Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Biden, Putin Talk During Video Call


NO BREAKTHROUGH REACHED:
President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a two-hour video call Tuesday focused on the escalating crisis driven by Russia massing tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine in a potential prelude to an invasion. No breakthroughs were reached, but Biden made clear that Russia will face painful sanctions that will do real harm to its economy if it invades. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden also told Putin the U.S. would, quote, "provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians" in response to an escalation. At the same time, the U.S. emphasized the need for diplomacy and de-escalation of the crisis. For their part, Russian foreign adviser Yuri Ushakov said the Russian troops, quote, "are on their own territory, and they don’t threaten anyone." He also dismissed possible sanctions, telling reporters, "Sanctions aren’t something new, they have been in place for a long time and will not have any effect." Putin wanted guarantees from Biden that an expansion of NATO would never include Ukraine, which is not something the U.S. or NATO would agree to pledge.


➤COVID VACCINE MANDATE FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS BLOCKED BY JUDGE: In the latest legal action stopping a Biden administration Covid-19 vaccine mandate, a federal judge yesterday blocked the enforcement nationwide of a mandate for employees of federal contractors. The order came in response to a lawsuit from several contractors and seven states, with U.S. District Judge R. Stan Baker finding the states are likely to succeed in their claim that President Biden exceeded authorization from Congress when he issued the requirement in September. A White House spokeswoman said the Justice Department would continue to legally defend the mandate. All three of the administration's mandates affecting the private sector have now been put on hold by the courts, the other two applying to businesses with 100 or more employees and health care workers.

💸CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS REACH DEAL TO RAISE DEBT CEILING WITHOUT GOP VOTES: Congressional leaders, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, reached what AP described as an "elaborate" deal yesterday that allows Democrats to raise the debt ceiling, avoiding worries about another potential federal default, without any votes from Republicans. The House passed legislation almost entirely along party lines hours later to begin the days-long process. It basically includes a provision to fast-track the debt limit process into an unrelated Medicare bill that will prevent payment cuts to doctors and other health care providers. Now passed by the House, it will go to the Senate, and if the Medicare bill becomes law, it will open the process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling through following legislation with only a majority vote.

➤JAN. 6 COMMITTEE THREATENS TO HOLD MEADOWS IN CONTEMPT AFTER ENDS COOPERATION: The leaders of the House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol threatened yesterday to hold former President Donald Trump's last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in contempt after his attorney said Meadows would stop cooperating with the panel. The attorney said the about-face was because the committee, quote, "has no intention of respecting boundaries" about questions Trump claims are subject to executive privilege, and because he'd learned the panel had subpoenaed a third-party communications provider that he said would include "intensely personal" information.
  • Meanwhile, an attorney for longtime Trump friend and confidante Roger Stone said Stone won't cooperate with the committee and will claim his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.


➤JUSSIE SMOLLETT WAS IN CONTACT WITH OSUNDAIRO BROTHER LEADING UP TO ATTACK:
  It was revealed yesterday  that Jussie Smollett kept in contact with Abimbola Osundairo -- one of the brothers who allegedly helped him stage a fake assault, in the hours leading up to the attack.

Prosecutors have suggested that the actor sent Osundairo text messages to coordinate the upcoming fake attack. Smollett testified that he was only keeping Osundairo up to date on his flight because they planned to work out together that night.

Smollett testified that he also shared information about his flight with public Instagram stories to all of his followers. He said,“There was no fake attack. … There was an update to my over 5 million followers."

When Smollett was asked about a phone call between him and Osundairo at 12:49 a.m. on January 29th, he said said they discussed rescheduling their workout session for the next morning and that Osundairo directed him to “eat four eggs” as part of his nutrition and fitness plan.

Meanwhile, a court reporter alleged that a special prosecutor by the name of Dan Webb would say the “N-word” as he read Jussie’s text messages aloud. Jussie told Webb, “can you spell or say the N word out of respect for every African American in this room? you’ve been saying that word a lot.”

Special prosecutor Dan Webb reportedly replied, “I don’t intend to do that [sir].. you can read your messages aloud.”    Jussie then proceeded to read his own message.


➤INSTAGRAM DEBUTS FEATURES THAT ENCOURAGES TEENS TO TAKE A BREAK: Instagram debuted a new feature yesterday that encourages teenagers to take breaks from using the social media platform. The "Take a Break" feature does so if teens have been on Instagram for a while, and also urges setting reminders to take more breaks going forward. "Take a Break" is one of the new efforts by Instagram owner Facebook -- now Meta Platforms -- as it deals with backlash over revelations about research suggesting Instagram use can lead to mental health and body-image problems in tweens and teens, particularly girls, and even eating disorders and suicidal thoughts. Instagram also said Tuesday that it will have a tool for parents early next year that lets them see how much time their teens spend on Instagram and set time limits. Additionally, it's developing features that will block people from tagging or mentioning teens that don’t follow them, prompt young users to other things if they've been focused on one topic for a while, and be stricter about what posts, hashtags and accounts it recommends.

😈NEW STUDY SHOWS WHY YOU SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT USING EMOJIS AT WORK:  You might want to think twice before using emojis in a work setting. Wayne State University researchers found men and women often interpret common emojis quite differently, leading to misunderstandings. They also found women tend to interpret neutral or ambiguous facial emojis much more negatively than men. Other examples of emojis the genders interpret differently include the smiling face with horns and eyebrows raised face. The data also showed that men were slightly more likely to use emojis at work than women. Researcher Lara Jones says given the differences in communication preferences between groups, you should probably tune your emojis to the gender of your recipient (assuming it’s not someone you know super well) and avoid using emojis at all when there is a big power of culture gap between sender and recipient, at least until you get a better sense of the other person’s preferences and communication style.
 

🎉HOW TO NICELY SIGNAL TO PEOPLE THAT THE PARTY’S OVER:  Getting people to leave your house after a gathering can be tricky. Thomas P. Farley writes the nationally syndicated etiquette column Mister Manners, and he says, “Hosts never want to appear as though they are pulling the plug on an event that everyone is thoroughly enjoying. Nor does a host want to make guests feel that they have overstayed their welcome; one of the prime directives for any host is seeing to the comfort and enjoyment of all guests.” Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert, says ideally guests should check the time and sense that the party's over without you having to imply it is in any way. She says if you are a guest, the rule of thumb is that you don’t want to be the first to leave and you certainly don’t want to be the last. Gottsman adds if you’re hosting, you can be politely transparent with your guests and say something like, “It’s been really nice to have all of you here together tonight. I am getting a bit sleepy from the exciting evening and I am going to have to call it a night very soon. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and I look forward to seeing you again soon.” Another thing you could do: send out an invitation of some kind that includes the start and end time of the party.

