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The Daily Beast
Jan 01, 2050

John McCain, A Life in Photos
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

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The Daily Beast
Jan 01, 2050

John McCain, American Hero, Dies at 81
Kevin Lamarque/ReutersJohn S. McCain III, an American hero who served as a Navy captain and a member of Congress for 57 years, died on TKTKTK DAY. He was 81.

McCain was a giant of the United States Senate and a lifelong public servant who won respect and admiration from his colleagues on Capitol Hill and world leaders for his staunch advocacy of democratic principles and his defiant policy positions, particularly on issues relating to the military and national security.

He was a tough and, at times, feisty and brash legislator, but he forged friendships and bonds that cemented his place in history as a dealmaker. His political opponents sometimes branded him a war-monger and a reactionary at worst but never doubted his unwavering adherence to his principles, his tireless support for American troops, and his enduring commitment to public service.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Soggy Bottom Matt Lucas Quit ‘The Great British Baking Show.' Thank Goodness.
Albert L. Ortega/Getty ImagesOur prayers to the biscuit overlords have been answered. Matt Lucas has left The Great British Baking Show, after a tense season of controversial jokes, annoying interruptions, and terrible Hawaiian shirts. We're all jumping for joy. That random Change.org petition worked, everyone!

There is no shortage of atrocities to mention when it comes to Lucas' short-lived career with GBBS: constantly feasting from the contestant's baking stations was one thing, bludgeoning them with jokes was another. But the worst of all was his appearance on "Mexican Week" this past season. Lucas made an unfathomable number of jokes in poor taste, including questioning whether or not Mexico was a real country and wearing a hot pink poncho/sombrero combo.

"There will be no Mexican jokes," co-host Noel Fielding said at the top of the episode.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

This Wearable Patch Could Help Us Eradicate Skin Cancer
Yuri Arcurs via GettyIt's not always easy to prevent sunburn—an entire skincare industry still hasn't figured out a foolproof solution outside never leaving your home or permanently looking like a lifeguard. But Chinese researchers have just designed a new wearable device that can absorb the sun's rays and tell you if you're at risk for a sunburn, offering an a surprisingly efficient way of protecting people from the sun's rays and mitigating the chances of worse problems like skin cancer from arising over time.

The device, outlined in a new study published on Tuesday in the journal Matter, uses a neural network to identify the weather and send real-time data to your phone about how much ultraviolet radiation it's receiving.

By definition, ultraviolet (or UV) radiation isn't visible—cloudy days offer some reduction in UV exposure, as does one's distance from the equator, but it's difficult to know for certain the strength of UV rays on a given day. UV radiation, the authors wrote in the study, is a "double-edge sword to human beings," because it stimulates the necessary production of vitamin D but leads to sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer in excess.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Trump Org Tax Fraud Verdict: Guilty on All Counts
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesThe Trump Organization's two affiliate companies on trial in New York City were found guilty of all nine counts of tax fraud and related crimes on Monday, as jurors ended a long trial with a swift verdict against the former American president's corporate empire.

The Manhattan jury concluded that former President Donald Trump's eponymous companies dodged taxes by playing accounting games: showering their executives with benefits, reducing their official salary, and paying them at times as if they were "independent contractors."

As the court clerk read the list of nine criminal counts—tax fraud, falsifying business records, engaging in a conspiracy—the jury foreperson kept repeating the same word, "Guilty." At times, she even got ahead of herself, saying the word before the clerk finished describing the charge. Afterward, each juror nodded and asserted out loud that they agreed.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Manhattan Jury Finds Trump Org Guilty on All Counts of Tax Crimes
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesThe Trump Organization's two affiliate companies on trial in New York City were found guilty of all nine counts of tax fraud and related crimes on Monday, as jurors ended a long trial with a swift verdict against the former American president's corporate empire.

The Manhattan jury concluded that former President Donald Trump's eponymous companies dodged taxes by playing accounting games: showering their executives with benefits, reducing their official salary, and paying them at times as if they were "independent contractors."

The company now faces what prosecutors expect to be more than $1 million in fines—a paltry sum for a multi-billion dollar global marketing operation but a mark of shame nonetheless, just as Trump launches a re-election campaign. This is also the first successful legal action against the Trumps in years.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

House Ethics Panel Fines Madison Cawthorn for Crypto Shenanigans
Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesJust weeks before he's set to exit Congress, the House Ethics Committee released its report Tuesday on Rep. Madison Cawthorn's (R-NC) cryptocurrency scandal, ordering him to pay more than $14,000 toward a charity and a $1,000`fine following "substantial evidence" that he promoted a "Let's Go Brandon" coin that he had an undisclosed financial interest in.

According to the 81-page report, Cawthorn had purchased a number of Let's Go Brandon coins and urged another witness cited in the report to "pump this up so much" before publicly promoting the coin in an Instagram comment. But Cawthorn did not disclose his vested stake in the coin before publicly promoting it—a violation of House rules.

Cawthorn told investigators he meant to "publicly tell people" he owned Let's Go Brandon coins, but evidently forgot.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Inside Google's and Meta's Arms Race to Build the Most Deceptive AI
Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily BeastIf you've never played the game Diplomacy before, I don't recommend starting because it will consume your life. The game is typically a seven player affair that involves a lot of negotiation, persuasion, and alliances—not to mention a healthy dose of deception—in order to control and gain territory on a map of Europe in the run-up to WWI.

But, there are countless other versions of the game out there, some of which feature dozens of players playing on a map the size of the world. Each player is vying for power with the ultimate goal of conquering enough territory to win outright, or simply surviving long enough until you can negotiate a draw. These matches can get very messy, very quickly—which makes it the perfect game for the sick and depraved.

And, as it turns out, it's also a great game to train AI how to negotiate, cooperate, and even deceive. The most recent effort comes from researchers at Google's AI research lab DeepMind who published a study on Dec. 6 in the journal Nature Communications about a new approach for teaching bots to play Diplomacy. The authors say that this method allows for better communications between AI "players" while also encouraging cooperation and honesty.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

WATCH: Brian Sicknick's Family Brutally Snub ‘Two-Faced' Republican Leaders
Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe family of Brian Sicknick, the police officer who died a day after being assaulted during the Capitol riot, brutally snubbed Republican leaders on Tuesday as they accepted a congressional gold medal awarded to cops who defended the country on Jan. 6, 2021.

Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer, was assaulted with pepper spray during the melee and collapsed after returning to his division office. The D.C. medical examiner later ruled he died of a stroke, deeming it a natural cause of death despite acknowledging that "all that transpired played a role in his condition." Capitol Police listed it as a death in the line of duty.

Several Republican members of Congress have since downplayed the riot, calling rioters "patriots," painting themselves as the real victims, and voting against a bill to award congressional medals to officers.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Retiree Accused of Fatally Bludgeoning Wife Insists She Was Just Clumsy
Europa Press News/GettyA 69-year-old British retiree has been arrested for the suspected murder of his wife in a small Spanish hamlet the couple had moved to just a month earlier.

The man, who has not been named in accordance with Spanish laws, insisted that his 56-year-old wife had simply lost her balance and hit her head on the curb trying to get out of the car outside their Camposol home.

But his wife was allegedly left on the street after the fall and was eventually discovered by neighbors on Sunday. Police who were summoned to the scene then found the man semi-naked and drunk inside the couple's home, according to Spanish news reports.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Retiree Accused of Murdering His Wife Insists She Was Just Clumsy
Europa Press News/GettyA 69-year-old British retiree has been arrested for the suspected murder of his wife in a small Spanish hamlet the couple had moved to just a month earlier.

The man, who has not been named in accordance with Spanish laws, insisted that his 56-year-old wife had simply lost her balance and hit her head on the curb trying to get out of the car outside their Camposol home.

But his wife was allegedly left on the street after the fall and was eventually discovered by neighbors on Sunday. Police who were summoned to the scene then found the man semi-naked and drunk inside the couple's home, according to Spanish news reports.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Arrest Made After Bizarre Daycare Attack and Park Ranger Shooting
Mecklenburg County JailA North Carolina man was arrested late Monday after allegedly throwing a rock into a daycare center with hate speech written on it, an incident police say is connected to the shooting of a park ranger days earlier.

Tyson Lee Corpening, 36, faces seven charges—including attempted murder, assault of a deadly weapon with intent to kill, ethnic intimidation, and the threat of mass violence on the educational property. Corpening was taken into custody with the assistance of a SWAT team and the FBI.

