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‘Matrix 4’: ‘Aquaman’ Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Circling Lead – Hollywood Reporter

October 9th, 2019

Wachowski, who is producing the film with Grant Hill, co-wrote the screenplay with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.

Reeves and Moss are reprising their respective roles as action heroes Neo and Trinity. Sources speculate that Abdul-Mateen will play a young Morpheus, a key leader in humanity’s resistance against the machines who eventually discovers and trains Neo. Laurence Fishburne portrayed the character in the original franchise.

The film would reunite Abdul-Mateen with Warner Bros., the studio behind James Wan’s DC superhero stand-alone Aquaman. Village Roadshow Pictures is also returning to the project.

Abdul-Mateen broke out on Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down. He had small roles in such features as Baywatch and The Greatest Showman before landing his role as one of the leading villains in Aquaman. The actor also appeared in Jordan Peele’s Get Out follow-up Us, and will reunite with the filmmaker for MGM and Nia DaCosta’s Candyman remake that Peele is producing.

Abdul-Mateen is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Bloom Hergott.

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STDs are spreading like wildfire in the US – BGR

October 9th, 2019

Despite decades of sexual education and STD awareness campaigns, the rates at which new STD cases are reported continues to rise. A new bulletin by the CDC paints a particularly dire picture of sexual health in the United States, with some diseases reaching levels not seen for almost 20 years, and others reaching legitimate all-time highs.

The CDC’s report is based on data from 2017 to 2018, and it shows a shocking number of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia cases across the nation. The data reveals over 115,000 syphilis cases in that time period and over 580,000 cases of gonorrhea, neither of which have seen levels this high since 1991. Chlamydia? Well, that’s a whole other story.

The CDC says that an increase of around 3% in chlamydia cases nationwide puts the total number at over 1.7 million, which is the highest it’s ever been.

Of the three illnesses, syphilis has seen the most dramatic gains. Chlamydia’s 3% increase and gonorrhea’s 5% increase both pale in comparison to the incredible 14% spike seen for syphilis. Even worse, the rate of syphilis infections among newborns jumped up a whopping 40% compared to the previous year.

Babies who contract syphilis from their mothers are at an incredible risk. Stillbirth and newborn death are both legitimate risks for expecting mothers who have syphilis, and even if the baby survives, it may face serious developmental issues.

“There are tools available to prevent every case of congenital syphilis,” CDC’s Gail Bolan, M.D. explains. “Testing is simple and can help women to protect their babies from syphilis – a preventable disease that can have irreversible consequences.”

The CDC highlights a number of things that are feeding into the rise of STDs, including decreased use of condoms among young people. Combine that with risk factors such as drug use and poverty, as well as reductions in STD awareness programs at both the state and local levels across the US, and you have a recipe for record-breaking STD numbers.

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Community mourns death of 14-year-old Devan Selvey at candlelight vigil, raise awareness against bullying – CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News

October 9th, 2019

Lexy Benedict, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, October 9, 2019 5:26PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:49PM EDT

Hundreds gathered outside of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil in honour of 14-year-old slain Hamilton teen, Devan Selvey, and to stand up and speak out against bullying.

Past and present students, parents, Hamilton community members and family members of Devan Selvey stood together at Wednesday night’s vigil to mourn the loss Devan, who was fatally stabbed outside of his high school in front of his mother, on Monday.

At 6:30 p.m. the front lawn was flooded with people, and police had to block off a main street to make more room for vigil attendees.

On the Facebook event page for the “Candlelight Vigil Against Bullying, Jealously, Hatefulness and for Love & Peace,” organizers said all members of the public are invited to attend the memorial in remembrance of Devan Selvey and speak out against bullying.

For many who attended the vigil, bullying is unfortunately an issue too familiar.

For community member Trudy Nicholls-Draker, this isn’t the first time she has heard of bullying happening at this school. She attended the vigil for the Selvey family, and out of respect for her own.

