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Bay Area Rapper Lil Yase Shot Dead at 25, Mysterious Circumstances – TMZ

https://www.tmz.com/2020/11/28/bay-area-rapper-lil-yase-shot-dead-dies-san-francisco/

Bay Area Rapper Lil Yase Shot Dead at 25, Mysterious Circumstances - TMZ

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Chrissy Teigens trip for Biden inauguration draws criticism, star responds: Not my fault – Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/chrissy-teigen-responds-critic-traveling-biden-inauguration

Chrissy Teigens trip for Biden inauguration draws criticism, star responds: Not my fault - Fox News

Chrissy Teigen is speaking out.

The 35-year-old cookbook author traveled to Washington D.C. for Wednesday’s presidential inauguration ceremony, which saw Joe Biden assume the office of President of the United States.

Not only was Teigen an outspoken supporter of Biden throughout his presidential run, but her husband, John Legend, is also set to perform during the “Celebrating America” television special on Wednesday night.

Ahead of her journey to the Capitol, Teigen shared a photo of her son Miles, 2, standing in her suitcase on social media. 

CHRISSY TEIGEN REVEALS REASON FOR SOBRIETY: ‘I WAS DONE MAKING AN A– OUT OF MYSELF’

“My baby got his first fat lip pushing his car down the driveway,” she wrote. “Still happy packing for inauguration though!”

One Twitter user wasn’t happy with the “Chrissy’s Court” star’s message, however, and fired off a response that’s since been deleted.

“Hey Chrissy DC residents aren’t very ‘happy’ right now and can’t even ‘happy pack’ their cars to drive to the grocery store because of the military state the city is in but yeah LOL come on down especially in a pandemic,” wrote the social media user, per Buzzfeed. “How happy!!!”

The tweet was in reference to the heightened security in the city, which was installed after the Capitol riots that occurred earlier this month.

Additionally, traveling during the ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic has been criticized as it increases the risk of spreading the novel virus.

ON INSTAGRAM, CHRISSY TEIGEN REVEALS SHE’S ‘4 WEEKS SOBER’

However, Teigen had no problem standing up for herself.

“This is not my fault but I’m sorry you’re frustrated,” she responded. “I just like to share what we are up to and whatnot.”

At one point, the critic also said that she blames the former model for “being tone deaf and planning a ‘happy’ trip to the center of the issue” and said that “one will even be able to see” Legend’s upcoming performance, per Buzzfeed.

Chrissy Teigen was criticized for traveling to Washington D.C. amid hightened security and the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Chrissy Teigen was criticized for traveling to Washington D.C. amid hightened security and the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Teigen again responded.

“For f–ks sake why are you guys always always mad at me, all I wanna do is make you happy or at least leave you with a neutral feeling of indifference,” she retorted.

The star also shared a handful of joyous pictures on Instagram in celebration of the special day, including one of herself, Legend, Miles, and the couple’s 4-year-old daughter Luna.

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“I must have been gooooood in a past life,” she sweetly captioned the post.

Teigen and Legend are only a few of the stars to have been spotted in D.C. on Wednesday, as music legends Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks all performed at the ceremony.

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Additionally, Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake and more are expected to perform for the television event, which will be hosted by Tom Hanks.

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Critic’s notebook: Bruce Springsteen sings ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ to open the inaugural special. – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/bruce-springsteen-land-of-hope-and-dreams-inauguration.html

Critic’s notebook: Bruce Springsteen sings ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ to open the inaugural special. - The New York Times

When President Barack Obama gave his farewell address to the nation on Jan. 10, 2017, he walked off the stage to a recording of Bruce Springsteen’s “Land of Hope and Dreams,” embracing his family while Mr. Springsteen sang of offering unwavering support for his broken friends, and of the power of traveling together toward a common future.

So it was a warm and knowing bit of circle-closing that Mr. Springsteen himself performed “Land of Hope and Dreams” to open the prime-time “Celebrating America” special Wednesday night that marked the inauguration of President Biden. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Springsteen stood alone, wearing a navy pea coat and jeans, and clutching a vividly aged guitar.

His singing was gritty and a little tense, a reflection of the song’s determined optimism in the face of challenges. “Leave behind your sorrows/ Let this day be the last,” he purred. “Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine/ And all this darkness past.”