He was being housed at the Mecklenburg County Jail and it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

JFK Assassination Investigator Has Jarring New Claim About Oswald's CIA Involvement
BettmannThe CIA holds documents that show presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in an intelligence operation before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a prominent Kennedy assassination reporter alleged Tuesday.

"We're talking about smoking-gun proof of a CIA operation involving Lee Harvey Oswald," reporter Jefferson Morley said.

Morley claimed the CIA operation involving Oswald took place in the summer of 1963, three months before the assassination. The allegation from Morley, who has written extensively about the CIA in the 1960's, could shake up the history of the Kennedy assassination if it proves to be true.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

This Obscure Right-Wing Christian Channel Is Staffing Up With Fox News, Newsmax Alums
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty"Catch me filling in on Center Point tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 EST on @tbn What a facility and what a crew. It will be a great show! #stinchfieldsarmy," former Newsmax star Grant Stinchfield posted to his Instagram account late last month.

Stinchfield's guest spot as a news anchor for Trinity Broadcasting Network was just the latest instance of this Christian television network turning to Fox News and Newsmax alumni to fill out its roster as it looks to expand its viewership with right-wing news and "lifestyle" programming.

TBN, which claims to be the largest global Christian broadcasting network, made a concerted pivot to news broadcasting this past spring when it launched Centerpoint, a weeknight news show headed by ex-Fox News staffers.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Colon Cancer, Which Killed Kirstie Alley, Is on the Rise Among Young People
Eric McCandless/ABC via GettyBefore her death at the age of 71 on Monday, beloved actress Kirstie Alley had been diagnosed with colon cancer. In a statement announcing the Cheers star's passing, Alley's children said the cancer was "only recently discovered."

Alley's death is one of thousands which experts say the disease will tragically cause in 2022—with data from recent years showing that the cancer is now becoming a growing menace among the young.

In the U.S., colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer when taken together with incidences of rectal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Both cancers affect the large intestine—part of the digestive system—and are often grouped together in medical literature as "colorectal cancer." Growths on the lining of the colon or rectum called polyps can become cancerous. If cancer cells develop in the colon, the patient is diagnosed with colon cancer and similarly they are diagnosed with rectal cancer if the cancer cells are detected in the rectum.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

The Supreme Court Is Poised to Chip Away at Same-Sex Marriage
Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesHere's the problem with the latest LGBTQ equality vs. "religious freedom" case that the Supreme Court heard this week, Creative LLC vs. Eleniss. It's not the substantive result—the case is a close one, and given the six conservative justices' priors, the result is practically foreordained.

It's that this narrow case is going to be interpreted much more broadly than it actually is, and that is going to hurt queer people, denigrate our rights to marry, and perhaps lead to those rights being taken away altogether. Which, of course, is exactly why right-wing activists brought it in the first place.

The facts are simple. Lorie Smith is a website designer and devout Christian who wants to make wedding websites. But Smith feels she can't hang out a shingle for heterosexual but not homosexual ones, thus being forced to choose between compromising her religious beliefs (apparently, Jesus said you can't make websites for gay people) and running afoul of Colorado's anti-discrimination law.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Harry and Meghan Land in New York on Private Jet Ahead of Ripple of Hope Awards
John Lamparski/Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle touched down in New York Tuesday, preparing to accept the Ripple of Hope award from the Robert F. Kennedy foundation, for taking a "heroic" stand against "structural racism" in the royal family.

The couple were photographed stepping into an SUV in the city by the Daily Mail, which said they had flown into town via private jet. Meghan wore a black suit and oversized shades, while Harry was in a white shirt and plain trousers.

The Ripple of Hope award comes just days before Harry and Meghan are expected to renew allegations of racism in the heart of the royal family via a six-part Netflix show, entitled Harry & Meghan.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Russian Officials Fear Deserter on the Run Just Went Full Rambo With a Machine Gun
ANDREY KRONBERGA suspected Russian deserter dressed in full camouflage and a ski mask opened fire on police officers in Russia's Rostov region on Tuesday, sparking frantic calls for residents to take cover indoors as a manhunt was underway.

The incident—just the latest evidence of Vladimir Putin's flailing war beginning to blow up within Russian borders—occurred in Novoshakhtinsk, just 12 miles or so from the border with Ukraine.

Law enforcement sources cited by Russia's TASS news agency and Komsomolskaya Pravda identified the gunman as a deserter, without giving further details. The disgruntled gunman was hiding out in a wooded area like Syvester Stallone's troubled Vietnam veteran in the original Rambo movie.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

U.S. Government Told Spy to Stay Home From British Teen Death Trial
Andrew Boyers/ReutersFormer U.S. spy Anne Sacoolas will not attend her sentencing hearing in the wrongful death of teenager Harry Dunn in London on Thursday because the U.S. government advised her to stay at home. Sacoolas pleaded guilty to causing the teen's death in an October hearing.

Dunn's parents, who had been told she would attend in person, lashed out at the U.S. government for "interfering" with British justice, according to their family spokesperson, Radd Seiger.

"Harry's family are victims of a serious crime and they have been kept in the dark completely about what is to come at Thursday's hearing since Mrs. Sacoolas' guilty plea," he said in a statement to The Daily Beast. "We are horrified to learn that the United States Government is now actively interfering in our criminal justice system. Their ongoing cruel treatment of Harry's parents is nothing short of inhumane and it continues to take a heavy toll on their mental health."

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Mom ‘Tried to Dissuade' Son From Revealing Rape by Hillsong Founder's Dad
Marcus Ingram/GettyThe mother of a man who was raped as a 7-year-old boy by Frank Houston—the father of the evangelist who founded the Hillsong megachurch—"tried to dissuade" her son from speaking publicly about the "sordid mess," an Australian court heard Tuesday.

Brett Sengstock was assaulted for years by the pentecostal preacher. The assaults began in 1970 and included a rape in Sengstock's bedroom at his family home in Sydney. Frank Houston died in 2004.

His son Brian Houston, who founded the scandal-ridden Hillsong church, is now on trial for allegedly failing to report his father's sexual abuse after his father confessed it to him in 1999. Brian Houston has denied the charge of concealing a serious indictable offense of another person.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Second Day of Drone Attacks Means Invasion of Ukraine Has Now Brought War to Russia
ReutersFor a second day in a row, an unmanned drone thought to be dispatched by Ukraine struck deep within Russian territory as the invasion Vladimir Putin underestimated turned sharply towards a war fought in both nations.

On Monday, deadly twin strikes hit the Engels-2 airfield and the Dyagilevo military base less than 150 miles from Moscow. The strike Tuesday hit an oil storage tank in Kursk, not far from the Ukraine border, setting off a spectacular explosion sure to rattle Russians who have been brainwashed to believe the war would never hit home.

The change in tack from Ukraine—which has not formally claimed responsibility—has many wondering how Putin will respond beyond sending more missiles into Ukraine's infrastructure. Rather than claiming victory, Oleskiy Reznikov, Ukraine's Defense Minister, repeated an old joke often used about Russia claiming explosions in its military bases were caused by rogue cigarettes. "Very often Russians smoke in places where it's forbidden to smoke," he said, according to Reuters.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Georgia Runoff Is About Way More Than Herschel Walker's Lies
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyNo matter which party comes out victorious in Tuesday's runoff contest in Georgia, Democrats are already guaranteed to control the U.S. Senate for the next two years.

But the battle between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Herschel Walker actually has major implications for the balance of power in the chamber over the next four years.

If holding the Senate in 2022 was a hard task for Democrats, doing it in 2024 would be herculean. The map confronting Democrats in the upcoming cycle is one of the most outright brutal in recent memory: they'll be forced to defend seats in a trio of states that Donald Trump easily won in 2020 and defend five more in the country's marquee battleground states.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

James O'Keefe's Project Veritas Launches Christmas Layoffs
Joe Raedle/GettyRight-wing undercover operative James O'Keefe has launched holiday-season layoffs at his nonprofit amid an FBI investigation and a series of other legal problems facing the group.

O'Keefe announced the Project Veritas layoffs in a Nov. 28 internal email reviewed by The Daily Beast. Roughly six people will be laid off, according to a person familiar with the plan.