“My daughter attended this school, and was bullied terribly her entire four years here. A friend subsequently took his own life as a result of being bullied here. It was important to represent her, him, Devan, and all kids who have been bullied,” said Nicholls-Draker.

Nicholls-Draker said she believes bullying is not dealt with effectively, and school boards need to have a tougher approach.

“They are children. They might look and feel like adults, and they might do adult things, but they’re children and they need adult guidance,” she said. “They all say they don’t stand for violence inside the school, but we’ve all seen that that’s not the case.”

Devan will be laid to rest Saturday afternoon, in Stoney Creek.

The school football team said that they are honouring Devan at their game on Thursday.

Zeke, a student at the school said that the team will be collecting donations for Devan’s funeral.

“We want to give him a good send off,” said the student.

Two suspects, a 14-year-old boy and 18-year-old male have been charged with first-degree murder.

A publication ban prevents media from identifying the adult suspect, and the 14-year-old cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Three other teens were taken into custody following the stabbing, but they have been released without charge.

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Epic Games Settles With Cheating Minor To End Lawsuit – Techdirt

October 9th, 2019

from the game-over dept

At long last, the PR nightmare for Epic Games is over. Kind of. You will recall that the company went on a lawsuit blitz over those that develop and/or promote cheats for Epic’s hit game Fortnite. While one can understand that the company was salty over cheat enablers for its online shooter, given that disruption by cheaters makes the game less fun and therefore less popular, the fact is that Epic also fought this battle on claims that such cheats violate copyright and the license provided by the game’s Terms of Service. These are claims that need to be tested, and hopefully defeated, in court, because they are a twisting of copyright law into the worst kind of pretzel.

One of the cheaters Epic sued, at the time without knowing so, was a 14 year old minor. That young man also appears to have been both rude and brazen throughout the lawsuit process, which at various points involved his mother trying to get the court to dismiss the case and Epic arguing that indeed a minor can enter into a ToS contract with the company. The fact that Epic pushed this so hard and for so long was fairly bizarre, given just what a PR nightmare suing a minor over this sort of thing should have been.

Well, that nightmare is now over, as there is reportedly a settlement between the two parties.

With both sides choosing not to back off, the lawsuit seemed destined for a drawn-out fight. But it didn’t get to that. Behind the scenes, the parties came together to settle their differences without court intervention. This has now resulted in a settlement that’s formalized through an order of approval by the court.

With help from pro bono attorneys and his mother Kari as a General Guardian, C.B. reached a confidential settlement with Epic Games. It’s unclear whether there is a damages amount involved, but both sides have dropped their (counter)claims, effectively ending the dispute.

All claims of what might be in the settlement are pure speculation. That said, it’s tough to imagine the young man’s family accepting any crippling damages, if any money was exchanged at all. Far more likely is that the settlement includes a promise by the minor to no longer engage in any of the behavior Epic found troublesome and perhaps some legal fees.

Frankly, anything beyond that would be more PR trouble for Epic.

Filed Under: cheating, copyright, fortnite
Companies: epic games

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Debrief at the Desk: Lisa LaFlamme speaks with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau – CTV News

October 9th, 2019

TORONTO — Just days from now voters will decide whether Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will lead the federal government for another four years, something he’s spent the campaign arguing is necessary for moving the country “forward.” 

The Liberal Party has released its full platform with key pieces costed, and it includes promises of billions in new spending for students, families, and the environment, while targeting corporations and the wealthiest Canadians to help pay for these proposals.

In the second of CTV News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme’s five-minute interviews with the major federal party leaders, Trudeauspeaks about “the choice facing Canadians right now,” what would or wouldn’t be negotiable in a minority government scenario, and how he’d approach international matters like the relationship with China, and the still-under-review light armoured vehicle deal with Saudi Arabia, if re-elected.

This transcript has been edited for length.

