Trending

New to Amazon Prime:


Somewhere
Wander

New to Disney+:

RIO
The Kid Who Would Be King
Treasure Buddies

New to HBO Max:
The Dark Knight Rises

New to Hulu:


Fly Like a Girl
Songbird
Modern Persuasion
Thelma

New to Netflix:

Arlo the Alligator Boy
Crimson Peak
Into the Beat
Rush
Sychronic
The Zookeeper’s Wife
Miss Sloane

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Hit List

The CDC announced this week that the pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine would continue for at least a week. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the pause would be “more like days to weeks, rather than weeks to months.” 

The time off is meant to give scientists time to collect more data before deciding whether to resume the single-dose vaccine to combat the virus. 

The break was recommended after 6 out of 7.5 million people reported severe blood clots — that is .00008%.

WORTH ASKING: Is Dr. Fauci enjoying his time in the limelight TOO much? Does he actually want this virus to go away, thus extinguishing his glorification in the media?

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As of Thursday, over 198.3 million COVID vaccines have been administered nationwide.

Over 78.4 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, while more than 125.8 million have received at least one dose, according to the CDC.

The total number of cumulative cases in the US is just over 31 million, with more than 561,000 deaths attributed to the virus.

MEANWHILE: In San Francisco, a record 708 people died from overdosing on Fentanyl in 2020. Not only is that a 61% increase year over year, it’s nearly triple the 254 people in San Francisco who died of Covid-19 in 2020.

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Former cop Derek Chauvin told the judge Thursday that he will not take the stand in his own defense. 

Had Chauvin chosen to take the stand, he would have been grilled by the prosecution about prior use-of-force allegations against him and his service record. 

Closing statements are expected to take place on Monday. 

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. 

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More than a dozen fully-vaccinated residents from Los Angeles have been infected with COVID-19. 

Los Angles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told Deadline that the “breakthrough cases” of infection occurred in long-term care facilities — a mixture of residents and staff. 

“Yes, it is possible to test positive for the virus after being fully vaccinated,” Ferrer said, “though the number of infections likely is very small.” 

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Murders have increased in cities that have backed defunding the police. 

The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, a pro-law enforcement group based in Washington DC, found that murder numbers have soared in major cities with “tangible de-policing.” 

The US saw more than 20,000 murders last year — 4,000 more than in 2019 — and the highest number since 1995, as law enforcement officers were “pulled back” from doing their jobs, the report states.

Here are the statistics from the report:

  • In St. Louis, 87 out of every 100,000 residents were murdered in 2020
  • In Portland, murders skyrocketed by 255% from June 2020 to February 2021
  • In Chicago, arrests declined 53%, while homicides jumped 65% from last summer through the beginning of this year
  • In New York murders were up 58% from 2019 to 2020
  • Louisville saw an 87% spike in murders last year compared to the year prior
  • Minneapolis saw a 64% increase in murders and a 42% decrease in traffic stops in 2020
  • Los Angeles saw a 51% uptick in homicides and a 33% drop in arrests last year

In (a blatantly obvious) conclusion, as police officers are forced to step back, criminals get to do whatever they like…including commit murder. 

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Those who completed Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine regimen will need a booster within 12 months and possibly an annual shot thereafter, CEO Albert Bourla revealed Thursday.

“There are vaccines like polio that one dose is enough, there are vaccines like pneumococcal vaccine that one dose is enough for adults and there are vaccines like flu that you need every year,” Bourla said. “The Covid virus looks more like the influenza virus than the polio virus.”

Pfizer’s vaccine is “highly effective” up to six months after the second dose, according to findings from a late-stage trial. 

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A school in Atlanta is changing its name honor the late MLB Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. 

The original name honored Confederate Army Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan. 

After an unanimous vote, the Atlanta Board of Education agreed to rename Forrest Hill Academy to Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy. 

Aaron passed away in January at 86-years-old. He was laid to rest in Atlanta, where he played for the Braves for nine years. 

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Japanese officials said cancelling the Tokyo Summer Olympics is still on the table as the country grapples with a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Toshihiro Nikai, the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, said that should it seem “impossible to go on with the games,” the Olympics must be “definitely cancelled,” the Associated Press reported. 