It's not clear how many people work for Project Veritas, but its tax returns from 2019—the most recent available—list 45 employees. At that size, laying off six people would represent more than 10 percent of the nonprofit's total staff. A spokesman for Project Veritas didn't provide more recent employment figures.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

How U.S. Counterterror Strikes Are Helping Terror Group
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyA groundbreaking report into deaths and catastrophic damage done to civilians by U.S. counterterror airstrikes in Somalia has unearthed a shocking array of suffering—including the alleged killing of children—and demanded an end to the current targeting practices employed by American forces outside of conventional war zones.

The new report from Dutch nonprofit PAX—seen by The Daily Beast—specifically focuses on Jubbaland, the southernmost state of Somalia, where most U.S. airstrikes have reportedly occurred regularly since the first public American counterterror strike in the east African country in 2007. Covering an area roughly the same size as Virginia, Jubbaland is the only one of Somalia's six states which contains a region entirely controlled by the militant Islamist group al-Shabab. The impact of U.S.operations against the group on Jubbaland's innocent civilians have largely been overlooked in reporting on Somalia until now.

Although years of U.S. strikes have killed several significant leaders in al-Shabab, they have not broken the militant group's grip on Somalia or stopped its ability to carry out atrocities. In fact, testimony cited in the PAX report suggests the strikes may even be counterproductive—serving as a recruitment tool for the militants as U.S. airstrikes become propaganda. Even while al-Shabab is detested by those who have to l

The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Jack O'Connell Happily Bared All in ‘Lady Chatterley's Lover' Sex Scenes
Parisa Taghizadeh / Netflix"I don't think there's a version of Lady Chatterley's Lover that is toned down…"

Give credit to actor Jack O'Connell where it's due: He did not roll his eyes while stating the obvious in response to a question about his new Netflix adaptation of the classic, controversial story. What is gained by showing the sex scenes between the story's forbidden lovers in graphic detail, instead of leaving things to the viewer's imagination? This is Lady Chatterley's Lover. As O'Connell says, "I don't think any of that should be happening off screen."

O'Connell, who has made a ferocious impression in films like Unbroken and Jungleland, as well as TV series like Godless and Skins, is speaking with The Daily Beast's Obsessed just as the new take on the 1928 novel by D.H. Lawrence hit the streaming service. It's been a mainstay in the top five of the platform's most-watched movies since it debuted on Friday, and the reaction to the film's steamy scenes on social media has been… effusive.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Sebastian Maniscalco Doesn't Care if His Comedy Offends You: ‘If I Edit Myself, I Might as Well Stop'
Todd Rosenberg / Sebastian ManiscalcoSebastian Maniscalco is consistently one of the highest-grossing stand-up comedians in the country. And now, with the new Netflix special Is It Me? and upcoming autobiographical movie About My Father, co-starring Robert De Niro, he's about to become a household name.

In this episode of The Last Laugh podcast, Maniscalco opens up about doubling down on nostalgia and (mostly) avoiding controversy in his new special. He also talks about how the comedy world has changed for better and worse since he got his start in the late '90s, shares stories from the sets of Green Book and The Irishman, and explains how he decided to embrace the most embarrassing moment of his career on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show.

Maniscalco spends so much time on the road that when I ask him at the top of our Zoom call where he is, he looks momentarily confused. "Where am I?" he asks himself. "I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina? I had to look out the window to see where it was."

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The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Texas Just Re-Elected My Trans Son's Worst Bullies
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyThe 2023 legislative session is almost here in Texas, and despite the years-long trauma that Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton have inflicted on transgender children like my son, all three were re-elected this year by wide margins. To say I feel betrayed by my neighbors—who know my trans-inclusive family and what we've been through this year—is a monumental understatement.

The last legislative session here in Texas—normally only 140 days every other year—dragged on over 10 months and saw 76 anti-LGBTQ bills filed, a majority of which specifically targeted trans kids and/or the parents and doctors trying to keep them alive.

We've been fighting bathroom bills, religious refusal bills, child abuse bills, and bills banning gender-affirming care for about as long as my son has been living authentically as a boy—which is to say, pretty much forever. Abbott, Patrick,

The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Shangela Is the Fearless Drag Queen America Needs Right Now
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty/Disney/David LaffeWhile in Paris, Texas, Shangela stopped into the newly opened T.J. Maxx, as Maxxinistas are wont to do when home for the holidays. A high school friend by the name of Andrea who works at the store ran up and said, "Oh my gosh, Shangela! My 86-year-old grandma called me and told me that she loves you on the show."

Shangela has been a standout on three different seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race, but the show in question here is Dancing with the Stars. In the season finale that aired late last month, Shangela placed fourth. Grandma Virginia's fanfare hit next level when Andrea told her that her connection was well beyond acquaintanceship. "She tells all her friends that her granddaughter went to high school with the little boy that dresses as a drag queen on Dancing with the Stars," Andrea told Shangela. Naturally, the drag superstar had to do something special for Grandma Virginia.

"I told her, ‘Give me your phone right now. I hope I don't get you fired, girl. Let me get your phone," Shangela recalls from her home in Los Angeles. Wearing an oversized purple hoodie, devoid of makeup, she adds, "I had to make a video for Grandma Virginia." Back in Paris, Shangela still goes by her birth name, DJ Pierce, though she is b

The Daily Beast
Dec 06, 2022

Kanye West's ‘Presidential Campaign' Is a Complete Mess
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyKanye West's 2024 presidential campaign is extremely unofficial (he hasn't filed any paperwork with the FEC, New Abnormal podcast co-host Danielle Moodie reminds listeners on this episode), but that hasn't stopped rightwingers from clamoring to be part of his team, and it's a shitshow.

The Daily Beast reporter Zachary Petrizzo, who exclusively reported that right-wing figure Milo Yiannopoulos left Ye's campaign after infighting, joined the political podcast to spill on all the drama.

"Milo was the first character hired on to this informal 2024 Kanye West exploratory-type presidential campaign. Then we saw, of course, Nick Fuentes, who is the Unite the Right Rally attendee/white nationalist hired on. And then most recently at The Daily Beast, we reported that the informal campaign hired on this racist YouTuber named "Sneako," whose big claim to fame was trying to get random pedestrians to say the N-word on video," says Petrizzo.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

This NYC-based Store Allows You to Gift (or Keep) Indoor Plants and Small Jungles
Scouted/The Daily Beast/Horti.Scouted selects products independently. If you purchase something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

Horti was born in NYC's concrete jungle, where many wondrous things are, but the cityscape can leave residents craving a connection to nature. Horti's founders recognized this need and launched a brand to share their indoor plant love with fellow city dwellers. Social responsibility is important to the founders, so they work with sustainable farmers and indigenous communities to offset the carbon footprint. As a part of their commitment to equality, Horti collaborates with Black, queer, and non-binary author and plant educator, Christopher Griffin, known as Plant Kween (love them!). While this background is compelling, I love owning and gifting Horti plants. Since receiving one unassuming marble Obtusifolia, also known as a baby rubber plant, it's a new passion.

I usually opt for one of the brand's pet-safe kits, complete with everything you need to get started, except water. The plant arrived in a nursery pot, with a terracotta planter for repotting, and it doesn't require much care (unlike flowers!). Each shipment comes with detailed instructions on how to repot, as well as care tips specific for your new plant buddy. I felt confident following the detailed instructions, and by the next day, my little Obtusifolia had already perked up and spread its leaves. I was unsure what the dark spots on the stem were-it turned out they are a beautiful purple marble pattern.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Seth Meyers Exposes Elon Musk's Embarrassing Hunter Biden ‘Dud'
NBCThis past week, Donald Trump casually called for the "termination" of the U.S. constitution so he could be reinstated as president, all because of what Seth Meyers described as a "big dud" put out by Elon Musk. The "Twitter Files," as it was called, was "supposed to be some kind of Hunter Biden smoking gun," the Late Night host said, "but in reality was just a bunch of internal Twitter emails about content moderation."

After recapping the underwhelming details of the story, which was live-tweeted in real time by journalist Matt Taibbi, Meyers summed it up by explaining that Trump wants the Constitution terminated because Joe Biden's campaign team "asked Twitter to take down pics of Hunter Biden's dong."

"I'm sorry, but I don't think there's a provision for that in the constitution," Meyers said, joking that Alexander Hamilton never declared that the document shall be suspended if John Adams' son "posts a lithographed flyer of his genitals."