Lisa LaFlamme: Eleven days to go and still a third of Canadians have not decided who to vote for. It seems like the one thing that they have decided though, is that they are losing confidence in politics. They’re losing confidence in you after four yearsof what they say are promises that they did not see fulfilled. So, I just wonder if you bear any responsibility for that erosion of trust?

Justin Trudeau: I think any government that is as ambitious as ours is, is going to continue to work really hard to try and achieve everything we need to do, and that’s the choice facing Canadians right now.We’ve done lots of great things over the past four years, but we need to do even more, we need to continue and that’s the reflection that Canadians have right now. Are we going to continue with a government that has fought climate change? That has helped Canadians out of poverty? That has grown the economy? Or do we go back to an approach that didn’t work for 10 years under Harper?

LaFlamme: The feedback I’m getting from across the country, Canadians are craving real answers. They don’t want the talking points, they want real answers on everything from pharmacare to affordable housing, so are you underestimating them in a campaign that seems to continually be calling out the Harper government or [Doug] Ford or [Jason] Kenny now.

Trudeau: Well, the Conservatives actually haven’t put forward an election platform… Elections are choices and the Conservatives are saying exactly the same things that didn’t work under Harper, and that’s all Andrew Scheer is putting forward and we are saying: ‘we’ve got to keep going.’

LaFlamme: If you look at the last four years this is what Canadians are saying: There’s still 56 First Nations with boil water advisories.

Trudeau: But 87 of them without, that we ended after many years of not having done anything on that under previous government. We have made steps.

LaFlamme: Crumbling infrastructure that has not been fixed, that was a huge promise in 2015.

Trudeau: And we invested more over the past four years than any government has in history. And yes, we have to continue… Yes, there have been provinces dragging their heels on investments, but there are others and municipalities we’ve invested in directly because, again, unfortunately some conservative premiers like Doug Ford are not wanting to invest in their communities. It hasn’t been easy over these past four years because you’re right, from the Rockies to the Bay of Fundy we’ve had conservative premiers elected, who don’t want to invest, who want to cut services, and who don’t want to fight climate change.

LaFlamme: Canadians are also very worried about a recession, they see billions more dollars of their money being spent on election promises.

Trudeau: On investments in youth, on investments in seniors, on investments in small businesses, on investments to fight climate change. We believe that the best way to prepare for a challenging future is to give people the tools to succeed today. Not cuts, not austerity, not tax breaks for the wealthiest like Andrew Scheer wants to cut $50,000 in taxes from multimillionaires. That doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t help anyone.

LaFlamme: Does that mean debt and deficits don’t matter anymore, even though the Bank of Canada says that the economy is going to slow in the latter half of the year?

Trudeau: I think the best way to make sure people can make it through tougher times in the economy is to have invested so that they have greater opportunities, and so they have more confidence, but at the same time we know we have to be responsible. And that’s why our debt as a size of our economy is decreasing every year. And that’s why the top credit rating agencies in the world are giving a unanimous top credit score to Canada and Germany and those are the only countries in the G7 they’re doing that [for].

LaFlamme: If there’s one defining issue, its climate change. You’ve been having to walk that tightrope between being a champion of the environment, and also the guy who bought a pipeline. So in the case of a minority government, you’re certainly going to get pressure from the NDP and the Greens to abandon the Trans Mountain expansion. Is that negotiable?

Trudeau: We have a plan that has actually delivered in the fight against climate change, which includes, yes getting our resources to new markets through a pipeline and investing all the profits in the clean energy transition and the fight against climate change. We know that experts have found that only our plan is both ambitious and doable and that’s what matters to kids and that’s what matters to our future.

LaFlamme: But is that negotiable in a minority government situation?

Trudeau: I’m working to make sure that we still have a strong government that’s going to be able to stand up to Jason Kenney and Andrew Scheer, and Doug Ford, who are not wanting us to do anything on climate change. That’s my focus right now, and that’s been my focus for four years.

