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Actress Shailene Woodley confirms engagement to Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers – ESPN

Actress Shailene Woodley confirms engagement to Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers - ESPN

Actress Shailene Woodley confirmed her engagement to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” that aired Monday.

Woodley, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the HBO drama series “Big Little Lies,” said she and Rodgers got engaged “a while ago.”

Rodgers, 37, had mentioned his engagement and thanked his fiancée while accepting his third career MVP award on Feb. 6 but didn’t say her name.

Woodley, 29, told Fallon she has yet to attend one of Rodgers’ games because of the pandemic, and she acknowledged that while growing up, sports were never really on her “radar.”

“When we met, also, I knew he was a football guy, but I didn’t know like what kind of a football guy he was,” Woodley explained. “And I’m still constantly learning.”

Remarking on Rodgers’ football talent, she continued, “I don’t get it. He’s good. He’s great. But, like, I don’t understand. Because I don’t know him as a football guy. I know him as the nerd who wants to host ‘Jeopardy!’ That’s the dude I know.”

Rodgers had revealed last month that he has been asked to be a guest host for an episode of his favorite game show — one he appeared on in a celebrity edition in 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Disney to close at least 60 Disney Stores in US and Canada, as shopping shifts to online – USA TODAY

Disney to close at least 60 Disney Stores in US and Canada, as shopping shifts to online - USA TODAY

Disney fans won’t have as many Disney Stores to shop at in the near future.

As part of a plan to emphasize e-commerce, The Walt Disney Co. will close at least 60 Disney stores in North America this year, the company announced Wednesday. That amounts to about one-third of the stores in North America; there are about 300 worldwide.

Shopping has changed shopping during the coronavirus pandemic – and so has Disney’s entire business with its theme parks closed to some extent, while its Disney+ streaming service blossomed to 94.9 million subscribers. Disney’s revenue in the October-December quarter fell 22% to $16.25 billion from $20.88 billion in the previous year but still beat Wall Street expectations.

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World of Disney store at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida.

This move is meant to capitalize on consumers’ embrace of online shopping and address what shoppers “expect from a retailer,” said Stephanie Young, president, consumer products games and publishing, in a statement

“Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on meeting consumers where they are already spending their time, such as the expansion of Disney store shop-in-shops around the world,” Young said. “We now plan to create a more flexible, interconnected e-commerce experience that gives consumers easy access to unique, high-quality products across all our franchises.”

This won’t affect more than 600 Disney Parks stores and other locations, including Disney stores inside Target stores

Also shoppers can expect new merchandise including adult clothing, street wear and home products and collectibles. A recent example: a special edition “Star Wars – The Mandalorian The Child in Floating Hover Pram,” with a plush toy of “The Child” or Grogu, the character from the Disney+ series. The toy, which uses magnetic power to levitate 2½ inches off the base, is currently valued at more than $9,000 in a charity auction ending Friday.

You can bid on the Mattel Creations toy, called "The Mandalorian The Child" in Floating Hover Pram, which includes a Child plush toy within and spins and levitates 2½ inches off the base.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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Now Is Not The Time To Stop Wearing A Mask, Says CDC Director Rochelle Walensky – NPR

Now Is Not The Time To Stop Wearing A Mask, Says CDC Director Rochelle Walensky - NPR
Now Is Not The Time To Stop Wearing A Mask, Says CDC Director Rochelle Walensky - NPR

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in an interview with NPR on Wednesday that the nation is fighting headwinds in the fight to end the pandemic from new variants of the virus and efforts to rollback coronavirus restrictions.

Susan Walsh/AP

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Susan Walsh/AP

Now Is Not The Time To Stop Wearing A Mask, Says CDC Director Rochelle Walensky - NPR

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in an interview with NPR on Wednesday that the nation is fighting headwinds in the fight to end the pandemic from new variants of the virus and efforts to rollback coronavirus restrictions.

Susan Walsh/AP

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voiced concern on Wednesday about the recent climb in the number of new cases of the coronavirus, warning that pandemic fatigue and the loosening of restrictions may be setting the stage for yet another surge this spring.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the next few weeks could prove pivotal in determining whether nearly one year into the pandemic, the United States will finally be able to find its way out of the crisis. But she said the nation is facing headwinds from both the spread of highly transmissible variants of the virus, and efforts to roll back guidelines around everything from mask use to how quickly businesses can reopen.

