the Screen Actors Guild.
They married a year later. Reagan successfully ran for governor of California 15 years later.
1952 – Ernest Hemingway finishes "The Old Man and the Sea."
He wrote his publisher that day, informing them not only that the story was finished but that it was his best work.
The work culminated a decade-long dry spell, in which he did not write any new notable works.
1954 – Secretary of State John Foster Dulles makes an authoritative speech against communism.
As the Soviet Union continued to prop up leftist revolutions across the globe, the U.S. became particularly concerned with South America, where revolutions were ripe.
The speech was given at the Inter-American Conference, a gathering of nations in the western hemisphere. Following the speech, the gathering passed a resolution that formally condemned communism -- but no further action was taken.
2005 – Martha Stewart leaves the slammer, after serving five months.
The homemaking maven was convicted of insider trading in 2001.
After her 5 months in prison, she was required to serve the remainder of her 10-month sentence under house arrest.
Similar convictions could've resulted in a 16-year sentence, but her celebrity status certainly helped.
While serving time, her company managed to thrive. Its stock value quadrupled.
2020 - Moscow has its warmest winter in nearly 200 years.
It was the country’s first winter to have an average temperature at or above 32 degrees Fahrenheit — 11.3 degrees above the 1981-2010 average. It shattered the record held by the winter of 1960-61 by 3.5 degrees.
When December and January experienced a rare snow drought, officials brought in artificial snow for New Year’s celebrations.
Brooklyn Beckam - son of David & Victoria - 23
Jordan Fuller - football player - 24
Jenna Boyd - actress, “The Missing” - 29
Draymond Green - basketball player - 32
Andrea Bowen - actress, “Desperate Housewives” - 32
K Michelle - R&B singer - 36
Chaz Bono - child of Sonny & Cher - 53
Sam Taylor-Johnson - director - 55
Dav Pilkey - cartoonist, “Captain Underpants” books - 56
Jason Newsted - bassist, Metallica - 59
Patricia Heaton - actress, “Everybody Loves Raymond” & “The Middle” - 64
Catherine O’Hara - actress, “Schitt’s Creek” & “Home Alone” - 68
Rick Perry - politician - 72
Born On This Date
Sad Frosty - rapper - 1997 (d. 2022)
Bobbi Kristina Brown - daughter of Whitney Houston - 1993 (d. 2015)
Theodore Hardeen - Magician, founder of the Magician's Guild - 1876 (d. 1945)