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

OpenAI's Impressive New Chatbot Isn't Immune to Racism
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty"OpenAI's latest language model, ChatGPT, is making waves in the world of conversational AI. With its ability to generate human-like text based on input from users, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with machines."

That paragraph was entirely generated by ChatGPT—the new chatbot released by artificial intelligence research lab OpenAI—using the query "write a lede for a story about ChatGPT for The Daily Beast." Aside from helping lazy writers with their stories, the bot went viral on social media after its release on Nov. 30 and has even "crossed 1 million users" less than a week later, according to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

It's easy to see why if you spend a few minutes "chatting" with it. You can give ChatGPT prompts as simple as "What's the recipe for an Old Fashioned?" or as complex as "Tell me the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, but you're a 1980s Valley Girl" and it'll give you a pretty realistic response.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

GOP Election Losers Are Getting Even Weirder on Twitter
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty ImagesA month after losing his gubernatorial election, Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano was tweeting pictures of what he implied were suspicious clouds.

"Over Franklin County today," Mastriano tweeted on Sunday, above four pictures of airplane trails across the Pennsylvania sky. He followed up with a link to an article about proposed future plans to study the effect of artificial clouds on climate change. The tweet appeared to be a nod to the "chemtrails" conspiracy theory, which right-wing candidates have previously disavowed under electoral pressure.

With the 2022 midterm elections behind them, some failed candidates have leaned into less electorally friendly messaging, from chemtrails to antisemitic conspiracy theories to (in the case of one candidate who didn't make the November ballot) a call for "bullets" against political foes. It's a questionable choice in tone, particularly after an election that saw Americans broadly reject the right's most extreme candidates.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘Cheers' Star Kirstie Alley Dead at 71 After Shock Cancer Diagnosis
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getti ImagesKirstie Alley, the two-time Emmy-winning actor whose work on Cheers, Look Who's Talking, and Veronica's Closet won her the hearts of audiences across the world, died following a short fight with cancer, her family said Monday. She was 71.

"We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered," said her children, True and Lillie Parker. In a statement posted across Alley's social media accounts, they recalled her "zest and passion for life" and "her eternal joy of creating."

"She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead," the statement continued. "As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘Cheers' Star Kirstie Alley's Cause of Death Revealed
Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getti ImagesKirstie Alley, the two-time Emmy-winning actor whose work on Cheers, Look Who's Talking, and Veronica's Closet won her the hearts of audiences across the world, died following a short fight with cancer, her family said Monday. She was 71.

"We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered," said her children, True and Lillie Parker. In a statement posted across Alley's social media accounts, they recalled her "zest and passion for life" and "her eternal joy of creating."

"She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead," the statement continued. "As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

The Hill Owner Pisses Off Staff With Transgender Memo
Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastThis reporting is featured in this week's edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.

Nexstar's already shaky relationship with The Hill's staff was put to the test late last month when the media company marked Trans Day of Remembrance with a Slack message that led to a blow-up among staffers.

"Let us also take a moment today to think of those who tragically lost their lives in Colorado this weekend," an executive assistant posted to a Nexstar Digital company-wide Slack channel on Nov. 21 in a message reviewed by Confider. "Though all their names have not yet been released, we standing solidarity of the trans community and the entire LGBTQIA community today and always."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Ex-Trump Adviser John Bolton ‘Absolutely' Weighing 2024 Bid
NBC NewsJohn Bolton, who served as national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, said Monday that Trump's candidacy and his suggestion that the Constitution be terminated to put him back in office has led him to consider launching a presidential campaign.

Appearing on NBC News' Meet the Press Now, Bolton called Trump's run for office "an existential threat" to the nation.

"He has said that he wants the Constitution terminated. Now he's tried to walk it back today, but he failed… He is saying the same thing in slightly different words. It is not merely wrong and outrageous. It is disqualifying."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Ex-Trump Adviser John Bolton ‘Absolutely' Weighing 2024 Bid
NBC NewsJohn Bolton, who served as national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, said Monday that Trump's candidacy and his suggestion that the Constitution be terminated to put him back in office has led him to consider launching a presidential campaign.

Appearing on NBC News' Meet the Press Now, Bolton called Trump's run for office "an existential threat" to the nation.

"He has said that he wants the Constitution terminated. Now he's tried to walk it back today, but he failed… He is saying the same thing in slightly different words. It is not merely wrong and outrageous. It is disqualifying."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Royal Sources Say ‘The Crown' Is More ‘Authentic' Than ‘Harry & Meghan'
Netflix Royal sources scoffed at the lack of authenticity in trailers for the forthcoming Netflix series Harry and Meghan to The Daily Beast today, comparing it to the fictionalized drama The Crown, after it was revealed that tabloid scrums shown in the new trailer, which broadcast Monday, were not even tangentially connected to media coverage of the couple.

One source, a former Buckingham Palace staffer who retains close links to the institution, told The Daily Beast: "It looks like it's going to be significantly less authentic than The Crown."

In one clip from the new trailer, a group of photographers is seen charging towards a building, which the Daily Mail identified today as a minor court in the London suburb of Crawley.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

New York Times Stands by ‘KPOP' Review Producers Called Racist
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyThis reporting is featured in this week's edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.

The New York Times is standing by its critical review of KPOP after producers of the flashy Broadway musical accused it of dripping with "casual racism."

In a scathing open letter to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and theater editor Nicole Herrington, producers Tim Forbes and Joey Parnes railed against theater critic Jesse Green's review, demanding an apology.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘Warriors of the Future' Has Stunning CGI, But Is Netflix's Wannabe ‘Avatar'
NetflixGetting a jump on Avatar: The Way of Water, Warriors of Future is a CGI-ified Hong Kong sci-fi extravaganza that pits man's industrialized might against the forces of nature. Here, that's epitomized by a giant alien plant that shares a name, Pandora, with the intergalactic setting of James Cameron's franchise.

That's not the only element that Ng Yuen-fai's film duplicates from Cameron's oeuvre, as it also borrows liberally from Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Aliens—not to mention Transformers, Iron Man, Edge of Tomorrow, Pacific Rim, RoboCop and video game series like Halo and The Last of Us. Originality, suffice it to say, is not its strong suit.

Still, if one can set aside the fact that there's virtually nothing new about this import, there's mo

The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Is Will Smith Good Enough in ‘Emancipation' to Get That Controversial Oscar Nom?
Quantrell Colbert/Apple TV Not sure what to watch next? Subscribe to The Daily Beast's Obsessed See Skip newsletter here and get the latest show and movie recommendations every Tuesday.

There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We've already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you're looking for is a simple Do or Don't. That's why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week's crowded entertainment landscape.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Next-Gen Toilets Could Be Mic'd Up to Diagnose Diarrhea
Michael Duva via GettyDon't pooh-pooh this research: Georgia Tech engineers have developed a sensor that records audio of "excretion events" and analyzes the sounds using artificial intelligence, to correctly identify diarrhea with over 98 percent accuracy. The hope is that the bathroom-based Big Brother contraption could be used to predict cholera outbreaks and help people with gastrointestinal issues monitor their conditions.

Maia Gatlin, an engineering researcher at Georgia Tech, presented her team's new research on Monday at the Acoustical Society of America Meeting. These findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, build off of a related system that the same team of researchers presented last week at an annual fluid dynamics conference.

"The hope is that this sensor, which is small in footprint and noninvasive in approach, could be deployed to areas where cholera outbreaks are a persistent risk," Gatlin said in a press release. "Perhaps someday, our algorithm can be used with existing in-home smart devices to monitor one's own bowel movements and health!"

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Cops Address Slain Idaho Student's Rumored Stalker
Idaho Statesman/Getty ImagesCops in Moscow, Idaho, said Monday that slain University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves' supposed comments about a potential stalker may have stemmed from a one-off incident at a local business, and that the two men involved are not suspects in her murder.

It's the latest detail to emerge from the seemingly stalled investigation, which has now gone on for over three weeks as detectives continue to search for a suspect, person of interest, or the knife used in the slayings.