LaFlamme: So many things have not really been discussed because of other issues on the campaign trail so I just want to talk about Canada’s fractured relations with a resurgent Russia, a more aggressive China and the two Canadians still in prison. How can voters trust that another Liberal government, another four years, won’t allow our core security to further diminish?

Trudeau: We have strengthened our security, we have stood up for Canadian interests. We stood up for those Canadians arbitrarily detained. We’ve continued to consistently defend Canada’s interest, like we did against Donald Trump in the renegotiation of NAFTA. We secured access to our most important partner at a time of unpredictability and quite frankly protectionism in a way that pulled all Canadians together, except for the Conservatives who wanted us to cave. There were a lot of people who stood together to make sure we got a good deal.

LaFlamme: I would say that certainly there are Canadians… the farmers, canola farmers they don’t feel that. They feel very vulnerable right now and at the mercy of this fractured relationship. 

Trudeau: We cannot back off on Canadian values, we cannot stop defending Canadians who have been arbitrarily detained. We’re continuing to try and make sure that we are defending Canadian interests, but we have to stand up for our values unequivocally at the same time… That’s why the world has been supporting us… we have our allies pushing back against China as well, because everyone knows that if you don’t push back early, you set up habits that make everyone more vulnerable down in the future.

LaFlamme: It’s been over a year since Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. What about Saudi Arabia? We still have heard nothing on the status of the contract of the military vehicles [LAVs] so Canadians are essentially being asked to make a decision on who to vote for without all the information on an issue that many feel is fundamentally important.

Trudeau: We’ve continued to defend the hardworking Canadians in London, Ont. who have worked hard on this contract that Stephen Harper signed that has massive penalties if we get out of, but we have not admitted any new export permits since the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and we’re going to continue to stand strongly for human rights against countries like Saudi Arabia that haven’t been respectful of them.

LaFlamme: So are you saying that contract is going to go through? You’re not reviewing it anymore? It’s done?

Trudeau: No we’re continuing to work with partners around the world, and have greater transparency, greater accountability. We signed on to the Arms Trade Treaty which the previous Conservative government didn’t want to do. The choice on that one, like on so many things, whether it’s strengthening gun control versus weakening gun control under the Conservatives is very, very clear. And that’s the question Canadians are asking in this election.

LaFlamme: On that military contract in London, Ont., you’ve said for months now, for a year, that the contract is under review. Is it still under review?

Trudeau: It is still under review, but at the same time we were able to secure more of those jobs in London, Ont., by making sure that the Canadian military is going to buy light armoured vehicles for our own use in a way that helps out people in London, Ont. because we know that workers are not responsible for Mr. Harper having signed a bad contract.

LaFlamme: You talk about jobs and that’s certainly been your defence on the SNC ethics violation, and yet the other night at the debate again you called The Globe and Mail story ‘false,’ so I don’t understand why you still deny that?

Trudeau:  I have consistently said that my job every step of the way is to stand up for people’s jobs, stand up for Canadian workers, and stand up for the public interest, while at the same time respecting the rule of law. I accept the ethics commissioner’s response, but I don’t agree with it.

LaFlamme: But you say that the story is false.

Trudeau: I did not put—I do not feel I put undue pressure on the Attorney General, because the job of a prime minister is to make sure that people are looking out for jobs, make sure that we’re always looking out for Canadians, that’s what I’ve done every step of the way.

LaFlamme: So the end of that is then that ethics commissioner is wrong?

Trudeau: No, I accept his report and we’re bringing in all the measures of the expert report we had on how to make sure no government goes through this before. The Prime Minister needs to stand up for Canadians, and needs to stand up for jobs and the public interest, and I will not apologize for defending Canadians’ jobs in a way that also defends our justice system.

LaFlamme. Alright, well you have under two weeks to go, not a lot of runway left. We thank you so much.

Trudeau: It’s an important choice Canadians are facing. Are we going to keep moving forward? Or do we go back to the Harper years?

LaFlamme: Mr. Trudeau, thanks for joining us in the newsroom tonight.