🎄CLAIMS OF CHRISTMAS TREE SHORTAGE ARE FALSE, EXPERTS SAY: You may have heard there’s going to be a Christmas tree shortage this year, but experts say that’s simply not true. Doug Hundley is a spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) and says, “The shortage talk has been going on for the fifth year now. And those of us at the NCTA have tried to put water on that fire, but it just doesn’t work.” Hundley adds that people keep the story up because between 1995 and 2015 there was an oversupply of trees, adding, “People were very accustomed to seeing hundreds of trees on tree lots all the way through Christmas Eve and even the week of Christmas. That’s not a good sign for us of course. It wasn’t that demand was down, we had just planted a lot of trees.” At the time, it meant the farmers couldn’t raise prices, and it made profit margins slim, so by the time the Great Recession hit, many cash-strapped farmers decided to plant fewer seedlings. The take home message: there is no Christmas tree shortage—there is just enough supply to match demand, whereas up until 2015, there were far more Christmas trees available then supply demanded.


➤CHINA SAYS U.S. DIPLOMATIC BOYCOTT VIOLATES OLYMPIC SPIRIT, PROMISES RESPONSE: China again criticized the U.S. yesterday for its planned diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over accused human rights violations, charging the U.S. is violating the Olympic spirit. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters the boycott is based on, quote, "lies and rumors," and "runs counter to the Olympic motto 'more united.'" China had also criticized the boycott after the White House announced it a day earlier, and Zhao repeated a promise to respond , saying, "The U.S. will pay a price for its practices. You may stay tuned for follow-ups."
 

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday that his country would join in the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games.

🏒BLACKHAWKS' KHAIRA RESPONSIVE AFTER SCARY HIT BY RANGERS' TROUBA: Chicago Blackhawks interim coach Derek King said after the team's 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers last night that forward Jujhar Khaira was "very responsive" and up and talking after a scary hit by the Rangers' Jacob Trouba that sent him to the hospital. The Blackhawks said Khaira, who was taken off the ice in a stretcher, suffered an "upper-body blow." In the second-period hit, Trouba appeared to drive his shoulder into Khaira's chin and he went down with his head bouncing hard on the ice and no sign of movement before medical personnel rushed in an he was stretchered off.
 

🏀BLAZERS MCCOLLUM HAS COLLAPSED LUNG, OUT INDEFINITELY: The Portland Trail Blazers' said yesterday that guard CJ McCollum had a collapsed right lung and would be out indefinitely. McCollum was hurt in the Blazers' game against the Boston Celtics Saturday. He'd been listed as having a rib contusion, but the team said a CT scan revealed the collapsed lung.

🏀UCONN'S BUECKERS, LAST SEASON'S WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR, OUT UP TO TWO MONTHS WITH FRACTURE: UConn star Paige Bueckers, who was last season's women's college basketball player of the year, suffered a tibial fracture just below her knee and will be out an estimated six to eight weeks, the school said yesterday. Bueckers was injured in the final minute of Sunday's win over Notre Dame when she stumbled and came down awkwardly and had to be carried off the court.

🏈TOM BRADY NAMED 'SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S 2021 SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR: Sports Illustrated named Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady its 2021 "Sportsperson of the Year" on Tuesday. It's the second time Brady has won the award, after previously doing so in 2005 after winning his first three Super Bowls in four years. This time it comes after a 2021 in which he won his seventh Super Bowl in February, this time with Tampa Bay in his first season with them after two decades with the New England Patriots. Continuing in 2021, Brady is leading the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns this season, and is among the favorites to be named the MVP.




Report: Biden Demands MSM Fall Into Line


Three senior White House officials have embarked on a campaign to persuade newsroom executives to be more favorable in their coverage of President Joe Biden, according to The Daily Mail Tuesday night.

The trio - National Economic Council Deputy Directors David Kamin and Bharat Ramamurti, along with Ports Envoy John Porcari - have been 'briefing major newsrooms over the past week,' according to CNN's media correspondent, Oliver Darcy.

Darcy, in his newsletter, said that their outreach was sparked by concern that Biden was not being treated fairly.

Darcy wrote: 'The officials have been discussing with newsrooms trends pertaining to job creation, economic growth, supply chains, and more.

'The basic argument that has been made: That the country's economy is in much better shape than it was last year.

'I'm told the conversations have been productive, with anchors and reporters and producers getting to talk with the officials.'

Their lobbying came as, on December 3, a Washington Post columnist called Dana Bash wrote an op ed entitled: 'The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump. Here's proof.'

Milbank said that he had grown suspicious about the torrent of negative headlines about Biden, and commissioned a study.

He asked Forge.ai, a data analytics unit of the information company FiscalNote, to look at 65 news websites ranging from newspapers to wire services and political publications, and do a 'sentiment analysis' of the 200,000 articles by searching for adjectives.

Milbank said Forge.ai's data showed the media was treating Biden worse than it had Donald Trump.

'My colleagues in the media are serving as accessories to the murder of democracy,' he wrote. 

On Monday, Milbank appeared on CNN to defend his theory.



'August was the turning point,' he told host Brianna Keilar. 

'Biden's coverage was more favorable than Trump's before then. There was that honeymoon. 

Even as things have generally improved since then, the coverage has not improved.' 

Milbank added: 'It's not bias. It's the actual words we're using. 

'So we are as negative as a collective media on Joe Biden, if not more so than we were to Donald Trump at a time when he was trying to overthrow democracy. 

Milbank said journalists working in the U.S. needed 'to do soul searching and see what we are delivering to people'.

Major Outage Hits Amazon Web Services


An hourslong outage on Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud-computing unit Tuesday left Roomba vacuum cleaners dormant, streaming services blank and delayed buyers from snapping up Adele presale concert tickets.

The Wall Street Journal reports users began reporting issues with Amazon Web Services around 10:45 a.m. EST, according to Downdetector, which tracks website outages. About a half-hour later, the site showed nearly 11,300 reports of outages. The outages appeared to be concentrated in New York, Washington and Chicago, according to Downdetector.

AWS is the largest cloud-computing provider in the U.S. The service allows customers, including many large businesses, to rent computing, storage and network capabilities. Companies and consumers have increasingly come to depend on cloud-computing services as the pandemic has forced them to work from home.

