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Thursday, January 21, 2021

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Melania Trump Had Staffer Write Thank You Notes For Staff

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Former first lady Melania Trump reportedly asked an employee to write thank you notes on her behalf. According to Business Insider, the notes were to be given to the White House staff that has served her the past 4 years. Sources told reporters that Melania asked the staffer to write the notes "in her voice". The staffer wrote approximately 80 notes that Melania then signed. During her farewell speech issued on Tuesday, Mrs. Trump said the last four years had been "unforgettable."

Fans Slam Kim Kardashian

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People are slamming Kim Kardashian West for calling life "paradise" as the US struggles with a record number of coronavirus deaths. On Tuesday, the reality star captioned a bikini photo, "This is more than life...this is paradise." According to Business Insider she appeared to be quoting Jeremih's song "Paradise." Online commenters called her out for seemingly ignoring the worsening pandemic.

Why Tom Holland Thought He Was Going To Be Fired From 'Captain America: Civil War'

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Tom Holland opened up about playing Spider-Man in the MCU in an interview for Variety. Holland was "convinced" he was going to get fired after filming "Captain America: Civil War." The actor admits there was no reason for him to feel this way. "I don't know why. I can't really explain it," the actor said. Holland starred in two stand alone Spider-Man movies. He also showed up in "Avenger: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame.

Americans Want Biden To Prioritize Small Businesses

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images Americans want President Joe Biden to prioritize small business aid and provide further relief from the pandemic. Richard Prisinzano, director of policy analysis at the Penn Wharton Budget Model, said that more aid is necessary to help businesses, but it is reliant on vaccine distribution and the pandemic timeline. Other components of Biden's stimulus proposal, like the stimulus checks and moratoriums on evictions, will also help small businesses.

Biden's Inauguration: Frederick Douglass Dream

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Tasos Katopodis via Getty Former slave Frederick Douglass was one of the greatest American intellectuals to ever live, and he dreamed that his country would live up to its promise and become a true multiracial democracy. It has been a violent struggle every step of the way. But Biden's inauguration was a tribute to what America can look and feel like when we get it right. Douglass would have been proud. This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

Netflix's CEO: We Need To Catch Up With Disney+

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that Disney+'s ability to cope with the pandemic and release new content is "super impressive." According to Business Insider Hastings is hoping that Netflix can catch up with Disney's family animation content, like "Soul." Netflix said it plans to expand on its 200 million subscribers as it improves it explores new distribution avenues.

Supreme Court Hit With Bomb Threat

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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court received a bomb threat during President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony. "The Court received a bomb threat, the building and grounds were checked out, and the building is not being evacuated," a Supreme Court spokesperson said. There's increased security in Washington, DC, for Biden's inauguration following the Capitol riot on January 6. Business Insider says the court was closed to the public on Wednesday due to COVID-19, and was not evacuated

Netflix Stock Leaps Up 13%

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On Wednesday, Netflix stock surged as much as 15%. Business Insider reports that the company's fourth-quarter earnings beat forecasts. The video-streaming service added a record 37 million paid subscribers in 2020. Netflix expects to generate enough cash to end its borrowing spree and potentially fund share buybacks.

Royal Caribbean Selling Azamara Brand

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Royal Caribbean has announced they are selling its Azamara cruise line brand. According to Business Insider, the company will sell the line to Sycamore Partners for $201 million. The Azamara deal is the latest in a series of cruise industry disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Azamara sale is a cash transaction between Royal Caribbean and Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm. Sycamore will then own the cruising brand and its fleet of three ships.

Joe Biden Arrives In Washington

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President-elect Joe Biden arrived in Washington Tuesday to kick off his inaugural ceremonies. The normally celebratory time comes at a dark and solemn moment in American history. As the President-elect is preparing to take his oath of office, the US approaches 400,000 coronavirus deaths. Biden has said he was inspired to run for President after watching President Trump's dismissive handling of the deadly virus.