“I think the next two or three months could go in one of two directions,” Walensky told host Ari Shapiro. “If things open up, if we’re not really cautious, we could end up with a post-spring break surge the way we saw a post-Christmas surge. We could see much more disease. We could see much more death.”

“In an alternative vision,” Walensky continued, “I see we really hunker down for a couple of more months, we get so many people vaccinated and we get to a really great place by summer.”

Walensky’s comments followed announcements on Tuesday by the governors of Texas and Mississippi that they would be ending mask mandates in their states and allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity — decisions that President Biden likened to “Neanderthal thinking” on Wednesday.

In Texas, new cases are down about 9% from the average two weeks ago, but up 20% since last week. In Mississippi, new cases are similarly down from two weeks ago but up 62% over last week’s numbers.

“The CDC squarely recommends routine masking, routine social distancing right now, right as we’re at this nexus, this critical time, this tenuous point. So it squarely does not fit within the guidance that we are recommending,” said Walensky, referring to Tuesday’s announcements.

“I will say, though, that the reason that I mask is not because my governor tells me so,” she added. “The reason I mask is because I know it protects myself, it protects my loved ones, it protects my neighbors and my community, so I think everybody is empowered to do the right thing and to put the mask on.”

While the rollbacks in Texas and Mississippi represent two of the most expansive in the nation, they are far from the only ones to be announced. Massachusetts has allowed restaurants to reopen at full capacity, and in South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster has lifted prohibitions on large gatherings.

Walensky acknowledged the reality of pandemic fatigue. “We are all exhausted,” she said.

But now, as more and more Americans are getting vaccinated, “there is a vision, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

“Now is not the time to stop to stop wearing a mask.”

Since taking office in January, Walensky had mostly been looking at hopeful signs in the fight against the pandemic. Overall, new infections have fallen by roughly 70%, bringing the average number of new cases near levels last seen in the fall. Meanwhile, the number of new people hospitalized for COVID-19 has plunged by about 60% since the January peak.

But on Wednesday the CDC director warned that the agency continues to see “troubling signs” that recent progress has stalled. Speaking at a White House briefing, Walensky said the most recent seven-day average of new cases stands at 66,000, an increase of 3.5% over the previous seven days. Deaths were up 2.2% during that period to slightly more than 2,000 each day.

Officials have attributed the uptick to variants of the virus that are beginning to spread more widely and more rapidly throughout the country — particular the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the U.K and has been found to be 50% more transmissible than the strain that has been circulating in the United States.

“What worries me the most is that we’re really stabilizing now, teetering at around 60,000 to 70,000 cases a day, and that is too many cases to try and put an end to this pandemic,” Walensky told NPR.

“It also worries me because as we’re sort of stabilizing with these very high levels of virus, we have this hyper-transmissible strain, the B.1.1.7 strain, that really threatens the progress that we’ve been making to date,” she said. “And so, with these levels of virus circulating and this hyper-transmissible strain, I’m just worried about what the future looks like.”

Walensky said it was too early to tell whether the country was hitting a plateau of cases or entering into a more prolonged upswing in cases.

On the vaccine front, Walensky expressed optimism when asked about President Biden’s forecast this week that by the end of May, there would be enough vaccine supply for every adult in the U.S. That effort was given a boost over the weekend by the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant emergency use authorization to a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, making it the third vaccine to secure that authorization.

“I think the supply is going to increase more and more in the weeks ahead. I think end of March looks better, end of April looks even better than that,” Walensky said. “So I think really we’re talking in the four to eight week range where we’re really going to start seeing a real step-up of supply.”

The audio for this story was produced and edited by Andrea Hsu, Mia Venkat and Courtney Dorning.

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Cuomo harassment scandal poses fresh #MeToo test for Democrats – POLITICO

Cuomo harassment scandal poses fresh #MeToo test for Democrats - POLITICO

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) went the furthest of any Democratic senator asked about the issue. Although she put trust in the attorney general’s investigation, she suggested that “there may come a tipping point with regard to Gov. Cuomo where he should resign.”