Downdetector showed outages Tuesday for many Amazon services, including streaming service Prime Music, videoconferencing tool Chime and home-security system Ring. Many third-party applications that sit on top of Amazon’s cloud were also receiving outage reports on Downdetector, such as Ticketmaster and streaming services from Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. Some media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, experienced delayed publishing.

AWS said it began investigating increased error rates and console issues in the US-East-1 region—which is hosted in Northern Virginia and covers cities including Boston, Houston and Chicago—at around 11:20 a.m. EST Tuesday. It said it had identified the root cause of the issue, which was affecting its global console landing page. “We are actively working towards recovery,” Amazon said in an update on its status dashboard.

By 5 p.m., outage reports on Downdetector had dipped below 3,500.




Outages in cloud services aren’t uncommon, but they have become more noticeable as more companies have migrated to these major cloud platforms over the past few years, said Sid Nag, vice president at research firm Gartner Inc. He estimates a major outage happens around once a quarter every year.

The top five players, with Amazon by far in the lead, own around 90% of the cloud infrastructure market, he said.

To technologist and public data access activist Carl Malamud, the AWS outage highlights how much Big Tech has warped the internet, which was originally designed as a distributed and decentralized network intended to survive mass disasters such as nuclear attack, reports The Associated Press.

“When we put everything in one place, be it Amazon’s cloud or Facebook’s monolith, we’re violating that fundamental principle,” said Malamud, who developed the internet’s first radio station and later put a vital U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission database online. “We saw that when Facebook became the instrument of a massive disinformation campaign, we just saw that today with the Amazon failure.”

Widespread and often lengthy outages resulting from single-point failures appear increasingly common. In June, the behind-the-scenes content distributor Fastly suffered a failure that briefly took down dozens of major internet sites including CNN, The New York Times and Britain’s government home page.

Homes Were Not So Smart During AWS Troubles


The outage at Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud-computing arm left thousands of people in the U.S. without working fridges, roombas and doorbells, highlighting just how reliant people have become on the company as the Internet of Things proliferates across homes, reports Bloomberg.

The disruption, which began at about 10 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday, upended package deliveries, took down major streaming services, and prevented people from getting into Walt Disney Co.’s parks.

Affected Amazon services included the voice assistant Alexa and Ring smart-doorbell unit. Irate device users tweeted their frustrations to Ring’s official account, with many complaining that they spent time rebooting or reinstalling their apps and devices before finding out on Twitter that there was a general Amazon Web Services outage. Multiple Ring users even said they weren’t able to get into their homes without access to the phone app, which was down.

Others said they weren’t able to turn on their Christmas lights.

Smart lightbulbs stopped responding to voice commands, many people reported.

Basic household chores also become impossible for some.

The outage prompted people to reflect on the pitfalls of having a “smart” home that’s overly dependent on not only the internet, but one company in particular -- while those with “dumb” homes gloated that their fridges and light switches were working just fine.

Several of the affected AWS operations were on the East Coast. AWS said about nine hours later that it had resolved the network device issues that led to the outage.

December 8 Radio History


➦In 1927…The term "Grand Ole Opry" was used for the first time to refer to the Saturday Night aired on WSM, Nashville. The show was originally named WSM Barn Dance, and George D. Hay billed himself as "The Solemn Old Judge."

The Barn Dance was broadcast after NBC's Music Appreciation Hour, a program featuring classical music and grand opera. On this day in, the final music piece on the Music Appreciation Hour depicted the sound of a rushing locomotive. After the show ended, "Judge Hay" opened the WSM Barn Dance with this announcement:

“ Friends, the program which just came to a close was devoted to the classics. Doctor Damrosch [host of the program] told us that there is no place in the classics for realism. However, from here on out for the next three hours, we will present nothing but realism. It will be down to earth for the 'earthy'. ”

Hay then introduced the man he dubbed "The Harmonica Wizard," DeFord Bailey, who played his classic train song, "The Pan American Blues," named for the crack Louisville and Nashville Railroad passenger train The Pan-American. After Bailey's performance, Hay commented, "For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the Grand Ole Opry."

➦In 1940...the first NFL championship game heard nationally aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Red Barber called the game  and the Bears beat the Redskins, 73-0, in the most one-sided NFL final ever.

➦In 1941…A Presidential Address was delivered at 12:30 p.m. to a Joint Session of Congress by U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. Roosevelt described the previous day as "a date which will live in infamy."


Within an hour of the speech, Congress passed a formal declaration of war against Japan and officially brought the U.S. into World War II. Britain and Canada also declared war on Japan, although both countries already had been fighting World War II in Europe against Germany.

➦In 1962…DJ-promoter Alan Freed appeared at his payola trial in NYC and admitted to receiving money from record labels to play their songs on the air.

He was found guilty, fined $300, and given six months probation, but the irreparable damage to his reputation and career had been done.

Dick Clark, host of ABC-TV's "American Bandstand," was also questioned but was cleared of all charges.

➦In 1962...During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike,WABC 95.5 FM  programmed news for 17 hours daily. This was  about two-and-a-half years before 1010 WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965.

The all-news effort on WABC-FM was followed by stints with Broadway show tunes and general freeform programming, including broadcasts of New York Mets baseball games.

➦In 1980...John Lennon, formerly of The Beatles, was fatally shot in the archway of the Dakota, his residence in New York City.

The perp was Mark David Chapman, who stated that he was incensed by Lennon's lifestyle and public statements, especially his much-publicized remark about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus" and the lyrics of his later songs "God" and "Imagine". Chapman also said he was inspired by the fictional character Holden Caulfield from J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Chapman planned the killing over the course of several months and waited for Lennon at the Dakota in the morning.

During the evening, he met Lennon, who signed his copy of the just-released album 'Double Fantasy'. Lennon then left with wife Yoko Ono for a recording session at Record Plant Studio. Later that night, the couple returned to the Dakota.

As they walked toward the archway entrance of the building, Chapman fired five hollow-point bullets from a .38 special revolver, four of which hit Lennon in the back. Chapman remained at the scene until he was arrested by the police, reading The Catcher in the Rye.

Lennon was rushed in a police cruiser to Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. 

Ono asked the hospital not to report to the media that her husband was dead until she had informed their 5-year-old son Sean, who was at home. However, news producer Alan J. Weiss of WABC-TV7 NYC had been waiting to be treated in the Roosevelt Hospital ER after being injured in a motorcycle accident earlier in the evening. Weiss recalled in a 2013 interview for the CNN series Crimes of the Century that he had seen Lennon being wheeled into the room surrounded by several police officers. After he learned what happened, Weiss called back to the station to relay the information. Eventually, word made its way through the chain of command to ABC News president Roone Arledge.

