|Barr-Trump (Chicago Tribune 12/2/20)|
BREAKING: Attorney General William Barr tells AP that the Justice Department hasn't uncovered widespread voting fraud that could have changed 2020 election outcome. https://t.co/Net66tz7rB— The Associated Press (@AP) December 1, 2020
U.S. Justice Dept. is investigating potential “bribery-for-pardon” scheme involving presidential pardons, according to newly unsealed federal court documents. https://t.co/Id9FDy9OYT— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 2, 2020
➤CYBER MONDAY BREAKS RECORDS: Cyber Monday is officially the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history. Web sellers rang up $10.8 billion of sales online, according to Adobe Analytics. There's very good news here for small businesses, according to NBC News. They saw a 501 percent increase on Monday, a tad more than the 486 percent increase for big retailers.
Sales deals are continuing through December but shoppers are warned to avoid waiting until the last minute. The crush of shopping online may cause sellouts on popular gift items and delays in shipping them.
➤HEALTHCARE WORKERS FIRST: To no one's surprise, a committee of experts tasked with prioritizing the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine has recommended that frontline healthcare workers get access first. The advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will post its recommendations online for states to use as they plan vaccine distribution.
U.K. approves Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for public use, a first among Western nations https://t.co/nbcnI1LyjV— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 2, 2020
➤CAPTAIN CHARGED IN FATAL BOAT FIRE: The captain of a dive boat that caught fire, killing 34 people, has been indicted on charges of manslaughter in California. Jerry Boylan is accused of neglecting basic safety precautions, contributing to the deadly disaster. The Conception was a commercial scuba diving vessel on a Labor Day excursion to the Channel Islands south of Santa Barbara last year when the fire broke out during the night.
➤STUDY HIGHLIGHTS VAPING HAZARDS: Vaping was once seen as a safer alternative to cigarettes. But a new study from Boston University indicates that users of e-cigarettes have a 43 percent increased risk of lung disease. Current vapers have a 34 percent higher risk than non-smokers of chronic bronchitis and are 69 percent more likely to develop emphysema, according to the study. The research, which was based on a study of long-term vapers, is the first to conclude that vaping alone may raise the risk of respiratory disease.
➤STARBUCKS OFFERING FREE COFFEE FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS IN DECEMBER: Starbucks has announced that it will be extending a new offer to U.S. first responders and health care workers, and will be giving them a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) at participating locations throughout the month of December. To redeem their cups, frontline workers just need to show up at a Starbucks and identify themselves as such (no ID required.) Per Starbucks, those eligible for the promotion include doctors, nurses, public health workers, pharmacists, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, dentists, dental hygienists, mental health workers, social workers, hospital staffers, and active-duty military members.
➤HERSHEY’S CHANGED UP ITS ICONIC KISSES CHRISTMAS BELLS COMMERCIAL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 30 YEARS: Hershey’s has an iconic commercial for its Kisses for Christmas which shows a triangle formation of the treats that take turns lifting themselves up and “ringing” out the turn to “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” But this year, the ad has been changed, and instead of finishing the song and one of the Kisses wiping its “brow” with exhaustion, a young girl’s hand appears and plucks up one of the Kisses and the camera pans to a little girl making Peanut Butter Blossoms with her father.
🎄HOME DEPOT IS SELLING A CHRISTMAS TREE THAT LITERALLY SHOWS AND PLAYS MUSIC: Home Depot is selling an over-the-top faux Christmas tree this year that actually releases fake snow into the air. The Fraser Hill Farm snowing tree comes in black (6.25 feet tall) or classic green (5.5 feet tall), and both have artificial snow that is blown through the center of the tree where it falls over the branches and then is collected at the umbrella base of the tree to be used again. A description of the tree reads, “Not only does this tree come pre-strung with warm LED lights, a finial tree topper, and a light assortment of tree ornaments (saving plenty of room for your own), but it also produces a flurry of self-containing, faux-snow that trickles down each branch and creates a natural snowy scene.” The tree also has a built-in speaker at its base that can play 25 popular holiday songs.
🏈WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! If all goes well, there will be football tonight. Yes, Wednesday night football. The game will pit the Baltimore Ravens against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving Day but has been postponed twice due to COVID-19 positives. It's only the second Wednesday night game since 1949, according to The New York Times. The game starts in Pittsburgh at 3:40 PM EST on NBC.
🏀COUNT PORZINGIS OUT: NBA training camps started opening yesterday, but you won't see Kristaps Porzingis training with the Dallas Mavericks anytime soon. Coach Rick Carlisle said the 21-year-old Latvian giant is recovering well from surgery on his right knee, but he won't be back until at least January.
In other news about knees, Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics is out until at least early January recovering from a left knee injury.
🏈THE BUCKEYES ARE BACK: The Ohio State Buckeyes are back. The fourth-ranked team had to cancel Saturday's game at Illinois after an increase in COVID-19 positives. But the team resumed activities yesterday, according to ESPN, and they hope to play the scheduled game against Michigan State on Saturday.
⚽WOMEN'S SOCCER SETTLES SUIT: The members of the U.S. women's national soccer team have agreed to settle a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation that demanded equal working conditions with men's soccer players. The agreement apparently gives women equality in terms of staffing, travel and hotel accommodations. It says nothing about equal pay. However, the resolution of the suit clears the way for an appeal of a judge's decision to reject the women's demand for equal pay with the men.