Awkward: How Fauci Describes Working Under The Trump Administration

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US President Donald J. Trump has repeatedly undermined Dr. Anthony Fauci's assessments and guidance about the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Business Insider reports Fauci admitted Tuesday that his experience serving in the Trump administration has been 'somewhat awkward.' It's not a happy day when you have to get up in front of national TV and contradict something that the President of the United States says. I take no pleasure in that at all. Dr.

The Silver Tsunami Of Aging America

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One thing is certain: there is going to be far greater demand for healthcare in the US in the coming years. That's because by 2030, every Baby Boomer will be age 65 or older, which means that 1 out of every 5 U.S. citizens will be of retirement age. According to Business Insider, the average life expectancy in the US was slightly less than 70 years old in 1968 but rose to almost 79 years old in 2016.

Yellen To Congress: Don't Fight The $15

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Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is now being confirmed for another top job--that of Treasury Secretary in the Biden administration. And according to Business Insider, she says raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would have little to no impact on employment. Democrats support raising the minimum wage, but it remains a partisan issue due to its potential effects on the economy. GOP lawmakers consistently argue that raising the minimum wage would cost the country millions of jobs.

Caitlyn Jenner: 'Closer' To Kylie Than 'More Secretive' Kendall

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Caitlyn Jenner made the bold move few celebrity parents do: openly discussing which child she is closest to—and why she isn't as close to another. Caitlyn spoke on Dear Media's The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast and went into detail about her relationships with her youngest two children, Kendall and Kylie Jenner. She joked that her favorite generally of her six biological and 10 step-children "depends on the day." But Kylie, 23, has a special place in her life.

Biden's Inauguration Day: Unlike Any Other

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20. Celebrities Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will perform at the ceremony. Biden and Harris will then speak to the nation via a TV special at 8:30 p.m. that will feature performances by Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, and other A-listers.

GM Up 9% After Deal With Microsoft Revealed

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General Motors gained as much as 8.9% to a record high on Tuesday. The gain comes on news that its autonomous vehicle subsidiary, Cruise, is receiving a large investment from Microsoft. Microsoft joins a number of companies in a $2 billion funding round for Cruise. Tuesday's price is a record-high for GM since it emerged from bankruptcy at the end of the Great Recession. The partnership will accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.

James Comey: Riots Are U.S. Chernobyl

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Former FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to the Guardian. In the interview he eviscerated President Donald Trump, his supporters, and the Republican Party. He described the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol as the US's "Chernobyl." Comey said the riots were the result of a breakdown in the country's checks and balances caused by Trump. Comey has been forthright about the president in recent days.

Trump To Lift Covid-Related Travel Restrictions

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President Donald Trump is expected to lift coronavirus-related travel restrictions. It is believed he will do so starting on January 26th. This is nearly a week after he leaves office, a White House official said Monday. Officials said Trump is expected to lift restrictions that cover much of Europe and Brazil. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take over the presidency on Wednesday. It's not clear if Biden would reverse Trump's expected order, reports CNN.

Coronavirus Cases Declining In Isreal

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Israel has vaccinated approximately 27% of its citizens, reports Business Insider. Isreal has vaccinated about 2.43 million of its population of 9 million people. More than 550,000 people in the country have already had COVID-19. Israel is nowhere near COVID-19 free by any means. However, both the seven-day and three-day moving averages of new cases have declined. Isreal has vaccinated more people per-capita than any country around the globe.

QANON Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Suspended From Twitter

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a Republican from Georgia known for her promotion of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory. In a statement, she was suspended by Twitter for 12 hours. Twitter confirmed to Insider that Greene had been temporarily "locked out" from the account. She was cited for violations of its civic integrity policy. On Saturday, Greene tweeted that Trump supporters should "mobilize and make your voices heard in opposition to these attacks on our liberties.