Trudeau: Always a pleasure.

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Matt Lauer Rape Accuser Brooke Nevils Issues Statement On His Open Letter: “A Case Study In Victim Shaming” – Deadline

October 9th, 2019

Producer Brooke Nevils has responded to Matt Lauer’s open letter, calling it “a case study in victim shaming.”

Nevils’s response was given to NBC News tonight after Lauer earlier today issued a 1,400-word defense of his alleged conduct, detailed in the Ronan Farrow book, Catch and Kill. Excerpts have been released in advance of the book’s Oct. 15 publication date.

In the book, Nevils – then an NBC producer for Meredith Vieira- accuses Lauer of anal rape when they were both at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

“There’s a Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades. And there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,’ the Nevil statement reads. “His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. I am not afraid of him now regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would and now has tried to use against me.’

She engaged in an affair with the married Lauer after that, but the relationship ended. In 2017, she reported him during the height of the #MeToo movement, and it was her allegation that led to him being fired. Nevils had remained anonymous before the Farrow book’s publication.

Nevils said that the sex in Sochi was non-consensual. Lauer denied that in his open letter, providing graphic details and other sexual encounters with Nevils, calling her a “willing partner.”

“It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” he said. “I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014. It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia. We engaged in a variety of sexual acts. We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex.”

    evils said she was ‘terrified’ about the control Lauer had over her career.

But Nevils says her allegations were dismissed by staff who said Lauer had done nothing ‘criminal’.

‘This was not a secret,’ Farrow writes, citing her claim that ‘like a million people knew’.

It was only when the #MeToo movement against Harvey Weinstein erupted that Nevils was sincerely asked by Today colleagues about Lauer who had a reputation for infidelity and impropriety.

It was then she went to Meredith Vieira, who she had been working for at the time, and told her what had happened, she said.

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The Eagle leaves the ‘Masked Singer’ nest: Latest celebrity castoff is TV doctor, talk show host – Yahoo Entertainment

October 9th, 2019

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Welcome back to the TV sensation that's all pleasure and absolutely no guilt, The Masked Singer!” host Nick Cannon announced Wednesday evening. Um, why should anyone ever feel guilty about watching THE BEST TELEVISION SHOW OF ALL TIME?” data-reactid=”25″>“Welcome back to the TV sensation that’s all pleasure and absolutely no guilt, The Masked Singer!” host Nick Cannon announced Wednesday evening. Um, why should anyone ever feel guilty about watching THE BEST TELEVISION SHOW OF ALL TIME?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But I must say, I do feel a bit guilty that I didn’t recognize the star of two of my other favorite reality shows of the past, Celebrity Rehab and Loveline, under the Eagle’s magnificent plumage.” data-reactid=”26″>But I must say, I do feel a bit guilty that I didn’t recognize the star of two of my other favorite reality shows of the past, Celebrity Rehab and Loveline, under the Eagle’s magnificent plumage.