Instead of press conferences, Moscow police have regularly provided Facebook updates to rule out a growing list of people who have been linked to Goncalves and the other murdered students: Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, and Xana Kernodle.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘Sexual Predator' James Toback Abused Actresses at His Mom's House, Bombshell Suit Claims
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyAward-winning filmmaker James Toback—who once insisted anyone who had the temerity to accuse him of sexual misconduct was a "lying cocksucker or [a] cunt or both"—has been accused of exactly that by more than three dozen women who say he is a "serial sexual predator."

For some 40 years, Toback has "used his reputation, power and influence in the entertainment industry" and the pull of his celebrity contacts to "lure" aspiring actresses "into compromising situations where he falsely imprisoned, sexually abused, assaulted, and/or battered them," according to a lawsuit filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court.

It is believed to be the first such lawsuit filed against Toback, lawyers representing the women told The Daily Beast.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

The GOP's House Majority Is Even Flimsier Than We Thought
Kent NishimuraLeft in the wake of the countervailing forces that made the 2022 midterms so unusual are 18 GOP House seats set to become the new battleground in 2024.

And as if New York didn't have enough influence over the country, a handful of flipped seats there could once again make the difference between Democratic and Republican control of the House.

Known as crossover seats, what these 18 all have in common is a Republican victor who prevailed in a district which President Joe Biden won in 2020. On the Democratic side, there are five members who pulled off a victory in a district former President Donald Trump carried in his 2020 defeat.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Michael Avenatti Gets 14 Years in Prison for Stealing Millions From Clients
Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesMichael Avenatti, the larger-than-life attorney who fell from grace nearly as quickly as he rose to national prominence for representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her case against former President Donald Trump, was sentenced Monday to 14 years in federal prison for stealing millions of dollars from his clients.

He was also ordered to pay more than $7 million to his four victims, and $3.2 million to the government.

In his sentencing remarks, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna said that though Avenatti had done "good things in his life," he had "also done great evil," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

These Family Pajamas Are Just Waiting to Be Instagrammed
Scouted/The Daily Beast/iStock.Scouted selects products independently. If you purchase something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

Every family has their holiday traditions. Maybe you hunt for a pickle in the Christmas tree or have a special dreidel game that's unique to your crew. Whatever your usual, just know this going forward: Investing in a set of family pajamas is a surefire way to get everyone into the holiday spirit.

Matching family pajama sets allow you to capture that perfect social media moment while keeping everyone as comfortable and cozy as possible while you open gifts or sit down for a holiday breakfast together. And, of course, there's something truly special about everyone from your baby to your Grandma wearing coordinating PJs.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Police Captain Accused of ‘Humiliating' Black Cops With Racist Rant Gets Suspended
YouTube: WKBW-TVThe New York police captain at the center of a lawsuit against the city of Buffalo and its police department has been suspended without pay after being accused of going on a racist diatribe during a cop training session earlier this year and retaliating against officers who complained.

According to the nonprofit news outlet Investigative Post, an interim director will take over Capt. Amber Beyer's duties as the head of the Buffalo Police Department's Behavioral Health Team. The division manages mental health incidents "with professionalism, compassion, and concern for the safety of all involved," according to the department's website.

Three Black officers who worked directly under Beyer on the Behavioral Health Team filed a lawsuit on Nov. 21, alleging that Beyer turned up the racist rhetoric even after her rant during the training session was reported. Officers Brandon Hawkins and Katelynn Bolden and clinician Erica Seymore claim their rights were violated when they were subjected to racially discriminatory remarks in the workplace, and, in exchange, they're seeking monetary damages and attorney fees.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘GMA' Hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach Benched ‘Indefinitely' Amid Affair Scandal
Paula Lobo/GettyABC executives have decided to pull Good Morning America hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach from the show's third hour "indefinitely" after news of their romantic relationship overwhelmed headlines last week.

The scandal erupted when photos taken by a private investigator emerged in the Daily Mail on Wednesday, showing the married anchors canoodling on a romantic getaway in upstate New York. They reportedly split from their partners in August following an allegedly months-long affair, and it has since been confirmed that Robach is in the midst of a divorce from Melrose Place actor Andrew Shue.

Viewers were surprised last week when the pair resumed their roles at the GMA3 desk on Thursday without responding to the scandal, instead giggling as they baked holiday cookies together.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘GMA3' Hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach Benched ‘Indefinitely' Amid Affair Scandal
Paula Lobo/GettyABC executives have decided to pull Good Morning America hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach from the show's third hour "indefinitely" after news of their romantic relationship overwhelmed headlines last week.

The scandal erupted when photos taken by a private investigator emerged in the Daily Mail on Wednesday, showing the married anchors canoodling on a romantic getaway in upstate New York. They reportedly split from their partners in August following an allegedly months-long affair, and it has since been confirmed that Robach is in the midst of a divorce from Melrose Place actor Andrew Shue.

Viewers were surprised last week when the pair resumed their roles at the GMA3 desk on Thursday without responding to the scandal, instead giggling as they baked holiday cookies together.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Our Next Best COVID Drug Has Been Hiding In Plain Sight
SimpleImages / GettyThe fight against COVID seems to have fallen into a ping-ponging rhythm at this point, where every step forward seems undercut by one backward. Vaccines are available, and hospitalization rates have fallen dramatically from previous peaks. But just a sliver of eligible Americans have received the most recent bivalent shot, and the specter of a new, somehow worse variant looms large in our collective psyche. Elsewhere, such as in China, we seem to be losing ground to the virus: a less effective vaccine, paired with low vaccination rates, limited natural immunity, and discontent over a national Zero-COVID policy, may spell disaster in the coming weeks. But amid this impasse, scientists may have found a drug that will decisively shift the battle back toward humanity's side. And the best part is, people have already been prescribed this drug for over 30 years.

Though they can be highly effective, our current methods of preventing and treating COVID-19 infections all suffer from a fatal

The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Elementary School Principal Dead in Apparent Disneyland Suicide
William T. Newland Elementary SchoolAn elementary school principal died in an apparent suicide after jumping from a multistory parking structure at Disneyland in California, officials said.

Anaheim Police said they found a man dead when they were called to the amusement park just before 9 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, the Orange County coroner identified the man as 51-year-old Christopher Christensen, the principal of William T. Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach. Officials said his death was a suicide.

sIn a post on his Facebook page, Christensen said he had been placed on administrative leave from his job in the wake of an argument with his wife two weeks ago "which landed me in jail." Christensen was due in court Monday after pleading guilty to child endangerment and battery.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Explosion at Nuclear Airbase Just 150 Miles From Moscow Opens Stunning New Phase of War
Sergei Karpukhin/ReutersTwo explosions at major Russian military bases, including the Dyagilevo base near Ryazan just 150 miles from Moscow, mean the war in Ukraine has come right to Vladimir Putin's doorstep.

The explosions—which may have been missile or drone strikes but that has yet to be confirmed—suggest that whoever is behind them wanted to strike fear right in the heart of Russia.

The second explosion struck the Engels-2 base, from which Tu-95 bombers have been pummeling Ukraine's infrastructure over the last month.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Harry Accuses Royals of ‘Dirty Game' Leaking Stories in Explosive Netflix Trailer
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty ImagesNetflix dropped another trailer for their new show Harry and Meghan Monday morning, which showed Harry describing the "pain and suffering of women" marrying into the "institution" of the royal family and accused the palace of leaking and planting stories in what he termed a "dirty game."

The new trailer shows clips of his mother, Princess Diana, being chased by paparazzi, as Harry says: "I was terrified. I didn't want history to repeat itself."

Meghan says, over footage of her wiping tears from her eyes: "I realised, they're never going to protect you."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Florida Deputy, 23, Accidentally Shot Dead by Roommate Who Is Another Deputy
Brevard County Sheriff's Office FacebookA sheriff's deputy in Florida was accidentally killed Saturday when his roommate pulled the trigger of a gun he mistakenly believed to be unloaded, authorities said. The roommate was also a deputy in the same sheriff's department.

Austin Walsh, 23, was off duty at home in Palm Bay with his friend Andrew Lawson when the fatal shot was fired, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. After Walsh was hit in the early hours of Saturday, Lawson immediately called 911 to get help for his friend, but Walsh "succumbed immediately," Ivey said.