Arledge, who was also the president of the network's sports division, was presiding over ABC's telecast of Monday Night Football in his capacity as its executive producer. When Arledge received word of Lennon's death, a game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins was tied with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots were driving toward the potential winning score. As the Patriots tried to put themselves in position for a field goal, Arledge informed Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell of the shooting and suggested that they be the ones to report on the murder.

Cosell, who had interviewed Lennon during a Monday Night Football broadcast in 1974, was chosen to do so but was apprehensive of it at first, as he felt the game should take precedence and that it was not their place to break such a big story. Gifford convinced Cosell otherwise. (see video above).

Chapman pleaded guilty of murdering Lennon and was given a sentence of 20-years-to-life imprisonment. He has been denied parole ten times since he became eligible in 2000.

➦In 2004…Iconic "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark suffered what was initially termed a minor stroke. The 75-year-old was hospitalized in Los Angeles and it was later announced that Clark would be unable to host his annual New Year's Rockin' Eve broadcast.

Clark returned to the series the following year, but the dysarthria that resulted from the stroke rendered him unable to speak clearly for the remainder of his life. On April 18, 2012, Clark died from a fatal heart attack in April 2012 at the age of 82 while undergoing a transurethral resection procedure to treat an enlarged prostate.

➦In 2012…Hartford radio personality Arnold Dean, who aired for nearly 65 years as host of WTIC's "SportsTalk", died at age 82 following surgery for a pacemaker replaced.

He began his career at WKRT in Cortland, New York, later moving onto WAGE in Syracuse. He then returned to his home state, joining WTIC in 1965.

In 1976, Dean launched his own radio show, which would host celebrities and sports celebrities.

➦In 2015...Bonnie Lou, a pioneering country music artist and rockabilly singer died at age 91.

In 1941, aged 16, she was singing and performing on WJBC-AM in Bloomington, Illinois. At 17, after she graduated from high school, she sent an audition record to KMBC in Kansas City, MO, and was signed to a five-year contract to perform on the Brush Creek Follies barn dance show as "Sally Carson," and with a group called The Rhythm Rangers. The show was broadcast nationwide on the CBS, and has been described as "one of the biggest music programs in the country" at the time.

In 1945, Bill McCluskey, executive at WLW in Cincinnati, first learned of Bonnie Lou from a salesman he met on a train who “proceeded to rave about a young teenage country and western singer named Sally Carson who in his opinion was the best in the business..."

McCluskey had the girl send a transcription of her singing to WLW. Impressed, he then requested a recording of her singing and yodeling "Train Whistle Blues." He hired her, however because KMBC owned the rights to "Sally Carson" had to change her name. She said "My real name is Mary Jo". He said "Not Country enough" and redubbed her as Bonnie Lou.

She was promptly featured on Boone County Jamboree, which became Midwestern Hayride Country & Western Radio Program broadcasts and live tours.  During her years with WLW, Bonnie Lou often performed at country music in Nashville on weekends, including several times at the Grand Ole Opry.

Kim Bassinger is 68

🎂HAPPY BIRTHDAYS:

  • Singer Jerry Butler is 82. 
  • Flute player James Galway is 82. 
  • Drummer Bobby Elliott of The Hollies is 80. 
  • Actor Mary Woronov (“Eating Raoul,” “The Munsters” films) is 78. 
  • Actor John Rubinstein (“Family,” ″Crazy Like a Fox”) is 75. 
  • Actor Kim Basinger is 68. 
  • Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (Duran Duran, Missing Persons) is 65. 
  • Guitarist Phil Collen of Def Leppard is 65. 
  • Country singer Marty Raybon (The Raybon Brothers, Shenandoah) is 62. 
  • Wallis Currie-Wood is 30
    Guitarist Marty Friedman (Megadeth) is 59. 
  • Actor Wendell Pierce (“The Wire,” “Treme”) is 58. 
  • Actor Teri Hatcher is 57. 
  • Actor David Harewood (“Supergirl,” ″Homeland”) is 56. 
  • Singer Sinead O’Connor is 55. 
  • Actor Matthew Laborteaux (“Little House on the Prairie”) is 55. 
  • Guitarist Ryan Newell of Sister Hazel is 49. 
  • Actor Dominic Monaghan (“Lost,” ″Lord of the Rings”) is 45. 
  • Actor Ian Somerhalder (“The Vampire Diaries,” ″Lost,”) is 43. 
  • Singer Ingrid Michaelson is 42. 
  • Singer Chrisette Michele is 39. 
  • Country singer Sam Hunt is 37. 
  • Singer Kate Voegele (“One Tree Hill”) is 35. 
  • Drummer Jen Ledger of Skillet is 32. 
  • Actor Wallis Currie-Wood (“Madam Secretary”) is 30. 
  • Actor AnnaSophia Robb (film’s “Race to Witch Mountain,” TV’s “The Carrie Diaries”) is 28.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Amazon Web Services Struggling To Recover

UPDATE 3:30 PM 12/7/21:  Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage Tuesday, the company said, disrupting access to many popular sites.

The company provides cloud computing services to many governments, universities and companies, including The Associated Press.

Amazon said in a post an hour after the outage began that it had identified the root cause and was “actively working towards recovery.” The issue primarily affected its services in the Eastern U.S., it said. It did not disclose any additional details about the cause.

Amazon later updated the dashboard to note that the company was “starting to see some signs of recovery. We do not have an ETA for full recovery at this time.

″The outage also affected Amazon’s ability to provide status updates, it said.


Problems began midmorning on the U.S. East Coast, said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Kentik Inc, a network intelligence firm. “AWS is the biggest cloud provider and us-east-1 is their biggest data center, so any disruption there has big impacts to many popular websites and other internet services,” he said.

Madory said he did not believe the outage was anything nefarious. He said a recent cluster of outages at providers that host major websites reflects how the networking industry has evolved. “More and more these outages end up being the product of automation and centralization of administration,” he said. “This ends up leading to outages that are hard to completely avoid due to operational complexity but are very impactful when they happen.”

Customers trying to book or change trips with Delta Air Lines were having trouble connecting to the airline. “Delta is working quickly to restore functionality to our AWS-supported phone lines,” said spokesperson Morgan Durrant. The airline apologized and encouraged customers to use its website or mobile app instead.