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Most people think of addiction medicine specialist and relationship expert Dr. Drew Pinksy as television’s mild-mannered voice of reason, but disguised as the Eagle this Wednesday, he really let his inner rock star take flight. Doing his smarmiest karaoke-crooner renditions of Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything for love (But I Won’t Do That)” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” in full hippie/biker regalia, Drew was clearly feeling his rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. Was this Freedom Rock? Well, turn it up, man! And that he did.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I'm gonna prove I don't just hang out with rock stars. I am one,” this whirly-bird declared as he spread his bespoke wings, referring to the numerous rockers who’ve entered Celebrity Rehab or guested the syndicated radio version of Loveline over the years. Well, the Eagle didn’t quite land all the notes, but his swagger had the judges guessing he was Kid Rock or Bret Michaels (the red bandana threw them off, I guess). I actually thought he sounded a bit like that&nbsp;bonkers new wave album that David Hasselhoff just dropped.” data-reactid=”30″>“I’m gonna prove I don’t just hang out with rock stars. I am one,” this whirly-bird declared as he spread his bespoke wings, referring to the numerous rockers who’ve entered Celebrity Rehab or guested the syndicated radio version of Loveline over the years. Well, the Eagle didn’t quite land all the notes, but his swagger had the judges guessing he was Kid Rock or Bret Michaels (the red bandana threw them off, I guess). I actually thought he sounded a bit like that bonkers new wave album that David Hasselhoff just dropped.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The judges also thought it the Eagle might be Jimmy Fallon, Jeff Goldblum, Jeff Foxworthy, Craig Ferguson, Jay Mohr, Pauly Shore, or even Howard Stern — which shows you just how much feather-ruffling attitude Dr. Drew had going on. But no one guessed correctly; the closest the judges got was Adam Carolla, Drew’s former Loveline cohost, even though judge Ken Jeong used to fill in for Drew on Loveline. Now, normally Ken is the worst guesser on the Masked Singer panel anyway, but this character was a true mystery, probably the most surprising reveal of the series yet.” data-reactid=”35″>The judges also thought it the Eagle might be Jimmy Fallon, Jeff Goldblum, Jeff Foxworthy, Craig Ferguson, Jay Mohr, Pauly Shore, or even Howard Stern — which shows you just how much feather-ruffling attitude Dr. Drew had going on. But no one guessed correctly; the closest the judges got was Adam Carolla, Drew’s former Loveline cohost, even though judge Ken Jeong used to fill in for Drew on Loveline. Now, normally Ken is the worst guesser on the Masked Singer panel anyway, but this character was a true mystery, probably the most surprising reveal of the series yet.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="So, the Eagle had to leave the Masked Singer nest this week, but three other celebrity cosplayers flew to the next round. Let’s try to figure out the identities of this week’s masked menagerie members.” data-reactid=”36″>So, the Eagle had to leave the Masked Singer nest this week, but three other celebrity cosplayers flew to the next round. Let’s try to figure out the identities of this week’s masked menagerie members.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Flower, “9 to 5”” data-reactid=”37″>The Flower, “9 to 5”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I don't even go to the grocery store without lipstick or pumps on,” bragged this diva – and honestly, after this episode, she shouldn’t go to the grocery store without this outfit on. I’d never take it off if I ever got a chance to wear it; this exotic purple-rose-of-Cairo costume was like something out of a V.C. Andrews-book-jacket-themed Met Ball.” data-reactid=”38″>“I don’t even go to the grocery store without lipstick or pumps on,” bragged this diva – and honestly, after this episode, she shouldn’t go to the grocery store without this outfit on. I’d never take it off if I ever got a chance to wear it; this exotic purple-rose-of-Cairo costume was like something out of a V.C. Andrews-book-jacket-themed Met Ball.

Anyway, the Flower’s performance was just as stunning. She blossomed onstage and sounded like a legend. The judges shouted, “We’re not worthy!” while the usually unflappable Nick Cannon seemed awestruck, shaking in his million-dollar shoes. “I think we’re in the presence of greatness,” Nick proclaimed. As far as clues, the Flower mentioned the word “empire” and said she’s dabbled in “cooking, clothing, and craft.”