The next performer — Jon Bon Jovi, another son of New Jersey — also emphasized the arrival of the light, with a cover of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” But in the context of the pandemic and the recent political turmoil that has wracked the country, his blithe cheer felt brittle and unawares, especially following Mr. Springsteen’s acknowledgment of the cold season just now coming to an end.

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GOP senators warn McConnell could face backlash if he votes to convict Trump – CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/gop-senators-warn-mcconnell-backlash/index.html

GOP senators warn McConnell could face backlash if he votes to convict Trump - CNN
McConnell, who is the longest-serving Senate Republican leader in history, has long had strong support within the Senate GOP Conference. But some say if the GOP leader votes to convict Trump, his backing will quickly wane.

“If he does, I don’t know if he can stay as leader,” said one senior GOP senator who said several of his colleagues held similar views and asked not to be named discussing sensitive internal politics.

Other GOP senators were equally as blunt.

“No, no, no,” Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and Trump ally, told CNN when asked if he could support McConnell if he voted to convict Trump, calling such a vote a “dangerous precedent” and adding: “I don’t even think we should be having a trial.”

McConnell has not said how he would vote in the impeachment trial, telling his colleagues and associates that he would keep an open mind and listen to the arguments presented when the trial gets underway. But he has privately contended that Trump’s actions were at least impeachable — and has made no secret about his disdain with the former President’s actions in the run-up to the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol where pro-Trump insurrections tried to stop the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s win.

“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said Tuesday on the floor. “They were provoked by the President and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on.”

After 10 House Republicans broke ranks to join every Democrat to impeach Trump last week on a charge of inciting an insurrection, a number of Republican senators are taking a similar posture as McConnell — saying they’re truly undecided and will listen to the arguments — a key sign that they could very well be swayed by the position the GOP leader ultimately takes.

Yet in the House, a group of Trump loyalists are seeking to strip Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney of her GOP leadership post for supporting impeachment, a predicament some Republican senators privately believe could hound McConnell if he seeks to end Trump’s political career.

McConnell, who has aligned himself with Trump’s agenda for the past four years and was responsible for helping him reshape the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court, has had little interaction with Trump in recent weeks after the former President grew increasingly isolated by his efforts to overturn the elections.

Republicans who know McConnell well believe he will take the temperature of the Senate GOP Conference and ultimately make a decision based in part on the views of his colleagues and the mood of the country when it comes time to cast the key vote.

And some Trump loyalists say if McConnell and at least 16 of his GOP colleagues join 50 Democrats to convict the ex-President, they’ll see a major backlash from the party’s base that will thwart their hopes of winning back the Senate majority next year.

“What good comes from impeaching a guy in Florida?” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a friend of Trump’s who spoke at length with the former President the night before Biden’s inauguration. “I think if any Republican-leader type who embraces that is doing a lot of damage to the party.”

Graham, a South Carolina Republican, argued that the GOP needs Trump on its side to be successful next year.

“For the party to move forward, we got to move the party with Donald Trump,” Graham said in an interview. “There’s no way to be a successful Republican Party without having President Trump working with all of us and all of us working with him. That’s just a fact. And I think we got a decent chance of coming back in 2022. But we can’t do it without the President.”

Not everyone agrees — and some Republicans are clearly signaling they are ready to bar Trump from ever seeking office again after convicting him in the trial.

“Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican of Alaska, said of Trump’s actions.

McConnell’s office declined to comment. But the GOP leader’s closest allies insist it’s unclear where he’s headed.

Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the GOP leadership team, said he doesn’t believe McConnell has made a decision about how he’d vote on conviction.

“He’s said a number of times in my hearing that he has genuinely not made up his mind and would wait to see what is presented,” Cornyn said of the GOP leader.

Sen. Mitt Romney, the Utah Republican who was the lone GOP senator who voted to convict Trump in 2020, said McConnell has told his colleagues: “You should vote your conscience,” adding that the GOP leader “has not in any way tried to pressure folks to go one way or another.”

“We’re asked to apply impartial justice,” Romney said. “We’re not asked to apply impartial justice unless it hurts your party. And so my responsibility and I believe that of each of us is to do what we swear on oath to do. And the consequences of that are difficult to predict.”

Other Republicans are staking out a firmer ground — including Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who led the failed effort to overturn Biden’s electoral win in Arizona on January 6.

“I don’t think we should be focusing on the Democrats’ political retribution,” Cruz said when asked about McConnell keeping the option open of convicting Trump.