According to DownDetector, a clearinghouse for user reports of outages, Southwest was also affected, but not American, United, Alaska or JetBlue. People trying to use Instacart, Venmo, Kindle, Roku, and Disney+ have reported issues. The McDonald’s app was also down.



Earlier story...

Amazon Web Services (AWS) were down as of Tuesday morning, leaving large parts of the internet reliant on the tech giant’s services offline. 

On its health service dashboard, AWS posted a message at 11:22 a.m. that the company is "investigating increased error rates for the AWS Management Console."

“We are experiencing API and console issues in the US-EAST-1 Region. We have identified root cause and we are actively working towards recovery,” AWS said in the message. 

The message did not detail what the cause was. A spokesperson for the company declined to detail the identified cause and told The Hill that the message will be updated on the health service dashboard “as it’s ready.” 

Users reported outage issues across Amazon’s own products, including its e-commerce website, Prime Music, Prime Video and Amazon Alexa, according to Down Detector. 

Outside websites hosted by AWS including Disney Plus, Tinder and Venmo were also experiencing outage issues, according to Down Detector.

Senate Green Lights Rosenworcel As FCC Chair

Jessica Rosenworcel
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jessica Rosenworcel to be the head of the Federal Communications Commission by a 68-31 vote.

Rosenworcel has served as FCC chair since January. Her term was set to expire at the end of the year.

A familiar face in Congress, Rosenworcel garnered bipartisan support during her nomination hearing.

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee ranking member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) praised her despite disagreeing with some of her policy objectives.

Rosenworcel may begin her new term, which will run until 2025, without a Democratic majority at the agency.

That composition has hindered the Biden administration’s goal of reinstating net neutrality rules.

The Senate Commerce Committee on Dec. 1 held a hearing for Gigi Sohn, Biden’s pick for FCC commissioner.

Sohn’s future in the Senate is more precarious, with Republicans increasingly voicing their opposition to her. It is unclear whether she has full backing from Democratic members of the Senate.


Twin Cities Radio: Vineeta Sawkar Named Now WCCO Morning Host


Audacy welcomes Vineeta Sawkar as host of “The Morning News with Vineeta Sawkar”  WCCO 830 AM in Minneapolis. The longtime local anchor will be heard weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. CT, beginning January 3, 2022.

“After an extensive search, we are excited to welcome Vineeta to 830 WCCO and are thrilled that the tradition of news and personality in the morning will continue,” said Brad Lane, Brand Manager, 830 WCCO. “Her rich experience, journalistic integrity and warm personality make her the perfect choice to evolve our station’s longstanding tradition of delivering the biggest headlines in the morning while exploring the news and events that matter most to Minnesotans.”

Vineeta Sawkar
“I’m truly humbled, honored and excited to host ‘The Morning News’ on WCCO,” said Sawkar. “No one can replace Dave Lee. He is a broadcasting legend and a friend as well. This station is so rich with history and memories for so many of us. I hope the ‘Good Neighbor’ station you once listened to in the mornings for school closings is the place you can continue to listen for news and information to get your day started…with some fun, too.”

Sawkar is an Emmy award-winning anchor and broadcast journalist, who joined local TV station KSTP-TV in the summer of 1995. She served as a reporter, weekend news anchor and morning news anchor during her almost 18 years at the station. In addition to this role, she has also previously served as digital reporter with The Star Tribune, and most recently as Director of Public Relations at the University of St. Thomas. 

Sawkar is a sought-after emcee and speaker for marquee fundraising events in the Twin Cities, and is active in the community; having previously served as board member for Children’s Hospital Association St. Paul, Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, and Circus Juventas. She continues to volunteer as ambassador for the Minnesota Wild’s “Hockey is for Me” initiative to attract children from communities of color to the game of hockey. 

She succeeds Dave Lee, who retired at the end of April following 32 years in the role.

Tampa Radio: WFLA Moving Ryan Gorman To Mornings


iHeartMedia Tampa Bay’s News Radio WFLA announced today the debut of an extended morning drive lineup including the launch of “The Ryan Gorman Show,” effective January 4, 2022. “AM Tampa Bay with Jack Harris” will now broadcast weekdays from 5-7 a.m., while “The Ryan Gorman Show” will air from 7– 10 a.m.

“The Ryan Gorman Show,” starring Ryan Gorman alongside co-host Aaron Jacobson and producers Katie Butchino and James Burlander, will feature the biggest news stories and trending topics from the local Tampa Bay community. Every morning will be filled with the latest headlines, news, weather and traffic updates, plus discussions and interviews with local and national dignitaries presented as the talk of Tampa Bay.

“I’m excited to make the move to mornings and follow Jack Harris, a Tampa Bay and talk radio legend, and bring something unique and different to talk radio,” said Gorman. “We’re going to cover the biggest stories of the day and have fun doing it. Plus, we’ll feature guests who have the inside scoop on what’s happening in Tampa Bay and across the country and how it will impact you. I’d like to thank the incredible leadership team at iHeartMedia Tampa for the opportunity to host a morning show in my hometown.”

Gorman has been a local fixture at News Radio WFLA as host of PM Tampa Bay since March 2018. Gorman will continue to host “iHeartRadio Communities,” a show focusing on important national topics that runs on iHeartRadio stations across America and often anchors coverage of national breaking news events.

“We’ve got some great things happening in the mornings on 970WFLA beginning in the new year,” said Harris. “First, we’ll be expanding the local mornings on News Radio WFLA to five hours, and we’ll also be expanding our news coverage. As always, ‘AM Tampa Bay,’ followed by ‘The Ryan Gorman Show,’ will be a chock-full of information and entertainment.”

Neil Young Radio Launches Exclusively On SiriusXM


SiriusXM announced today the launch of Neil Young Radio, a new limited-run channel with music and content curated by two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Neil Young, beginning today.

The new artist presented channel coincides with Neil Young's upcoming album, Barn, which is scheduled to be released on Friday, December 10.

Neil Young Radio will be a destination to enjoy Young's half-a-century long catalog, spanning his entire career, from his early musical innovation in bands such as Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Promise of the Real, through his 50-year collaboration with Crazy Horse, including their brand new release, Barn.

Neil Young Radio will give fans a unique opportunity to explore Neil Young's music with exclusive insight from one of the most respected artists in music history. Revered not only for his musicianship but also for his songwriting, Young will share personal stories about his collaborations and his process for writing, recording and performing. Additionally, Young will sit down with SiriusXM host David Fricke for an exclusive conversation, Becoming Neil Young. The special interview will feature Young talking about his early years of musical creation as well as his new music.