In a video shared on Facebook Sunday, Ivey described the circumstances in which Walsh's tragic death unfolded. "This afternoon I have to stand here and talk about the loss of one of my deputies who I love so much as the result of the reckless actions of another one of our deputies, who I also love," he said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘The Tetris Murders' Explores the Sinister Theories Behind the Video Game Co-Developer's Grisly Death
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/DiscoveryThe Tetris Murders can't resist having someone compare its true-crime homicide investigation to the famous video game, since both were intricate puzzles with lots of pieces that had to be put together in just the right order. One might additionally say that ID and Discovery 's three-part docuseries (out Dec. 5) wants to tell a mysterious tale that's so addictive, and becomes so lodged in viewers' minds, that it replicates the "Tetris Effect"—a condition in which gamers see visions of Tetris' falling blocks long after they've stopped playing.

Such cutesy parallels aside, however, there is considerable intrigue to this re-examination of an infamous tragedy—even if, unfortunately, there appears to be no definitive way to solve it.

The Tetris Murders is an inquiry into the strange case of Vladimir Pokhilko, the co-developer of Tetris, who on Sept. 22, 1998, was found by a friend in his Palo Alto, California, home, dead of a severe knife wound to the neck. His wife, Yelena Fedotova, and 12-year-old son, Peter Pokhilko, were also deceased, having been bludgeoned to death with a hammer and then repeatedly stabbed. Responding Palo Alto CSI Tech Investigator Sandra Brown, Sergeant Curtis Chan, Sergeant Scott Wong, and detectives Mike Denson and Jean Bready all recall that it was a nasty, bloody scene. At least on the surface, it appeared to be a clear-cut murder-suicide, given that Vladimir was holding the knife used to cut his throat and he had left a suicide note—which, bizarrely, read, "I've been eaten alive—Vladimir. Just remember that I am exist—The Davil."



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

‘The Tetris Murders' Explores the Sinister Theories Behind the Video Game Creator's Grisly Death
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/DiscoveryThe Tetris Murders can't resist having someone compare its true-crime homicide investigation to the famous video game, since both were intricate puzzles with lots of pieces that had to be put together in just the right order. One might additionally say that ID and Discovery 's three-part docuseries (out Dec. 5) wants to tell a mysterious tale that's so addictive, and becomes so lodged in viewers' minds, that it replicates the "Tetris Effect"—a condition in which gamers see visions of Tetris' falling blocks long after they've stopped playing.

Such cutesy parallels aside, however, there is considerable intrigue to this re-examination of an infamous tragedy—even if, unfortunately, there appears to be no definitive way to solve it.

The Tetris Murders is an inquiry into the strange case of Vladimir Pokhilko, the co-creator of Tetris, who on Sept. 22, 1998, was found by a friend in his Palo Alto, California, home, dead of a severe knife wound to the neck. His wife, Yelena Fedotova, and 12-year-old son, Peter Pokhilko, were also deceased, having been bludgeoned to death with a hammer and then repeatedly stabbed. Responding Palo Alto CSI Tech Investigator Sandra Brown, Sergeant Curtis Chan, Sergeant Scott Wong, and detectives Mike Denson and Jean Bready all recall that it was a nasty, bloody scene. At least on the surface, it appeared to be a clear-cut murder-suicide, given that Vladimir was holding the knife used to cut his throat and he had left a suicide note—which, bizarrely, read, "I've been eaten alive—Vladimir. Just remember that I am exist—The Davil."



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

China's COVID Plan Is Threatening Disaster Once Again
Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesAfter three years of strict COVID lockdown, many Chinese have had enough. Protests have erupted in cities across the country: Beijing, Hong Kong, Jinan, Kunming, Shanghai—the list goes on. Now some mayors—who national leaders have authorized to set local rules on crowds, business capacity, travel, mask-wearing and testing—are easing up on some COVID-related restrictions.

While many Chinese might welcome a return to something more closely resembling normal, experts warn there could be a cost. China's so-called COVID Zero approach to the pandemic has probably saved millions of lives. Just 16,000 Chinese have died of COVID since 2019, an infinitesimal death rate in a country of 1.4 billion. But COVID Zero has also created the conditions for a temporary—but potentially devastating—surge in infections once restrictions end.

That's because, after three years of frequent and strict lockdowns, China's population doesn't have a lot of natural antibodies from past infection. These are the best antibodies, and without them, the novel coronavirus might encounter precious little resistance if 1.4 billion Chinese start packing restaurants, entertainment venues, buses and trains.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

2023's Most Hotly Anticipated Movies and TV Shows: From ‘Barbie' to ‘Indiana Jones'
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/Disney/HBO/Warner Bros.If there's anything we gleaned from 2022, it's that the movies are back, baby. No more straight-to-streaming releases or delayed releases. We got to witness Jordan Peele's brilliance with Nope in full IMAX quality, see the birth of Steven Spielberg's love of cinema with The Fabelmans, and chuckle over all the Don't Worry Darling drama when Harry Styles returned to the silver screen for the first time since Dunkirk. The best part? We get to do it all over again with a brand-new batch of films in 2023.

It's not like TV went anywhere during the pandemic. (In fact, it felt like there was more of it, probably just because we were watching so much.) But there's quite a number of new series heading our way in the new year, too. Of course, the typical Disney array of Marvel and Star Wars series will introduce us to a flurry of new adventurers. But there's lots of exciting fare coming beyond the returning favorites, like

The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

The Reality Show That Gets Women ‘Back in the Groove' by Dating Men Half Their Age
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/HuluCan three women in their forties get their grooves back by dating men half their age? That's what Back in the Groove, Hulu's first foray into the reality dating space, wants to find out. It's a provocative experiment (especially when one of the single women's sons shows up in the dating pool) and its results are both deliciously messy and, at times, almost intolerably awkward. (As in, I inhaled all of it while also covering my face at certain points out of sheer discomfort.)

Back in the Groove debuts Monday on Hulu with a four-night premiere—two episodes will become available each day through Thursday, Dec. 8. The title pays homage to the 1998 comedy How Stella Got Her Groove Back, in which Angela Bassett plays a 40-year-old stockbroker who recovers her joie de vivre through a vacation romance with a hot twentysomething.

Our host, Taye Diggs, just happened to make his film debut as the aforementioned hot twentysomething in How Stella Got Her Groove Back—and now he's inviting three women to reignite their own inner fires. After a quick greeting, however, Diggs kinda just… leaves. Much like Nick and Vanessa Lachey on Netflix's Love Is Blind, this hosting gig seems to be more about novelty than substance.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Will Democratic Lawmakers Really Leave Elon Musk's Twitter?
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyFor nearly 15 years, Twitter and Congress have had a perfect symbiotic relationship. In the social media site, lawmakers found an unprecedented power to amplify themselves and their messages—which, in turn, forged Twitter into the country's essential destination for news.

It took just over a month of Elon Musk running Twitter for that happy union to begin unraveling.

Since the Tesla CEO took over the platform in October, he has fired content moderators and safety specialists en masse, unbanned a number of accounts previously suspended for hateful or violent speech, and solicitously courted a number of right-wing figures on his massively followed account.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

How Climate Activists Are Exploiting FTX's Collapse
Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty ImagesOn Nov. 22, New York state Gov. Kathy Hochul signed Assembly Bill 7389-C, officially placing a two-year moratorium on new fossil-fuel powered proof-of-work cryptocurrency mines in the state. For environmentalists and community groups that lived in close proximity to existing mines, this represented a hard-earned victory after two years of advocacy.

There was no guarantee Hochul would sign the bill into law. The General Assembly passed it in June, just weeks before Hochul's primary campaign, funded in part by crypto interests, would take her to victory. Signing the bill could have meant alienating a fraction of voters who believed in the power of Bitcoin. It also could have upset the PAC that reportedly spent $1 million to boost her running mate, Antonio Delgado—a PAC that was

The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

The World's Biggest Four Seasons Just Got a Massive Overhaul
Courtesy Four SeasonsOnce you've made it to Egypt, it's hard to remember why, exactly, you had always delayed coming here. Sure, those Caribbean beach getaways were easier, the logistics of a trip here always seemed daunting, or every itinerary flat-out exhausting, but those hardly seem good enough excuses for leaving Egypt on the bucket-list cutting-room floor.

Perhaps, then, a little balance is in store when planning a trip to Egypt. What many a traveler might not know is that this country of pyramids and temples and gold-covered mummies also has one of the world's greatest beach destinations—Sharm el Sheikh. And just in time for travelers flocking back post-COVID and the opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum, the Four Seasons has unveiled an overhaul of its resort in Sharm, which also happens to be its largest in the world and the latest selection for Beast Travel's column on new hotels, Room Key.