Freshman Sen. Tommy Tuberville, an Alabama Republican who, like Cruz, voted to overturn Biden’s wins in Arizona and Pennsylvania after the riot, argued that the GOP needed to stay united during the trial.

“I’m not for the trial,” Tuberville said. “You’re going to impeach a guy who’s not even in town anymore?”

Asked what it would mean for the party if Republicans joined Democrats to convict Trump, Tuberville said: “It wouldn’t be good. The whole thing is about a team, and if you start separating the team, then it just tears it up.”

While many GOP senators are undecided, it’s clear that McConnell’s vote remains the most influential.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican, said many Republican senators view McConnell as “certainly iconic, I mean the guy’s a Senate legend and rightfully so.”

But he discounted that McConnell’s vote would have much of an impact on the party’s electoral prospects.

“The party’s not going to be defined by his one vote,” Cramer said. “Out in the states people are going to judge based on how their senator votes. Not on how Kentucky’s senior senator votes.”

CNN’s Ali Zaslav and Lauren Koenig contributed to this report.

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Three soldiers killed in helicopter crash in New York – NBC News

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/three-soldiers-killed-helicopter-crash-new-york-n1255099

Three soldiers killed in helicopter crash in New York - NBC News

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Pac-12 to split with commissioner Larry Scott in June as search begins for replacement – CBS Sports

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/pac-12-to-split-with-commissioner-larry-scott-in-june-as-search-begins-for-replacement/

Pac-12 to split with commissioner Larry Scott in June as search begins for replacement - CBS Sports

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott’s tenure as the league’s top executive will end on June 30, the league announced Wednesday night. Scott, 56, and the conference “mutually agreed” on the decision, even though his contract was set to run through June 2022.

Scott has helmed the league since 2009, overseeing its expansion to 12 schools and helping with the launch of the Pac-12 Network. But, more recently, the league has dealt with with decreased prestige in football and men’s basketball as well as well-publicized financial woes.

“We appreciate Larry’s pioneering efforts in growing the conference by adding new competitive university programs and accelerating the Pac-12 to television network parity with the other conferences,” Oregon president Michael Schill said in a statement. “At one point, our television agreement was the most lucrative in the nation and the debut of the Pac-12 Network helped deliver our championship brand to US and global markets on traditional and digital platforms. That said, the intercollegiate athletics marketplace doesn’t remain static and now is a good time to bring in a new leader who will help us develop our go-forward strategy.”

Scott was the highest-paid commissioner in college athletics at $4.8 million per year, which was higher than the combined salaries of the Big Ten and SEC commissioners. 

Asked what his legacy would be, Scott told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, “I don’t know. That’s for others to say.”

Scott also said he would “take a break and reflect after 20 years in pro sports, 10 years in college. I’m excited about the next chapter.”

“It’s been a terrific journey. I’m very grateful,” Scott said. “I’m really honored to have served such distinguished universities. I’ve been inspired by the student-athletes. I had a great team, and with our members, had a chance to do something unusual to lead a transformation. The conference is very well positioned for the next TV deal. A lot of changes are going on in college sports.

“I’m on my third contract. This one had 18 months to go. We sat down with the idea to figure it out. At the first meeting, it became clear our presidents and chancellors thought a good time for a different direction. I expressed that it was a good time in my life for a change. It was kind of clear. Let’s get on with it, no reason to wait around. They just asked me to wait around for the end of the year.”

Throughout his tenure, Scott was known for his lavish spending. The conference reportedly paid $6.9 million in rent annually for its downtown San Francisco offices. After the Pac-12 moved its basketball tournament to Las Vegas, The Oregonian reported a resort casino comped Scott the use of a 3,400 square-foot suite.

Scott’s undoing, ultimately, may have been the Pac-12 Network. The wholly-owned venture, launched in 2012, suffered distribution issues from which it could never quite recover. The network just never was seen by enough viewers to make it viable as it could never work out an agreement for carriage on DirecTV, one of the largest cable systems in the country. 

Fans all over the region complained about not being able to see their teams; as of 2015, the network was available in 90 million homes but only 15 million homes subscribed.

His time was marred by scandal as well. Scott was criticized for essentially having his conference pay for coverage in the Los Angeles Times, and when the idea was revealed, the practice quickly stopped.

A national search for Scott’s replacement will “immediately commence,” the league said in the statement.

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