Um, Pass: Employers Don't Seem To Want To Touch Ex-Trump Staffers With Barge Pole

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The resumes of former White House staff usually go straight to the top of the pile when it comes to getting top jobs. After all, they've had the unparalleled experience of years of dealing with some of the toughest crises in government. But according to Business Insider, Trump administration staffers aren't finding such a post-POTUS cushy landing.

Murdering Music Producer Phil Spector Dies In Prison

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Music producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector died has died in prison. He was 80. CNN reports the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Spector had died of natural causes on Saturday. The medical examiner for the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office will determine an official cause of death at a later date. Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life for fatally shooting actress Lana Clarkson.

Kanye Sues Former Intern

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Yeezy LLC has sued a former intern Ryan Inwards. Business Insider reports that Inwards allegedly breached a non-disclosure agreement. The complaint claimed Inwards breached the NDA by posting confidential Yeezy photographs on Instagram. Yeezy LLC is reportedly seeking $500,000 in liquidated damages and punitive damages. Insider has reached out to Yeezy LLC and Kanye West’s representatives for comment.

Nestle Issues Massive Hot Pocket Recall

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Nestlé Prepared Foods recalled over 760,000 Hot Pocket that might contain bits of glass and plastic. Four people complained to Nestlé of "extraneous material" in their Hot Pockets. The frozen, not-ready-to-eat products were shipped nationwide in November 2020. Business Insider reports they were produced from Nov. 13 through Nov. 16. They have lot codes of 0318544624, 0319544614, 0320544614 and 0321544614. They have a a "best before" date of February 2022.

Misinformation And Disinformation: What's The Difference?

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On social media, it's frighteningly easy to unwittingly spread both misinformation and disinformation. But which is which? According to Business Insider, misinformation is just information that's incorrect, false, or wrong. For example, the idea that 5G networks cause cancer. People often post and forward articles making such claims, even though it's been proven that 5G signals cannot harm the body.

'Saved by the Bell' Star Dustin Diamond Hospitalized

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Actor and stand-up comedian Dustin Diamond has been hospitalized with cancer. Diamond is best known for playing the role of Samuel 'Screech' Powers on the popular 1990s high school comedy 'Saved by the Bell.' Besides writing a controversial tell-all about his time on the show, Diamond has also faced some legal troubles. According to CNN, he served three months in jail for stabbing a man during a 2014 altercation at a bar in Wisconsin.

Alex Azar's Snarky Resignation Letter Calls Out Trump For Making Him Look Bad

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar will resign on January 20, the same day of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Azar used his departure letter to condemn President Donald Trump over his role in inciting last week's violent attack on the US Capitol. According to Business Insider, Azar said that Trump's actions following the election 'threaten to tarnish' the administration's accomplishments.

FEMA To Build COVID Vaccine Centers Under Biden's Instruction

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President-elect Joe Biden announced during a Friday speech that he has plans for FEMA. He said he will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build facilities for COVID-19 vaccines. These facilities will then distribute the vaccine to the American public, says Business Insider. Biden said his administration will build 100 federally-funded community vaccination centers. He plans to have this in motion by the end of his first month in office.

Ted Cruz To Attend Biden's Inauguration Despite Weeks Of "Voter Fraud" Claims

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas plans to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. This comes after weeks of elevating misinformation about the election results. Cruz has faced immense backlash and increasing pressure to resign following his objection. Biden has even criticized the Texas senator and said he should be defeated in 2024. Since November, Cruz has sown doubts into the electoral process, says Business Insider.

Regular Aspirin Can Lower Risk Of Disease

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People who take aspirin at least three times per week are more likely to survive bladder cancer. Regular aspirin use also was associated with a reduced risk of death from breast cancer. However, taking aspirin had no effect on a person's risk of getting several forms of the disease. These diseases include bladder, breast, gastrointestinal or pancreatic cancers. Aspirin also did not reduce a person's risk of death from gastrointestinal or pancreatic cancer.

The NRA Files For Bankruptcy

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters The NRA says it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. The organization has been beset by financial troubles for years. The NRA is also relocating from New York to Florida where it will register as a nonprofit. The National Rifle Association has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the group said in a statement Friday. Internal financial documents showed that it increased spending over revenue and it ran a deficit for several years, including a gap of $10.8 million in 2018.

