Archives January 2022

Rihanna and boyfriend A$AP Rocky expecting first child

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky are expecting their first child together. The singer revealed her pregnancy news while out with Rocky in New York City, showing off her expectant stomach. Photos can be seen herePeople confirmed the news. Rihanna wore an open vintage fall/winter 1996 Chanel pink puffer coat to break the news.

This will be Rihanna and Rocky’s first child together. The two were first reported to be dating in December 2020 but are longtime friends.

In May, Rocky spoke glowingly about Rihanna, calling her “the love of my life.” Dating her versus playing the field is “so much better,” Rocky said. “So much better when you got the One. She amounts to probably, like, a million of the other ones. I think when you know, you know. She’s the One.”

He addressed if he was ready to become a father in the interview too. Rihanna has been open about her hope to start a family. “If that’s in my destiny, absolutely,” he said. “I think I’m already a dad! All these motherfuckers are already my sons—whatchu talkin’ ’bout!” He laughed. “Nah, but like, I think I’d be an incredible, remarkably, overall amazing dad. I would have a very fly child. Very.”

Rihanna spoke in March 2020 about her plans to have kids in the next 10 years with or without a partner.

“Ten years? I’ll be 42! I’ll be ancient. I’ll have kids—three or four of ’em,” she mused then.

When asked whether she’d still have children if she hadn’t found the right partner, Rihanna didn’t hesitate: “Hell, yeah. I feel like society makes me want to feel like, ‘Oh, you got it wrong…’ They diminish you as a mother if there’s not a dad in your kids’ lives. But the only thing that matters is happiness, that’s the only healthy relationship between a parent and a child. That’s the only thing that can raise a child truly, is love.”

Source: Elle

Justice Breyer retiring from Supreme Court

Justice Stephen Breyer is planning to retire from the Supreme Court, according to multiple reports, ending a nearly three-decade career on the bench and clearing the way for Democrats to seat the liberal jurist’s replacement on the 6-3 conservative majority court. The move caps off months of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation and growing calls from the left for the 83-year-old Clinton nominee to make way for a rejuvenated liberal wing and more diverse bench. The development, which was first reported by NBC News, comes amid a blockbuster term which could see the justices rein in federal abortion rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade and expand the Second Amendment.

The timing of Breyer’s departure is consistent with the modern trend of Supreme Court justices stepping down when the White House is controlled by the same party behind their nomination, a dynamic known as “strategic retirement.”

Source: The Hill

3 firefighters dead, one in critical condition following rowhome fire in west Baltimore

Three firefighters were killed and one critically injured from a partial building collapse while battling a fire in a vacant rowhome in west Baltimore early Monday, officials said.

In a news conference held by Mayor Brandon Scott and the Baltimore City Fire Department, Scott released the names of the victims from the early morning rowhome fire.

“Today, Baltimore has lost three of the bravest among us: Lt Paul Butrim, firefighter/paramedic Kelsey Sadler and EMT/firefighter Kenny Lacayo,” Scott said. ” All made the ultimate sacrifice. For that, Baltimore owes them the deepest gratitude and respect. A fourth EMT/firefighter John McMaster remains at the hospital in critical but stable condition.”

Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles R. Ford honored the bravery of his first responders and firefighters.

“Every day, our firefighters, our first responders put their lives on the line for the sake of others, Ford said. “Today, three firefighters lost their lives in service to our city and another remains in critical condition. From this moment, we will honor those we lost today, for their bravery, their courage, their love for helping others and the respect they had for the Baltimore City Fire Department.”

Source: WBAL

Omicron surge is undermining care for other health problems – The omicron surge this winter has not only swamped U.S. hospitals with record numbers of patients with COVID-19, it has also caused frightening moments and major headaches for people trying to get treatment for other ailments.

Less-urgent procedures have been put on hold around the country, such as cochlear implant surgeries and steroid injections for rheumatoid arthritis. And people with all sorts of medical complaints have had to wait in emergency rooms for hours longer than usual.
Source: AP News

Comedian, Louie Anderson dead at 68 of complications from cancer

Louie Anderson, whose four-decade career as a comedian and actor included his unlikely, Emmy-winning performance as mom to twin adult sons in the TV series “Baskets,” died Friday. He was 68.

Anderson died at a hospital in Las Vegas of complications from cancer, said Glenn Schwartz, his longtime publicist. Anderson had a a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Schwartz said previously.

“‘Baskets’ was such a phenomenal ‘second act’ for Louie Anderson. I wish he’d gotten a third,” Michael McKean said on Twitter. George Wallace wrote: “You’ll be missed, Louie. What an awesome friend. One in a million.” Gilbert Gottfried posted a photo of himself, Anderson and Bob Saget, who died Jan. 9, with the caption: “Both good friends that will be missed.”

“You were as gracious and kind as you were funny. Rest well!! Keep ’em laughing in Heaven,” Viola Davis said on Twitter.

The portly, round-faced Anderson used his girth and a checkered childhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota, as fodder for his early stand-up routines.

In a 1987 interview with The Associated Press, Anderson compared himself to another comedian who mined his childhood for comedy.