The International Olympic Committee has said they remain “committed” to the upcoming Summer Olympics. 

The games are set for July 23-August 8.

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Shares surged on Thursday as the Dow lifted 305 points, the Nasdaq rose 180 points and the S&P gained 45 points.

Strong economic data was the driver elevating stocks during Thursday’s session. Retail sales for March were reported as having increased 9.8 percent while only 6.1 percent was expected. First time jobless claimants were also below estimates.

UPS added more than 2 percent after the stock was upgraded from “Outperform” to “Strong Buy” by Barclays.

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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits last week plummeted to its lowest level since the onset of the pandemic. 

The latest batch of 576,000 initial jobless claims brought the new total for the COVID pandemic to roughly 79.6 million. 

Claims fell from the prior weeks revised total of 769,000 and was much lower than economists’ prediction of 700,000. 

The number is well below the pre-pandemic record of 695,000. 

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Breakups

Jennifer Lopez, 51, and Alex Rodriguez, 45, are done. 

The pair confirmed that their engagement is over and they are “better as friends.” 

The split comes one month after news surfaced that the couple had called off their engagement, but then claimed to be working on their relationship. 

The couple got engaged in 2019, but postponed their wedding twice, citing the pandemic. 

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The Swamp

Here’s what President Joe Biden said in 1983 about FDR’s decisions to expand the Supreme Court:

“But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make. And it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress included in my view—in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

WORTH ASKING: What changed?

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Here’s what Speaker Nancy Pelosi said following former President Trump’s announcement of a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last November:

“We can ill afford to lose the hard-won gains in the pillars of security, economic development and governance made in Afghanistan.”

Here’s what Speaker Nancy Pelosi said following President Joe Biden’s announcement of a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan this week:

“The Biden Administration’s announced timeline for the safe, strategic and orderly departure of American troops from Afghanistan is an important and welcomed development.”

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Remember when former President Trump was accused of being a stooge for Vladimir Putin because he allegedly knew about a Russian program that paid bounties to terrorists who killed American soldiers?

Now the intelligence community under President Joe Biden says it’s bogus.

As the Daily Beast reports: “U.S. intelligence only had ‘low to moderate’ confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven–and possibly untrue.”

The report comes as the administration announces more sanctions against Russia, in part for interfering in the 2020 election.

WORTH NOTING: For months we were told questioning the legitimacy of the election is tantamount to treason — what changed?

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Lottery

No winner for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $240 million jackpot or a $162.6 million cash payout.

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No winner for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. Saturday’s drawing will be for a $79 million jackpot or a $54.2 million cash payout.

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Tube Talk

Here’s who’s on the late-night chat shows:

  • Jimmy Kimmel: Rerun
  • Jimmy Fallon: Russell Wilson, Ciara, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Pardi
  • Stephen Colbert: Amanda Seyfried, Ashley McBryde
  • Seth Meyers: Rerun
  • James Corden: Rerun

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Here’s what’s new on TV tonight:

  • MacGyver / CBS / 7:00 pm
  • Shark Tank / ABC / 7:00 pm
  • The Blacklist / NBC / 7:00 pm
  • Friday Night SmackDown / FOX / 7:00 pm
  • Magnum P.I. / CBS / 8:00 pm
  • 20/20 / ABC / 8:00 pm
  • Dateline NBC / NBC / 8:00 pm
  • Blue Bloods / CBS / 9:00 pm

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Showbiz News

Wyatt Pike has finally addressed his exit from “American Idol.” 

After news broke Monday that the finalist would no longer be competing, Pike shed a little light on why he left the show…sort of. 

Pike posted on Instagram that he had to leave the show for “personal reasons,” but didn’t elaborate. He also wished the remaining contestants good luck and said he was “grateful’ to be able to continue to play music. 

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Buzzy Cohen will return to “Jeopardy!” to host the 2021 Tournament of Champions. 

Set to air May 17 through May 28, the annual event will see fifteen competitors face off for a $250,000 grand prize, which will be matched and donated to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for Homelessness. 

Cohen made his “Jeopardy!” debut in 2016 and participated in the 2017 Tournament of Champions. 

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CBS has renewed its flagship drama series, “NCIS” for a nineteenth season, with leading man Mark Harmon expected to return. 