Pence Called Harris As Trump Fumes

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Vice President Mike Pence and Pres. Donald Trump are spending the last days of their administration very differently. CNN reports that Mike Pence is dropping in on the White House phone operators. Pence is addressing troops at bases across the country. Pence is paying a visit to national guardsmen in place for the inauguration. Pence is speaking by phone with his successor, Kamala Harris. Trump, in denial and silenced on social media, is refusing to speak to Biden.

Pelosi: Members May Face Prosecution If Accomplices

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Samuel Corum/Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said that Congress members could face prosecution should an investigation show that they were accomplices in the Capitol riots. "If they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that," Pelosi said during a news conference. Pelosi also pointed out one rioter captured on camera in a "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt, describing him as a "punk.

Bitcoin Dips Below $35K

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On Friday, Bitcoin slid as investors took profits from the volatile trading week. Business Insider reports the cryptocurrency fell as much as 11%, to $34,409.04, at intraday lows. The slide closes out bitcoin's second most volatile week in the last three years. The coin climbed as much as $41,440 before falling as low as $30,324. The week also saw more voices dismiss the cryptocurrency as a dangerous market bubble.

Vast Majority Of Americans Hold Trump Responsible For Capitol Siege

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Americans overwhelmingly say that Trump is responsible on some level for the Capitol siege. 76% said Trump bears a "great deal" or "a lot" of responsibility. Less than one-fifth said the president is blameless for the riot at the Capitol. Trump was impeached over the Capitol siege on Wednesday, says Business Insider. This is the second impeachment for Trump, making him the only President to be impeached twice.

Biden's COVID-19 Stimulus Plan? $1,400 To You

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President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan on Thursday. It includes $1,400 checks, according to Business Insider. Biden had pledged $2,000 direct payments to Americans. The $1,400 checks would be in addition to the $600 direct payments provided most recently. This would be welcomed funds as more and more Americans face eviction and hunger. Most developed countries worldwide have been supporting their citizens with funds since last March.

Man Who Doubted Ability To Be Arrested Following Insurgence Has Been Arrested

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Andrew Williams was one of the Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6th. Days later, he asked, "How are they going to arrest every single person?" in a live stream. His expression of doubt regarding the insurrection was fairly widespread among participants. Williams was arrested on January 13th, according to Business Insider. Williams' activities and participation were chronicled in photos and videos obtained by federal police.

Biden Plan For COVID-19 Vaccine Won't Cause Shortages

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14 (UPI) -- The incoming Biden administration's plan to release more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine won't cause supply shortages, Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of the newly created COVID-19 advisory board said Thursday. Two COVID-19 vaccines, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have been approved for use in the United States, and both require two doses for maximum effectiveness.

Joe Biden $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan

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Susan Walsh/AP Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan on Thursday. It contained a $1,400 boost to stimulus checks, robust state and local aid, as well as vaccine distribution funds. The plan underscores Biden's intent to aggressively shore up a deteriorating economy and address the devastation wrought by the pandemic. Biden's proposal includes: A $1,400 top-up for stimulus checks which will bring the total distributed amount to $2,000. $130 billion in funds to reopen schools.

Biden's Inauguration Day Unlike Any Other

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office in front of the US Capitol around 12 p.m. on January 20. Celebrities Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will perform at the ceremony, Biden's inaugural committee announced on Thursday. Later that evening, Biden and Harris will speak to the nation via a TV special featuring performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, and other A-listers.

Why Ivanka & Jared Rented A $100K Bathroom

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The Washington Post reports that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have spent $100,000 on bathroom accommodations. The bathroom was for their Secret Service detail. The power couple rented the bathroom after barring the agents from using their bathrooms. Jared & Ivanka barred the Secret Service from using their 6.5 bathrooms when they first moved into their DC mansion in 2017.