The #MeToo movement that erupted into a nationwide confrontation of sexual harassment in 2017, fueled in part by Donald Trump’s election, ended the careers of members of Congress in both parties. Perhaps no one became a bigger symbol of the Democratic Party’s attempt to enact a political zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment than Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who resigned after seven women accused him of touching them inappropriately. But senators view the allegations against Cuomo differently than those against Franken, who was a colleague.

While Cuomo is well-known and could run for higher office, senators are largely leaving it up to New York state officials to decide the governor’s political fate.

“I’m glad there’s going to be a very rigorous investigation by the attorney general. The most important thing is that the women be heard and taken seriously,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). As to whether Cuomo should step down, she said: “At this point I think people in New York need to decide that.”

Democrats also decried allegations of sexual assault against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation fight, but that situation was even more distinct: Kavanaugh was a nominee that they had an obligation to vet.

“One of the baselines is that claims like this should be investigated. You now have an investigation in New York by the attorney general, and I assume she will make recommendations,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). “So the difference is — Al never got that.”

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) predicted Cuomo was a “goner,” but compared the governor’s situation to Franken’s this way: “The Senate polices its own.”

New York’s two Democratic senators, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have strongly endorsed the attorney general’s investigation into Cuomo. Although Cuomo said he plans to cooperate with the investigation and apologized for making the women uncomfortable, the governor made clear Wednesday that he has no intention of resigning. In addition to sexual harassment allegations, Cuomo also faces an investigation into his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.

So far, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) is the only member of the state’s delegation to call for Cuomo’s resignation. Rice urged Franken to step down during his own #MeToo flap in 2017 days before Gillibrand became the first senator to call on her colleague to leave office.

Other Democratic members of the New York delegation, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, are waiting for the investigation to play out. Rep. Yvette Clarke told reporters that she is “a really big fan of due process,” while Rep. Gregory Meeks described the issue as a “very, very serious thing.”

The allegations against Cuomo began last week, when his former aide, Lindsey Boylan, wrote an essay that accused the governor of asking her to play strip poker and of forcibly kissing her on the lips. Days later, a second former aide, Charlotte Bennett, said that Cuomo asked her about her sex life, including whether she’d consider having sex with older men. A third woman, Anna Ruch, came forward this week and said Cuomo asked her if he could kiss her at a wedding reception.

“Any public official has to realize that what they say in the workplace is subject to scrutiny,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who declined to weigh in on Cuomo’s future. “In these instances, these women are having a difficult time and are under a lot of pressure coming forward. And they’ve got to be heard. It’s more than just a review of actions. Things that you say are relevant.”

Some in the GOP see a double standard in Democrats’ treatment of Cuomo compared with other high-profile misconduct allegations, although Trump faced more than 20 allegations of sexual harassment and assault, which Republicans rarely addressed. The former president has denied any wrongdoing.

Even so, outside of Schumer and Gillibrand, several Senate Democrats said that they are not paying much attention to the Cuomo controversy and showed little eagerness to talk about it.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said he did not live in New York and has “zero thoughts.” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) said she is focused on President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan. When asked for comment, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he had the “the same one everyone else is making: complete the investigation.”

One senator, addressing the thorny topic on condition of anonymity, said that Democrats have been reluctant to publicly call on Cuomo to resign despite having no tolerance for sexual harassment allegations because it’s a controversy in another state. Constituents don’t want senators meddling in other states’ business, the senator added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who berated Democrats for their treatment of Kavanaugh during his confirmation, said that his colleagues are “wrapped around the axle.”

“They were loud, vocal, ‘Kavanaugh needs to go’,” Graham said. “Now they got somebody, a prominent Democrat, and they’re figuring out how to handle it. Here’s my advice: Handle them all the same. That way you don’t have to worry about it.”

Anna Gronewold contributed to this report.