Generally speaking, we lead hectic and demanding lives and a vacation should still feel like a vacation. Your batteries, to use the cliché, should actually feel recharged. It's why I'm a firm believer in the balanced trip—push yourself, maybe rough it a little, but make sure to also relax and treat yourself.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

The World's Biggest Four Seasons Just Got an Overhaul
Courtesy Four SeasonsOnce you've made it to Egypt, it's hard to remember why, exactly, you had always delayed coming here. Sure, those Caribbean beach getaways were easier, the logistics of a trip here always seemed daunting, or every itinerary flat-out exhausting, but those hardly seem good enough excuses for leaving Egypt on the bucket-list cutting-room floor.

Perhaps, then, a little balance is in store when planning a trip to Egypt. What many a traveler might not know is that this country of pyramids and temples and gold-covered mummies also has one of the world's greatest beach destinations—Sharm el Sheikh. And just in time for travelers flocking back post-COVID and the opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum, the Four Seasons has unveiled an overhaul of its resort in Sharm, which also happens to be its largest in the world and the latest selection for Beast Travel's column on new hotels, Room Key.

Generally speaking, we lead hectic and demanding lives and a vacation should still feel like a vacation. Your batteries, to use the cliché, should actually feel recharged. It's why I'm a firm believer in the balanced trip—push yourself, maybe rough it a little, but make sure to also relax and treat yourself.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

Lynsey Addario Wants Her Photographs to Show Politicians the Raw Truth of War
Lynsey Addario for The New York TimesIn one photograph stand two women in bright blue burqas billowing in the wind on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan, awaiting transport to a hospital, where one of the women will soon give birth. Their car broke down en route to the hospital, and soon they'll catch a ride with Lynsey Addario, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who took this picture of them in 2009, with sweeping blue skies and wispy clouds stretching seemingly endlessly behind them.

This photo and others—of volunteer fighters lined up outside a base in Benghazi before clashing with troops aligned with dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, or of Eyerus, a 40-year-old woman swathed in a sheer, cream-colored scarf covering half of her face as she recovers from being captured and raped by Eritrean soldiers in 2021—can be viewed at an exhibit of Addario's work at the SVA Chelsea Gallery in New York.

The exhibit, which spans her more-than-two-decade career and includes photographs, notes, video, and audio, and even a weighted flak jacket Addario has used for protection on the front lines, is not for the faint of heart. Addario, 49, has worked in over 80 countries, on five continents, and her photos of atrocities, wounded soldiers, maternal mortality, the climate crisis, and more, can at times be alarming.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 05, 2022

How ‘Bluey' (Really, Truly) Changed Parenting—And the World
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty/Ludo StudioIt's nice to play. It's also hard.

Over the last four years, the Australian animated TV series Bluey has transformed what it means to play: what children might be feeling—or fearing—as they play; how parents and their kids can connect over play; and what parents can learn from escaping their adult realities and leaning into the wonder of imaginative play.

It's something seemingly basic that ends up being profound—and something so profound is, again, hard. It's not easy to have the patience. Every family's relationships are different, and difference breeds insecurity. Bringing play into the real world—and, conversely, the real world into play—is a difficult negotiation, and the blending of the two means swirling the innocence of a child's imagination with heavy truths of life. Sometimes you're sad. Sometimes you're tired. It's life; sometimes, parent or child, you're just overwhelmed.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

‘The White Lotus' Star Theo James Says His Character Would ‘F*ck Anything and Everything'
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/HBOIn The White Lotus, Theo James plays the kind of man you'd probably see sporting a t-shirt with bubble letters reading, "Happy Wife, Happy Life"—even if his extramarital actions don't support that level of cheesy devotion. Cameron adores his wife Daphne (Meghann Fahy), but he seems ravenous to thrust his hips with any woman he can. Not only does this list include Harper (Aubrey Plaza), the cynical wife of his best friend Ethan (Will Sharpe)—she's at the top of it.

(Warning: Spoilers follow for Sunday night's episode of The White Lotus.)

Cameron, drooling with carnal desire, is like an ape. But he's also a slimy, sharp snake, James says, using the metaphor as he chats with The Daily Beast's Obsessed on Zoom ahead of the penultimate episode of The White Lotus Season 2. Even though he's slept with his wife multiple times on the trip and hired a prostitute while she spent a night away, Cameron still harbors a sexual craving he can't satisfy. In Episode 6, "Abductions," he and Harper finally sneak off together to get down and dirty. Or maybe not? We don't get to see what happens behind closed doors.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

CBS anchor Tony Dokoupil Reveals He Got a Vasectomy
Shedrick Pelt/Getty ImagesCBS host Tony Dokoupil got a vasectomy—and he wants other men to think about the procedure, too.

On Sunday night, the CBS Mornings co-anchor took to Instagram to reveal he went under the knife last Friday, sharing photos from a hospital room and a post-procedure video recorded by his wife, the author and MSNBC anchor Katy Tur.

In the footage, Dokoupil can be seen walking stiffly behind a grinning Tur. "You're not supposed to be this mobile," he remarks. "It's a perfectly good procedure, but it's just—feeling a little off." The 41-year-old pauses for a moment, then adds: "I'm wearing a diaper, what do you want?"

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

He's Got Balls: CBS anchor Tony Dokoupil Reveals He Got a Vasectomy
Shedrick Pelt/Getty ImagesCBS host Tony Dokoupil got a vasectomy—and he wants other men to think about the procedure, too.

On Sunday night, the CBS Mornings co-anchor took to Instagram to reveal he went under the knife last Friday, sharing photos from a hospital room and a post-procedure video recorded by his wife, the author and MSNBC anchor Katy Tur.

In the footage, Dokoupil can be seen walking stiffly behind a grinning Tur. "You're not supposed to be this mobile," he remarks. "It's a perfectly good procedure, but it's just—feeling a little off." The 41-year-old pauses for a moment, then adds: "I'm wearing a diaper, what do you want?"

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

‘The White Lotus' Keeps Doing Jennifer Coolidge So Dirty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/HBOEveryone is suffering from end-of-trip blues in The White Lotus. But better to go out with a bang than with a whimper, right? While the Di Grasso boys' trip becomes a spit sisters soiree (and the rest of us wait for a Laura Dern cameo), the Harper/Ethan/Cameron/Daphne foursome's cheating scandal becomes more complicated. And then there's poor Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge), who's starting to realize she's in danger. How many of The White Lotus cast will be held hostage in a villa this season?

(Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2 of The White Lotus.)

Tanya's terribly-dressed assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson)—who sports her worst ensemble ever in this episode—has completely disentangled herself from nice guy Albie (Adam DiMarco), who has hit things off with sex worker Lucia (Simona Tabasco). Portia, you should've stayed with that silly little simpleton. Sure, he wasn't all that, but he would've kept you out of trouble, girl! Now, he's busy explorin

The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

Israeli Soldier Turned Melania Impersonator Says Career Ruined by Dye Job
J. Kempin/Getty ImagesA former Israeli soldier who became New York City's "#1 Melania Trump lookalike" claims an incompetent hairstylist derailed her career impersonating the 45th first lady by leaving her with "short purple bangs that had been chemically burned to a crisp."

Mira Tzur, a one-time counterintelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces who can earn upward of $3,000 an hour to appear as twice-impeached ex-President Donald Trump's third wife, says a dye-job-gone-wrong turned the rest of her "beautiful chestnut colored hair with highlights and superior quality" jet-black, after which it became "brittle and breaking all over," and began falling out, according to a lawsuit first obtained by The Daily Beast.

A "devastated" Tzur, 50, soon developed a visible bald spot and was forced to sleep on a silk pillowcase to help stem the hair loss, according to the suit. Tzur was told by "numerous stylists" that her hair would not look like Melania's again for up to a year, and recommended she consider a wig.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

‘A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical' Is a Broadway Concert for the Truly Devoted
Julieta Cervantes

If you're a Neil Diamond fan, you'll be in clover. All around this critic, his devoted faithful waved, pointed to the sky, swayed, whooped, and sang. A Beautiful Noise is a jukebox musical (Broadhurst Theatre, booking to September 3, 2023) only for those who love Neil Diamond—or for people who want to hear "Sweet Caroline" played with theater roof-raising gusto. If you're not a Neil Diamond fan, you'll have to figure out how much you want to hear "Sweet Caroline" played with theater roof-raising gusto, and make your ticket-buying choice accordingly.