SiriusXM listeners will also hear special programs on Neil Young Radio like exclusive Weekly Concert Broadcasts from Young's vaults, Celebrity Guest DJs and a Barn track-by-track album special with Neil Young sharing stories about each song on his new album.

"Sharing these stories with SiriusXM will be a lot of fun," said Young. "We had such a great time in the Barn."

"Neil Young is a once-in-a-lifetime, legendary artist that has long influenced generations with his musical craftsmanship," said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM Chief Content Officer. "SiriusXM is honored to collaborate with him on a truly unique audio experience for his fans, one that offers in-depth access to his complete body of work, as well as his new commentary that spans the moments of his career and his new album."

Neil Young Radio is available now and will run through Wednesday, January 5 on the SXM App. Additionally, Neil Young Radio will be available via satellite (ch. 27) starting today through Monday, December 13.

SiriusXM is available to subscribers in their car, on their phone and connected devices at home with the SXM App. Streaming access is included for most subscribers. Go to www.siriusxm.com/ways-to-listen to learn more.

L-A Radio: KNX Adds FM Simulcast


Audacy Monday announced the launch of KNX News 97.1 FM in Los Angeles. The station will serve as an FM simulcast of Newsradio KNX 1070 AM as Southern California’s only 24-hour local news and traffic station.

“For over 100 years, KNX has been the station Southern California has depended on for breaking news, important events and life changing moments,” said Jeff Federman, Regional President, Audacy. “With spoken word audio consumption at an all-time high, this move allows us to significantly upgrade the existing KNX brand and create a news destination for a new generation. KNX is a powerful and trusted brand in this market, and we look forward to delivering the same award-winning content on crystal-clear FM radio.”

The launch underscores Audacy’s commitment to its local news brands, reflective via a multiplatform transformation announced earlier this year. The station will launch with a video tribute to some of the station’s biggest headlines over the last 100 years, while previewing the next chapter of its history.



The simulcast will replace Audacy’s contemporary hits radio format on KNOU-FM, which was also known as “97.1 NOW!” All of the personnel at KNOU, including its on-air talent, will be retained to work on other Audacy outlets, the company’s regional president, Jeff Federman, told The Times.

The LA Times reports the addition of an FM signal for KNX is an attempt to get more younger listeners to sample the station as they gravitate to more spoken word audio programming in both radio and podcasting.

A recent report by Edison Research shows that the audience for spoken word content has grown by 22 million people in the last seven years, up 40% over that time. The growth among listeners ages 13 to 34 is 113% in that period and is up 18% in the last year alone.

KNX has been a leading source of news, weather and traffic information in Southern California since it launched in 1921 as KGC. But younger listeners started to turn away from AM radio in the 1970s, as usage of FM radios grew and the superior fidelity of FM signals made it the preferred medium for music programming.

As a result, generations of listeners have probably never even heard of KNX because of its position on the AM band.

“We believe that simulcasting on FM is really going to open up the station and the KNX brand to a whole new audience that quite frankly may not know we exist on the AM dial,” Federman said.

Audacy previously added FM simulcasts for its AM news radio stations in San Francisco, KCBS-AM (740), and Chicago, WBBM-AM (780). Both outlets rank among the top three stations in their markets, according to Nielsen data.

KNX averaged a 2.9% share of the Los Angeles radio audience in November, ranking 10th overall.

The addition of an FM signal for KNX will also address another obstacle for AM listening. The motors on electric vehicles can interfere with the reception of AM signals. That has led some electric car manufacturers to stop including the AM band on their radios.

“As we’re thinking about the next 100 years, we want to be where the people are,” Federman said. “Being on FM assures that we won’t have those kind of issues.”

Having an FM channel also means drivers in Los Angeles won’t lose the station in areas where topography can diminish an AM signal.

97.1 FM (21 Kw)

In addition to KNX, Audacy owns classic hits station KRTH-FM (101.1), rhythmic hits outlet KTWV-FM (94.7), adult hits station KCBS-FM (93.1) and KROQ-FM (106.7), which has an alternative rock format. The stations broadcast out of studios on the Miracle Mile.

Audacy has owned KNX since 2017, when it merged with the radio division of CBS Corp. The company was known as Entercom at the time of the transaction.

Smollet Testifies He Got Warning From CNN's Don Lemon

Daily Mail screenshot 12/7/21

CNN faces a fresh scandal days after firing Chris Cuomo after Empire star Jussie Smollett claimed host Don Lemon had texted him details of a police investigation into a hate crime Smollett now stands accused of faking. 

Don Lemon allegedly texted the former TV star shortly after he claims he was attacked in Chicago in February 2019, to say that Chicago's Police Department wasn't taking his allegations seriously. 

Smollett made the claim while giving evidence on Monday. Lemon and CNN have yet to comment on the allegation. 

Lemon's alleged meddling in the aftermath of Smollett's hate crime, which is now under investigating due to incongruences in his testimony, comes just days after the media giant fired Chris Cuomo over his involvement in defending his disgraced brother from sexual assault allegations. 

Testifying in court on Monday, Smollet, 39, claimed he had been in contact with CNN's Don Lemon during the early stages of the CPD investigation. In a remark that was presented and then struck from the record, he said things began to seem off when he received a text message from Lemon claiming the Chicago police had reached out to him to say they didn't believe Smollett. 

Lemon's journalistic ethics are now being questioned amid reignited reports in November from a man claiming he was sexually assaulted by Lemon three years ago in a Hamptons bar.

SiriusXM Radio: Chris Cuomo Ends Another Platform


Chris Cuomo said on Monday that he was ending his daily SiriusXM radio program, two days after he was fired by CNN after an allegation of workplace sexual misconduct and amid an inquiry into his efforts to aid his brother, former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, reports The NY Times.

“The way my time ended at CNN was hard,” Chris Cuomo, who has denied the misconduct allegation, wrote in a statement on Monday posted to his social media. “While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult. So, right now, I have to take a step back and focus on what comes next. That means I will no longer be doing my SiriusXM radio show.”

The live two-hour radio program — “Let’s Get After It,” named for one of Cuomo’s on-air catchphrases — began in 2018, shortly after he ascended to the coveted 9 p.m. spot on CNN. A spokesman for SiriusXM, Patrick Reilly, confirmed on Monday that Mr. Cuomo’s show would no longer air. “We thank Chris for his work at SiriusXM,” Mr. Reilly said.