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Judges’ guesses: Jessie J and Jennifer Hudson (because of the booming voice), Taraji P. Henson, Martha Stewart, Patti LaBelle, and Bjork (come on, going on The Masked Singer would be like a Casual Friday for that swan-lady). A mention of having a “vision of love” had the judges also thinking this might be Nick’s ex, Mariah Carey, and another line, “What’s love got to do with it,” brought up Tina Turner and Angela Bassett.” data-reactid=”42″>Judges’ guesses: Jessie J and Jennifer Hudson (because of the booming voice), Taraji P. Henson, Martha Stewart, Patti LaBelle, and Bjork (come on, going on The Masked Singer would be like a Casual Friday for that swan-lady). A mention of having a “vision of love” had the judges also thinking this might be Nick’s ex, Mariah Carey, and another line, “What’s love got to do with it,” brought up Tina Turner and Angela Bassett.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="My guess: The Flower had Mariah’s slow mermaid gait and grand-dame personality, but I think this is Empire regular, baking-empire entrepreneur, and friend of Mariah and Tina, Patti LaBelle. Hey, if Gladys Knight was willing to dress up as the Bee last season, why can’t a soul icon like Patti be a flower?” data-reactid=”43″>My guess: The Flower had Mariah’s slow mermaid gait and grand-dame personality, but I think this is Empire regular, baking-empire entrepreneur, and friend of Mariah and Tina, Patti LaBelle. Hey, if Gladys Knight was willing to dress up as the Bee last season, why can’t a soul icon like Patti be a flower?

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Penguin, “The Middle” and “Worth It”” data-reactid=”46″>The Penguin, “The Middle” and “Worth It”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“My whole life, I've been told I'm not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough,” lamented this poor little tuxedo’d creature, who said she’s been told many time her career is “over.” Nope! Sorry, haters – who, according to the Penguin’s “hit list,” include the press, comedy club owners, school bullies, and her exes – you’ve only really made it until you’ve belted Zedd and Fifth Harmony songs in a penguin costume on national TV. This woman clearly wasn’t a professional singer like the Flower, but she gave a vivacious performance and let her happy feet take her all over the stage.” data-reactid=”47″>“My whole life, I’ve been told I’m not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough,” lamented this poor little tuxedo’d creature, who said she’s been told many time her career is “over.” Nope! Sorry, haters – who, according to the Penguin’s “hit list,” include the press, comedy club owners, school bullies, and her exes – you’ve only really made it until you’ve belted Zedd and Fifth Harmony songs in a penguin costume on national TV. This woman clearly wasn’t a professional singer like the Flower, but she gave a vivacious performance and let her happy feet take her all over the stage.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Judges’ guesses: Jenna Fischer, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Mullally, Sherri Shepherd (I swear, Jenny McCarthy is just going to keep saying that one until she’s eventually right), and Kathy Griffin.” data-reactid=”54″>Judges’ guesses: Jenna Fischer, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Mullally, Sherri Shepherd (I swear, Jenny McCarthy is just going to keep saying that one until she’s eventually right), and Kathy Griffin.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="My guess: This is totally Kathy, you guys. Every single clue added up. Even the line “I am leading the march, who’s with me?” sounded like something that political firebrand would say. Kathy and the Penguin are the perfect TV combo of fire and ice.” data-reactid=”55″>My guess: This is totally Kathy, you guys. Every single clue added up. Even the line “I am leading the march, who’s with me?” sounded like something that political firebrand would say. Kathy and the Penguin are the perfect TV combo of fire and ice.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Fox, “This Love”” data-reactid=”60″>The Fox, “This Love”

The fancy Fox said he does his “best work at night” and has worked with everyone from “Doogie” to “Doubtfire.” He described himself as a “superhero” and performed the Maroon 5 hit with such panache and flamboyance that the judges suspected he might be a Broadway superstar.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Judges’ guesses: Wesley Snipes, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Mackie, Jamie Foxx (but I thought Jamie was the Leopard??), and Tyrese Gibson.” data-reactid=”64″>Judges’ guesses: Wesley Snipes, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Mackie, Jamie Foxx (but I thought Jamie was the Leopard??), and Tyrese Gibson.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="My guess: I think this could be Hugh Jackman. I mean, the clues fit the profile — and aren’t Wolverines and Foxes descended from the same animal family, really?” data-reactid=”65″>My guess: I think this could be Hugh Jackman. I mean, the clues fit the profile — and aren’t Wolverines and Foxes descended from the same animal family, really?

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Come back next week, when the surviving celebrity singers of Season 2’s first three rounds return for more masked mischief.