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Meghan Markle Accuses Royal Family Of “Perpetuating Falsehoods About Us” In New Promo For Oprah Winfrey Interview On CBS – Deadline

Meghan Markle Accuses Royal Family Of “Perpetuating Falsehoods About Us” In New Promo For Oprah Winfrey Interview On CBS - Deadline

CBS tonight dropped a new promo for Oprah with Meghan and Harry, its upcoming two-hour special featuring the American talk show queen interviewing the British Royal couple, in which Markle launches a new salvo in the duo’s ongoing war with the Buckingham Palace. In the promo, Oprah Winfrey asks Markle about the Royals’ reaction to her “speaking her truth” in the interview.

“I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” Markle says in the interview, which was filmed last month. “And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.” (Watch the video above)

The new promo comes amid a media storm in the U.K. involving the former Suits star following the release of CBS’ first two Oprah with Meghan and Harry promos on Sunday night, which teased bombshell revelations. It comes on the heels of an explosive report in The Times Of London, alleging possible “bullying” behavior by Markle. The Sussexes denounced the story as a “smear campaign” ahead of the Oprah interview while the Buckingham Palace announced that they were launching an investigation into the claims.

Only Winfrey and Prince Harry spoke in the first two promos. “You’ve said some pretty shocking things here,” Winfrey said at one point. She also was seen asking the duo whether they were “silent or silenced” and inquiring about “a breaking point,” likely in connection to their decision to leave the U.K.

Harry referenced the fate of his late mother, Princess Diana.

“My biggest concern was history repeating itself,” he said. “I’m really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you with my wife by my side because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been for her going through this process by herself all these years ago. Because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us but at least we have each other.”

Per CBS, the interview will see Winfrey speak with Markle about everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, her philanthropic work, and how she is handling life under intense public pressure.

Later, the two will be joined by Prince Harry, as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family. The interview comes a year after the couple moved to the US and became independent from the Royal family.

Since they have relocated to California, the pair have signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify. The Queen recently stripped them of royal patronages after a one-year review of the so-called “Megxit” deal, in which the couple wanted to step back from public life, but still serve and retain some privileges. Reports indicate Queen Elizabeth declared that the “half-in, half-out” approach would not compatible with the established protocols for the monarchy.

Oprah with Meghan and Harry airs from 8 PM-10 PM Sunday, March 7. The special is produced by Harpo Productions. Executive producers are Terry Wood and Tara Montgomery. Brian Piotrowicz is co-executive producer.

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Motorola may have leaked its own Snapdragon 4100-powered Wear OS watch – The Verge

Motorola may have leaked its own Snapdragon 4100-powered Wear OS watch - The Verge

A planned Motorola-branded Wear OS smartwatch with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor may have leaked (via 9to5Google). If the photos are real and not just renders, it could be a sign that the next Moto 360 (or whatever it’s called) could perform significantly better than the last, and may reap some of the efficiency gains brought by the jump from a 28nm process to a 12nm one.

The 2019 Moto 360 used a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which was only a minor update to 2016’s 2100. Despite Qualcomm’s claims that the new(ish) 4100 has an 85 percent faster CPU, two-and-a-half times faster GPU, and 25 percent more battery life, it seems like there’s only one watch on the market that actually has the chip.

The image that shows the potential watch (and which also seems to show a wireless charging coil) was found in an investor presentation alongside three other smartwatches. The unnamed watch has some text on the back, and when Reddit user TheMacJezza zoomed and enhanced, they saw that it appeared to say “Snapdragon Wear 4100.” I’m no logician, but that would seem to imply that this Mystery Moto has a Snapdragon Wear 4100 in it (especially considering that the current Moto 360 has its processor name printed on the back as well).

Motorola may have leaked its own Snapdragon 4100-powered Wear OS watch - The Verge

The unnamed Motorola watch, with some contrast tweaks.
Image: u/ThemacJezza

Motorola doesn’t actually make Moto-branded smartwatches itself. The name was licensed to a company called eBuyNow, which released the third-generation Moto 360 in 2019. eBuyNow later merged with another company called CE Brands, according to 9to5Google, which earlier reported on an investor presentation containing details of the Moto-branded hardware roadmap for 2021.

Correction: This article previously implied Moto-branded smartwatches were still made by Motorola; it has been updated to reflect that the brand is licensed out. The Verge regrets the error.

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