“Bill Cosby and I had similar goals,” Anderson told AP. “I wanted parents to be able to bring their children and children to be able to bring their parents to my concerts. I feel a family that can laugh about family problems is better off. The difference between Cosby and myself is that he sees it from an adult perspective and I tell it from a child’s viewpoint.”

Source: AP News

US begins offering 1B free COVID tests, but many more needed

For the first time, people across the U.S. can log on to a government website and order free, at-home COVID-19 tests. But the White House push may do little to ease the omicron surge, and experts say Washington will have to do a lot more to fix the country’s long-troubled testing system. The website,, allows people to order four at-home tests per household, regardless of citizenship status, and have them delivered by mail. But the tests won’t arrive for seven to 12 days, after omicron cases are expected to peak in many parts of the country. The White House also announced Wednesday that it will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free at pharmacies and community health centers. Both initiatives represent the kind of mass government investments long seen in parts of Europe and Asia, but delayed in the U.S.

“Should we have done more testing earlier? Yes, but we’re doing more now,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday, recapping his first year in office.

Experts say the plan to distribute 1 billion tests is a good first step, but it must become a regular part of the pandemic response. In the same way that it has made vaccines free and plentiful, the government must use its purchasing power to assure a steady test supply, they say.

“The playbook for rapid tests should look exactly like the playbook for vaccines,” said Zoe McLaren, a health economist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “They’re both things that help keep cases down and help keep COVID under control.”

A home test two-pack commonly sells for more than $20 at the store — if you can find one, amid the omicron-triggered rush to get tested. Since last week, insurance companies have been required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home rapid tests bought at drugstores or online retailers.

The four tests per home made available through the government website may not go very far in some households.

Source: APNews

Airlines cancel some flights after reduced 5G rollout in US

Some flights to and from the U.S. were canceled on Wednesday even after AT&T and Verizon scaled back the rollout of high-speed wireless service that could interfere with aircraft technology that measures altitude.

International carriers that rely heavily on the wide-body Boeing 777, and other Boeing aircraft, canceled early flights or switched to different planes following warnings from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Chicago-based plane maker. The 777

Airlines that fly only or mostly Airbus jets, including Air France and Ireland’s Aer Lingus, seemed less affected by the new 5G service.

Airlines had canceled more than 320 flights by Wednesday evening, or a little over 2% of the U.S. total, according to FlightAware. That was far less disruptive than during the Christmas and New Year’s travel season, when a peak of 3,200, or 13%, of flights were canceled on Jan. 3 due to winter storms and workers out sick with COVID-19.

Source: AP News

Buildings evacuated in downtown Baltimore after gas line struck

Buildings were evacuated Wednesday afternoon after workers struck a high-pressure natural gas line in downtown Baltimore, fire officials according to 11 News. Fire officials said a contractor was working around 3 p.m. Wednesday on a building under construction in the unit block of East Baltimore Street. Officials said crews struck a gas line.

Fire crews were called to the scene and detected an odor of apparent natural gas in the area. The buildings at 10 Light St. and 6 St. Paul St., among other buildings, were evacuated, SkyTeam 11 reported. Baltimore Gas and Electric spokeswoman Linda Foy said a contractor cut into a BGE line. The line was repaired at 7:30 p.m. and Baltimore Street, which was shut down between Charles and Light streets, was reopened. No one was hurt.

Source: WBALTV

COVID deaths and cases are rising again at US nursing homes

COVID-19 infections are soaring again at U.S. nursing homes because of the omicron wave, and deaths are climbing too, leading to new restrictions on family visits and a renewed push to get more residents and staff members vaccinated and boosted.

Nursing homes were the lethal epicenter of the pandemic early on, before the vaccine allowed many of them to reopen to visitors last year. But the wildly contagious variant has dealt them a setback.

Nursing homes reported a near-record of about 32,000 COVID-19 cases among residents in the week ending Jan. 9, an almost sevenfold increase from a month earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A total of 645 COVID-19-related deaths among residents were recorded during the same week, a 47% increase from the earlier period. And there are fears that deaths could go much higher before omicron is through. Despite the rising numbers, the situation is not as dire as it was in December 2020, when nursing home deaths per week topped out at about 6,200. Experts credit the high vaccination rates now among nursing home residents: About 87% are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

Source: AP News

RIP Sidney Poitier: First Black man to win Best Actor Oscar dead at 94

Sidney Poitier, one of the last stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age whose barrier-breaking career spanned more than seven decades, has died. He was 94.

Clint Watson, press secretary for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, confirmed to CNN that Poitier died Thursday evening.

In 1964, he became the first Black man to win an Oscar for best actor for his performance in “Lilies of the Field.” Some of his other major films of the decades were “A Raisin in the Sun,” “To Sir, With Love,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

Many of his best-known films explored racial tensions as Americans were grappling with social changes wrought by the civil rights movement.

Poitier’s movies struggled for distribution in the South, and his choice of roles was limited to what white-run studios would produce. Racial taboos, for example, precluded him from most romantic parts. But his dignified roles helped audiences of the 1950s and 1960s envision Black people not just as servants but as doctors, teachers and detectives.

Besides his historic Oscar win, Poitier was the recipient of other major honors: A BAFTA, two Golden Globes — including the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award — a Grammy, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Funeral arrangements for Poitier have not been announced.

Source: WCVB