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Who are the key players in Turkey’s Syria offensive, and what’s at stake? – CBC.ca

October 9th, 2019

Turkish forces began a military operation in northeast Syria on Wednesday, shortly after U.S. troops began vacating the region. The newest front in the Middle East could have ripple effects on everything from the strength of ISIS to the impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump.

Who are the key players in the offensive and what’s at stake? CBC News explains the offensive:

Why is Turkey attacking Syria?

Turkey isn’t attacking Syria’s central government, but instead wants to eliminate what it sees as a terrorist threat on its border: Kurdish fighters in Syria.

The Kurds are an ethnic minority spread across several countries in the region, and Turkey says the Kurdish militia in northeastern Syria, known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, is allied with outlawed Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey.

Turkey also says it plans to create a “safe zone” to resettle millions of Syrian refugees currently living on Turkish soil who have fled during Syria’s yearslong civil war. This would then serve as a buffer against the YPG.

Who are the Kurds?

The Kurdish ethnic minority, mainly Sunni Muslims, speaks a language related to Farsi and lives mostly in a mountainous region straddling the borders of Armenia, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. The latter four countries all have large Kurdish minorities seeking varying degrees of autonomy from central governments after decades of repression.

During the ongoing Syrian civil war, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad focused on crushing mainly Sunni Arab rebels, turning a blind eye as Kurdish fighters carved out self-rule across the north and east. Kurdish forces control about a quarter of the country’s territory — the biggest chunk of Syria not in state hands — with its own forces and bureaucracy.

Syrian Kurdish leaders say they don’t want to separate but want regional autonomy.

Why attack now?

Because Trump pulled his country’s soldiers — just a few dozen of them — from the area.

Turkey’s offensive — named Operation Peace Spring — came after Trump agreed to withdraw American troops, paving the way for an assault on Kurdish forces that have long been allied with the United States in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Trump’s move isn’t popular with either Republicans or Democrats, but the president has said “stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!”

Could this affect ISIS?

It could, according to experts. The U.S. had hoped to train the Syrian Democratic Forces (which is spearheaded by YPG) and other groups to create a stabilization force of 50,000 to 60,000 fighters to help prevent a resurgence of ISIS.

As of last month, the U.S. military estimated it was about halfway toward that goal.

One official told Reuters that the SDF was still guarding prisons holding some 11,000 captured Islamic State fighters, but noted that a small number of SDF forces had relocated ahead of the Turkish offensive.

A fighter with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) holds her weapon as they announce the destruction of Islamic State’s control of land in eastern Syria on March 23, 2019. The Kurdish-led SDF have spent years expanding its control across northern and eastern Syria, helped by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. (Rodi Said/Reuters.)

How do those not directly involved feel about it?

Generally, not good.

First, Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria drew widespread condemnation internationally and across party lines within the U.S. because it is widely seen as abandonment of the Kurdish fighters who have been the U.S. Armed Forces’ sole allies in Syria.

Turkey’s quick attacks drew sharp criticism from many quarters, including Germany, the European Union and Canada.

“Canada firmly condemns Turkey’s military incursion into Syria today,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Twitter.

There has also been no public support from Turkey’s Western allies for its plan to resettle two million Syrians in northeast Syria.

Iran and Russia are both key allies of the Assad government and have troops on the ground in Syria. While they may publicly oppose a Turkish incursion, they probably don’t mind an operation that diminishes the Kurdish forces.

Beyond the loss of life, what are the risks?

Broadly, there are fears the incursion could inflame further conflicts in Syria and the region, potentially allowing for a revival of ISIS, as well as another surge of Syrian refugees.

Both could be a problem for countries that have already spent recent years dealing with large numbers of refugees, as well as the politically thorny question of what to do about ISIS members who are also Western citizens

For Turkey, there are further dangers, including alienating fellow NATO members or getting bogged down in a long conflict with the battle-hardened Kurdish fighters.

And for Trump, there is the challenge of angering Republicans at a time when he needs their support due to the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

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