Additionally, the network has picked up Season 12 of “Blue Bloods” and Season 5 of “S.W.A.T.” 

“Bull” will return for Season 6 and “Magnum P.I.” for Season 4. 

Ending its run on CBS is “NCIS: New Orleans,” while new spinoff, “NCIS: Hawaii” is reportedly in the works. 

Also ending with its current season is “MacGyver.” 

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Ellen DeGeneres can’t seem to keep her viewers entertained. 

For the week of April 4, Ellen’s daytime talks how hit an all time low with just 800,000 viewers. That is an 11% drop from the week prior. 

She is now being beaten by shows with much lower quality hosts such as, Wendy Williams and Maury Povich.  

Also, her show “Game of Games” sunk to around 1.5 million viewers per week. 

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Bachelor Nation wants a gay season of “The Bachelor” after former star Colton Underwood came out on Wednesday. 

Fans of the show flocked to Twitter to beg for a same-sex season of the show. 

Calls for there to be more representation of the LGBTQ+ community on the franchise are not new. In 2019, embattled host Chris Harrison came under fire for not immediately welcoming the idea of having a gay lead. 

ABC has not commented on a LGBTQ+ spinoff. 

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Kane Brown made history with his first Academy of Country Music Award. 

The country artist became the first Black solo artist to win the video of the year award for “Worldwide Beautiful.” 

The news was revealed to Brown this week, just days before the 56th annual awards show. 

The ACM Awards will air live this Sunday on CBS and Paramount+. 

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The Kings of Leon will help kick off the NFL Draft later this month. 

The band will open the festivities on April 29 with a performance as the draft returns to a more normal state after being held virtually last year due to the pandemic. 

Ann Wilson of Heart will sing the national anthem before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calls out the names of the league’s newest players.

The draft will be held from April 29-May 1.  

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Mads Mikkelsen will co-star opposite Harrison Ford in the next “Indiana Jones” movie.

Plot details are vague and it is unknown who Mikkelsen will play in the film.

Filming is set to begin this summer, with an anticipated July 29, 2022 release date. 

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Another woman has stepped forward accusing Deshaun Watson of sexual assault. 

The accuser, a Houston makeup artist, filed a lawsuit against the Texans QB, claiming that he reached out to her last year to schedule a massage. When she told him that she was not a licensed massage therapist, he still wanted to book a session with her. 

During the session, the woman said Watson exposed himself to her and tried to get her to touch him, but says she remained professional. During a follow-up session, the accuser says she went along with the inappropriate things Watson suggested because she wanted to get paid. 

She now “feels ashamed, embarrassed, deeply distressed and confused by Watson manipulating the massage and her into sexual coercion,” the lawsuit states. 

She joins 21 other accusers who have filed similar suits. 

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These albums are being released today:

Andy Stott, “Never The Right Time”
Born Ruffians, “Pulp”
Eric Church, “Heart”
Greta Van Fleet, “The Battle At Garden’s Gate”
London Grammar, “Californian Stroll”
Paul McCartney, “McCartney III Imagined”
Spencer Krug, “Fading Graffiti”
The Offspring, “Let The Bad Times Roll”

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The Daily Kardashopus

Kris Jenner is imparting her words of wisdom on divorce to daughter Kim Kardashian. 

Drawing advice from her own experiences — divorcing Robert Kardashian in 1991 and Caitlyn Jenner in 2015 — Kris told WSJ magazine that the most important thing she learned is “that the kids come first.”

“If you keep that in the front of your mind and know that they are going to get you through, the love is going to get you through, you know, no matter how much you’re hurting,” she told the outlet.

Kim filed for divorce from husband Kanye West in February.

WORTH NOTING: Kim has now been divorced more times than her mom.

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We'll Never Be Royals

Queen Elizabeth has decided that male members of the Royal Family will not be in military uniforms for Prince Philip’s funeral, but will instead wear a traditional black suit.

It is believed the new dress code has been implemented after Prince Harry, who stepped down from his position as a senior working royal, was stripped of all his honorary military titles, meaning he wouldn’t have been allowed to dress in uniform. 

Meanwhile, Prince Andrew — who disgraced the family over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — still bears the title of an honorary Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy and Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, amongst others. 