SiriusXM is controlled by Liberty Media, whose billionaire chairman, John Malone, is one of the primary shareholders in Discovery, the media company that could soon merge with CNN’s parent company, Warner Media, if regulators approve the deal. Mr. Malone would sit on the board of the combined company.

CNN fired Cuomo from his $6M a year job on Saturday, citing a review of his behind-the-scenes activities with his brother’s political team this year when the former governor was facing a series of sexual harassment allegations that led to his resignation.

CNN also received a complaint last week from a lawyer representing a former junior colleague of Mr. Cuomo’s at another network. The complaint detailed an allegation of sexual misconduct against the anchor. Mr. Cuomo, through a spokesman, said, “These apparently anonymous allegations are not true.”


“Let’s Get After It” aired on Monday with a guest host, the former ABC journalist Brian Ross. In his Monday statement, Cuomo offered a farewell to his radio program’s listeners. “I will miss our conversations a great deal,” Mr. Cuomo wrote. “But I look forward to being back in touch with you all in the future.”

CNN Facing Lawsuits Over Chris Cuomo Allegation


CNN faces a potential onslaught of lawsuits if it is proved in court that the liberal network had prior knowledge of sexual misconduct allegations against its recently fired star anchor Chris Cuomo but looked the other way, attorneys told FOX Business

Benjamin Eghbali, CEO of the California-based law firm Eghbali, said scandal-plagued CNN could be on the hook for "seven figures" unless it successfully distances itself from Cuomo, who until last week hosted the network's most-watched program, "Cuomo Prime Time." 

Eghbali, who has argued on behalf of victims in "hundreds" of sexual harassment cases, said Cuomo's situation will be held to a similar standard as the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. 

"They’re going to try to push the blame completely on Chris Cuomo, and say they had no knowledge," Eghbali said. "So, the plaintiff’s job is going to be to show that there was some sort of knowledge on CNN’s side and they looked the other way … If they cannot prove that burden, then they will not be able to hold CNN responsible." 

The sexual misconduct allegations came just days after CNN suspended its star anchor after learning the extent to which he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, beat his own harassment allegations.

The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, took her allegations against Chris Cuomo to CNN on Wednesday through her lawyer, Debra Katz, The New York Times reported. She said she was "disgusted" by what she saw as his hypocrisy and attempts to discredit women who made similar allegations against his brother, her lawyer said Sunday.

The woman's complaint became known shortly after CNN fired the "Cuomo Prime Time" anchor Saturday night. Cuomo was also accused earlier this year of a harassment incident by former ABC News colleague Shelley Ross; he reiterated a previous apology in a statement, although he claimed that when he squeezed her buttock without permission it was not meant to be sexual in nature.

Eghbali said Cuomo will likely try to prove that what the woman is alleging against him was consensual – an opinion shared by Karen Agnifilo, former chief assistant district attorney at the Manhattan D.A.’s office, now with the firm Geragos & Geragos.

Meanwhile, The NY Post reports  Cuomo is set to sue the network if it balks at paying him at least $18 million to cover what’s left on his contract.

Cuomo, 51, has hired lawyers and is preparing to file the lawsuit over the remainder of the four-year contract he signed last year — after a bitter back-and-forth about what the network knew of his secret efforts to aid his embattled brother, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said sources familiar with the matter.

His contract was reportedly worth $6 million annually, leaving between $18 million and $20 million that he would be owed, sources said, adding that Chris Cuomo would also likely seek damages.

But CNN has “no intention of paying [Chris] Cuomo a penny,” an insider said.

Nov PPMs Day 4: Austin, Nashville, Memphis +9 More Markets Released

 👉Nielsen on Monday, December 6, 2021 released the final batch of November 2021 PPM data for the following markets:


32  Austin

38  Raleigh-Durham NC

39  Indianapolis

40  Nashville

42  Milwaukee-Racine

44  Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket

45  Norfolk-Virginia Beach- News News

46  Jacksonville FL

47  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton

48  Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point NC

51  Memphis

52  Hartford-New Britain-Middletown CT


Click Here To View Topline numbers for subscribing Nielsen stations.

Wake-Up Call: Biden Expected To Warn Putin

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin in their video call today of painful economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine. The message will come as Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops near the border with Ukraine and U.S. intelligence has warned of preparations for a potential invasion as early as January. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said yesterday, "We’ve consulted significantly with our allies and believe we have a path forward that would impose significant and severe harm on the Russian economy. You can call that a threat. You can call that a fact. You can call that preparation. You can call it whatever you want to call it." Putin, meanwhile, is expected to demand guarantees that NATO will never expand to include Ukraine, which has long wanted to join. The Associated Press said that while there's little prospect that Ukraine would be invited to join NATO anytime soon, the U.S. and its allies won't rule it out.

➤JUSTICE DEPT. SUES TEXAS OVER NEW RESDISTRICTING MAPS: The Justice Department sued Texas yesterday over its new redistricting maps, saying they discriminate against minority voters, particularly Latinos. The suit claims the Republican-controlled state violated the Voting Rights Act in how it drew new district boundaries this year for its congressional delegation and state legislature. The lawsuit contends that while most of the population growth in Texas over the past decade came from Black, Latino and Asian people, the new maps dilute their votes by scattering them across districts. It also says the maps pack Black and Latino communities into weirdly-shaped districts while preserving seats for white Republicans. A spokesman for Republican Governor Greg Abbott said, "We are confident that Texas’ redistricting plans will be upheld by the courts, and our office continues working with the Office of the Attorney General to ensure Texans are represented fairly."

➤NYC IMPOSES STRICTEST MANDATE, SAYING ALL PRIVATE EMPLOYERS MUST REQUIRE COVID VACCINATION: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday that the city will require all private employers to mandate that their workers be vaccinated against Covid-19, the strictest mandate of any state or big city in the country. De Blasio said it will take effect on December 27th, four days before the last day of his term, and that regular Covid testing won't be allowed as an alternative. The mayor said it's a, quote, "preemptive strike" aimed at avoiding a spike of infections amid holiday gatherings and the cold weather, and it also comes as the new omicron variant has emerged. A spokesman for Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who is also a Democrat, said he, quote, "will evaluate this mandate and other Covid strategies when he is in office."

➤WOMAN TESTIFIES MAXWELL PRESSURED HER INTO GIVING EPSTEIN SEXUAL MASSAGES WHEN SHE WAS A TEEN: A British woman using the pseudonym "Kate" testified in Ghislaine Maxwell's sexual trafficking trial yesterday that Maxwell pressured her into giving Jeffrey Epstein sexual massages when she was a teenager, although of the legal age of consent at 18. She testified about one particular incident in which Maxwell left out a schoolgirl's outfit for her to wear with Epstein and told her, "I thought it would be fun for you to take Jeffrey his tea in this outfit." After the sexual encounter that took place after that, she said Maxwell asked her if she had fun and told her, "You are such a good girl." "Kate" further testified that Maxwell told her Epstein was "demanding" about sexual massages, and that it was, quote, "very difficult to keep up" with his sexual needs.

➤MICHIGAN PROSECUTOR HASN'T RULED OUT CHARGING SCHOOL OFFICIALS OVER SHOOTING: Oakland County, Michigan, prosecutor Karen McDonald said Monday (December 6th) that they, quote, "haven't ruled out" charging school officials over the shooting at Oxford High School last week that left four students dead and seven others wounded, six of them students. The unusual step has already been taken of charging 15-year-old suspect Ethan Crumbley's parents with involuntary manslaughter related to their alleged purchase of the gun for their son. McDonald said on CNN yesterday that school officials had the legal grounds to search Crumbley's backpack and locker after a teacher found a drawing he made that showed a gun and figure appearing to have been shot twice and the words, "blood everywhere," and "The thoughts won’t stop. Help me." When asked if school staff members might be prosecuted, McDonald said, "We haven't ruled out charging anyone." Crumbley's parents had been called to the school over the drawing hours before the shooting, but they adamantly refused to have Ethan sent home, saying they'd get him into counseling within 48 hours, as the school insisted.

➤BOB DOLE TO LIE IN STATE AT U.S. CAPITOL: Late Senator Bob Dole will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday (December 6th), where the World War Two veteran served in the House and Senate for 36 years. Dole died on Sunday at age 98. The Kansas Republican, who was the party's leader in the Senate, both as majority and minority leader, for 11 years, left Congress when he was the Republican presidential nominee in 1996 to focus on the race. But he lost to President Bill Clinton, who was elected to a second term.
🔫TEXAS SHERIFF'S DEPT. CRITICIZED OVER PHOTO OF SANTA 'APPLYING' FOR CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT: The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department came under criticism by some people after posting a photo on its social media of a man who looks like Santa Claus applying for a concealed carry gun permit. It said, "Guess who came in to receive his Concealed Handgun Permit today? Did you know the El Paso County Sheriff's Office has issued 49,750 Concealed Handgun Permits with another 2,560 awaiting to be issued?" It then had a link for more information. While it got many complaints about the message being sent, others were supportive. The sheriff's office later posted a comment that said: "EPSO intended to highlight our staff in the Concealed Handgun Permit Office, not to be insensitive. Santa correlates to the month of December and we thought he would help to recognize our hard working staff."

📰STUDY..PEOPLE CHOOSE TO LEARN ABOUT HEALTH, WORLD NEWS BASED ON FEELINGS:  People seek out or avoid information on various topics based on how they think it will make them feel and how useful it is, finds a new study. Researchers found people fall into one of three “information-seeking” categories: those who consider the impact of information on their feelings, those that consider how useful information will be for making decisions, and those that mostly seek information about issues they think about often. This can include information about their health, finances, and personal traits. Study co-author Christophe.


😴FOR BETTER SLEEP, BORROW THE BEDTIME ROUTINE OF A TODDLER:  If you want to sleep better, you’ll want to adopt the bedtime routine of a toddler. Data shows regular bedtimes help improve toddler sleep, and that it’s equally important for adults and should be consistent across weekdays as well as weekends. You should also take a hot bath before bedtime, as a comprehensive study published in 2019 found taking a hot bath or shower one or two hours before a planned bedtime significantly shortened the time it took to go to sleep. Next you should apply lotion, as massage therapy has been shown to improve sleep in children and in adults—and applying lotion and giving yourself a bit of a massage each night may act as a close approximation to getting a massage. Finally, wrap up your routine with a language-based activity like reading—as it’s been shown to relax both children and young adults.

🏈PATRIOTS DEFEAT BILLS 14-10 IN WINDY 'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' GAME: The New England Patriots defeated the Buffalo Bills 14-10 in Monday Night Football last night (December 6th) in blustery weather in Buffalo that had winds gusting at 40 miles per hour. Amid those conditions, the Patriots ran the ball night, with rookie quarterback Mac Jones making just three pass attempts, completing two of them for 19 yards. Nick Folk successfully kicked two field goals for New England with the wind at his back.


🏆HEISMAN TROPHY FINALISTS NAMED: The four finalists for the Heisman Trophy were announced yesterday (December 6th): Alabama quarterback Bryce Young; Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson; Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett; and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. After being delayed and going virtual last year due to the pandemic, the Heisman presentation returns to its normal date, the second Saturday in December, which is this coming Saturday, and is back in person. However, it's moving to a smaller venue in Manhattan. The Heisman Trust also announced that from now on, there will always be four finalists, a change from the past when it had been as few as three and as many as six.

🏇KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER MEDINA SPIRIT COLLAPSES AND DIES AFTER WORKOUT: Medina Spirit, the horse that won the Kentucky Derby in May but raised scrutiny because of a positive drug test, collapsed and died yesterday (December 6th) after a workout at Santa Anita Park racetrack in California. Trainer Bob Baffert said the three-year-old colt suffered a heart attack. Medina Spirit had just ended his second workout since finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Classic a month ago. The horse tested positive after winning the Derby for betamethasone, a legal medication that's not allowed on race day. Baffert was suspended by Churchill Downs and barred from entering horses in the 2022 and 2023 Kentucky Derbies. He also was banned by the New York Racing Association from entering horses at its Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct tracks.

➤U-S TO CARRY OUT DIPLMATIC BOYCOTT OF BEIJING WINTER OLYMPICS: The White House confirmed Monday (December 6th) that the U.S. will carry out a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics next February in protest of China's human rights abuses against their Uyghur minority. However, while no U.S. dignitaries will attend, U.S. athletes will compete in the Games. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused U.S. politicians of grandstanding over the issue of not sending dignitaries, and said it would be a, quote, "outright political provocation," but didn't say how China might retaliate.

🏈POTENTIAL TOP NFL DRAFT PICK THIBODEAUX TO FORGO SENIOR SEASON: Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, the potential top NFL draft pick, announced last night that he'll forgo his senior season and declare for the draft. He also won't be playing in Oregon's game against Oklahoma in the Valero Alamo Bowl on December 29th, and instead will begin readying for the draft.