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Sports

The UFC fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor is officially set for July 10. 

The third matchup between the two fighters will take place in front of a full capacity crowd of 20,000 fans, according a Twitter post from UFC President Dana White.

The bout was briefly called off over accusations that McGregor stiffed Poirier on a donation to his charity. The two had an agreement that who ever won the fight would give some money to the other’s charity of their choice. 

Poirier won their last matchup after knocking out McGregor. 

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List of the Week

Top Ten Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2020:
(Courtesy of the American Kennel Club)

  1. Retrievers (Labrador)
  2. French Bulldogs
  3. German Shepard
  4. Retrievers (Golden)
  5. Bulldogs
  6. Poodles
  7. Beagles
  8. Rottweilers
  9. Pointers (German Shorthaired)
  10. Dachshunds

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Day of the Year

National Bean Counter Day
National Eggs Benedict Day
National Healthcare Decisions Day
National Orchid Day
National Wear Your Pajamas to Work  Day
National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day
Mushroom Day
National Librarian Day
National Stress Awareness Day
Save the Elephant Day

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On This Date

1818 – The Rush-Bagot Treaty is ratified by Congress.

It set the political borders between the U.S. and what is today Canada — at the time it was called British North America. It also outlined how strongly either nation could fortify its common maritime borders. For example, the U.S. and Canada were each afforded one cannon on Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain.  

They were also allowed only certain ships to patrol common waterways.

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1943 – A Swiss chemist discovers the groovy effects of LSD.

He was researching lysergic acid compounds as a drug to aid circulation when he accidentally absorbed the drug through his fingertips. A week later he journaled about the experience, talking about a “stimulated imagination” and a continual “dreamlike state” that lasted 2 hours.

To be certain it was the drug that induced his trip, he took it again … just to be sure.

In 1968 it became illegal to possess LSD in the U.S.

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1947 – Bernard Baruch is the first to use the term “Cold War” to describe the international relations between the USA and USSR.

He said it in a speech during the unveiling of his portrait in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Baruch was a lifelong politician and later a business man.

American media quickly picked up on the term. 

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1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King pens his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.

The correspondence is a rallying cry for civil rights activists to this day.

He was only able to slip out pieces of the letter at a time, through his lawyers. They later pieced it all together.

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1972 – Apollo 16 blasts off, en route to the moon.

It was the fifth lunar landing mission. The astronauts later spent 3 days on the face of the moon and returned with more than 200 pounds of rock.

The next mission, Apollo 17, was the last mission to the moon.

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2007 – A shooting rampage occurs on the campus of Virginia Tech. 

The gunman, 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho kills 32 people and injures 23 others before turning the gun on himself. 

It is the third deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

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2019 – Russell Wilson becomes the highest-paid player in NFL history. 

The Seattle Seahawks QB signed a 4-year $140 million extension including a record $65 million signing bonus. 

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Birthdays

Anya Taylor-Joy – actress, “The Queen’s Gambit” – 25

Chance The Rapper – rapper – 28

Gina Carano – actress, “The Mandalorian” & “Deadpool” – 39

Akon – R&B singer – 48

Jon Cryer – actor, “Two and a Half Men” – 56

Martin Lawrence – actor, “Bad Boys” & “Big Momma’s House” – 56

Bill Belichick – New England Patriots coach – 69

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – former NBA all-star – 74

Born On This Date

Selena Quintanilla – singer – 1971 (d. 1995)

Charlie Chaplin – comedic silent film icon – 1889 (d. 1977)

Wilbur Wright – co-pilot of first airplane, brother to Orville – 1867 (d. 1912)

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Happy Hour

CLEMENTINE MARTINI
(Courtesy of Good Food)

INGREDIENTS:
Juice 6 clementines, plus 2 for serving
3 oz vodka
3 oz Cointreau
1 bottle of Prosecco or Champagne, well chilled
2 clementines for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Put Martini glasses into the freezer.
Mix the clementine juice, vodka and Cointreau in a jug, then chill for at least an hour.
Slice the 2 clementines to use as garnish.
To serve, put a clementine slice into each martini glass. Fill almost halfway with the mixture, then open the Prosecco/Champagne and top off the glass.

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