A Beautiful Noise tries, and fails, to give the conventions of the jukebox musical an innovative shake by starting out with an encounter between the older Diamond (Mark Jacoby) and his therapist (Linda Powell). A note from Diamond himself in the program says the musical is part-dedicated to his late therapist Dr. Lu Katzman, who inspired it.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

Why SCOTUS Could Be About to Unleash Frankenstein's Monster
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyIn Moore v. Harper—scheduled for oral argument on Wednesday, Dec. 7—the Supreme Court will decide whether to resurrect the previously dead "Independent State Legislature Theory"-in a way that some commentators believe may pose "an existential threat to our democracy" and could enable "the Republican blueprint to steal the 2024 election."

Proponents of the "ISLT"-Independent State Legislature Theory-believe that the U.S. Constitution bestows unreviewable power upon state legislatures to determine how congressional elections-and by extension Presidential elections-are conducted.

The case is so controversial that more than 70 amicus briefs-"friends of the court"-have been submitted, including everyone from former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the ACLU, with 48 of them being opposed to the legitimacy of the ISLT.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

Bob McGrath, Beloved Original Resident on ‘Sesame Street,' Dies at 90
Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesBob McGrath, an actor who spent more than half his life playing a resident on Sesame Street, putting a human face on the beloved children's show across 47 seasons of broadcast television, died on Sunday, his family said. He was 90.

In a Facebook post announcing McGrath's death, his relatives wrote that he had "died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family." A cause of death was not given.

"Words cannot begin to express what Bob meant to me: a role model, a mentor, a friend," fellow Sesame Street star Alan Muraoka, who joined the show in 1998, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday evening. "His kindness and wicked sense of humor were such a joy, and I loved him so much… Rest well my friend. You did good."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

N.C. County's Power May Be Out for Days After Power Stations ‘Targeted' in Armed Attacks
Jonathan Drake/ReutersNorth Carolina investigators were hunting for at least one suspect after two electrical substations were "targeted" in an "intentional, willful, and malicious act" on Saturday evening, with damage so extensive to both facilities that just under 40,000 customers were warned to brace for possible outages until Thursday.

Officials speaking at a Sunday afternoon press conference announced a county-wide state of emergency. A curfew of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Sunday night was established to protect affected residents, who were advised to stay home or seek shelter at a local sports complex.

"It's going to be very, very, very dark," state Sen. Tom McInnis (R) said, "and it's going to be chilly tonight. And we don't need to have anyone out on the streets—that is the reason for our curfew this evening."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

Putin Cronies Resort to Begging on Live TV Over War Failures
GettyRussia's ill-conceived invasion of Ukraine has so far failed to yield the goals set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his top propagandists are struggling to hide their growing sense of panic.

On Monday, head of RT Margarita Simonyan appeared on The Evening With Vladimir Solovyov and admitted that the Kremlin's collaborationist elite has concerns about the possibility of being tried for war crimes. After disingenuously claiming that neither the Russian leadership nor her fellow propagandists in the studio ever wanted to conduct strikes against Ukraine's critical infrastructure, Simonyan said, "I am amazed by our people—and I unfortunately know many of them—including those in very high circles, who are afraid of this and are scared to call things by their proper names because of what people over there may think."

Simonyan defiantly asserted: "We could spit on what they think over there! People who are afraid of the Hague—listen, you should be afraid to lose, to be humiliated and be afraid to betray your people. Let me tell you that if we manage to lose, the Hague—whether real or hypothetical—will come even for a street cleaner who is sweeping the cobblestones behind the Kremlin."

Read more at The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

Milo Yiannopoulos Is Out at Kanye West Campaign After Infighting
Chip Somodevilla/GettyFar-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been fired from the informal 2024 presidential campaign of Ye, the music star formerly known as Kanye West.

Yiannopoulos's ouster follows a string of disastrous media appearances for the disgraced rapper, as well as infighting within the West orbit. Last week, Ye stormed out of an interview with YouTube personality Tim Pool and repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in an appearance on InfoWars.

Yiannopoulos insisted he decided to leave Ye's operation on his own.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

ABC's George Stephanopoulos Leaves GOP Rep Fumbling Over Trump 2024 Defense
ABC NewsA GOP representative refused to denounce Donald Trump—even when the former president (and current nominee) called for the termination of the U.S. Constitution.

Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) told ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulos that he would support whoever the Republican nominee is in 2024, even if Trump is that person. It came a day after Trump called for a new election on Truth Social: "Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders' did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!"

"Well, again, it's early," Joyce said, almost trying to reassure the anchor of his sanity. "I think there's going to be a lot of people in the primary. I think at the end of the day, whoever the Republican then the pick (sic) I'll fall in behind."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

River Baptism Ceremony Ends in Tragedy After Flash Flood Kills 14
TwitterFourteen people have been found dead after a congregation of 33 attending a river baptism were caught in sudden flash flooding in South Africa's Jukskei River on Saturday afternoon.

At least one person had been rescued from the rising stormwaters while several others from a church in Alexandra were able to make it to safety on their own, according to Spokesperson of the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services Robert Mulaudzi.

"Total number of bodies recovered today is 12 including 2 discovered yesterday makes it a total of 14 bodies recovered in this drowning incident," tweeted Mulaudzi, announcing that the search for the remaining constituents would resume on Monday. "Search has been called off for today."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

Prince William Plots Fightback Over Harry and Meghan's ‘Utterly Explosive' Netflix Documentary
DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesWelcome to this week's edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast's newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.



How to sum up the world of the royal family this weekend? Easy. Everyone has lost their freaking minds.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

The Hysteria Over the Trans Jesus Sermon Gets it All Wrong
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkLast week, the media was abuzz with the scandal that a University of Cambridge dean had claimed that Jesus may have been transgender. The news was first reported in Telegraph, with other outlets like New York Post, NBC Montana and Fox News quickly piling on. A piece in the Daily Mail claimed that worshippers "left in tears" about "row over Christ's wound having a ‘vaginal appearance.'" The ruckus, which seems to have obscured many details of the sermon and turned an art history talk into grand heresy, seems to avoid one critical point: there is a long Christian tradition of reinterpreting the body of Jesus so that it speaks to a more inclusive community.

The event that precipitated the blowback was a lecture-style guest sermon, delivered by Cambridge University Junior Research Fellow Joshua Heath in the chapel at Trinity College. Heath is advised by Rowan Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury and leading theologian. The subject of that talk was a book on the crucifixion called christs. This 1993 work joins a series of series of engravings by the French artist Henri Maccheroni with texts from the poets Jean Claude-Renard and Raphael Monticelli.

The Daily Beast obtained a transcript of the sermon to get a better sense of what happened. Maccheroni, as those more familiar with the art scene than I will already know, is an artist with a developed in

The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

‘SNL' Goes Off on Kanye West for Declaring ‘I Like Hitler'
NBCKanye West served as musical guest on Saturday Night Live seven times over 13 years. But despite the fact that the show has welcomed Donald Trump and Elon Musk in the not-too-distant past, it seems unlikely the rapper will be back on the show again.

"Well, you guys are not going to believe this, but Alex Jones and Kanye West got together this week and it didn't go great," Colin Jost said at the top of SNL's "Weekend Update." Noting that West made antisemitic jokes and at one point declared ‘I like Hitler,'" he joked, "which is also the password he used to get into Mar-a-Lago."

"At this point, I don't think Kanye is off his meds so much as he's immune to them," Jost continued. "We're basically dealing with the Omicron variant of Kanye. We thought he would fade away, but now we realize we may have to deal with the brain fog of long-haul Kanye."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 04, 2022

‘Intentional Vandalism' Leaves 40,000 Without Power in N.C.
Moore County SheriffA major power outage in North Carolina that left almost 40,000 people in the dark on Saturday night was caused by "intentional vandalism" at numerous substations, police said.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a statement that the blackout that began just after 7 p.m. was "being investigated as a criminal occurrence."

Chief Mike Cameron of the Southern Pines Fire and Rescue Department told the local newspaper, The Pilot, that the substations had been damaged by gunfire.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Kenan Thompson on ‘SNL' Can't Out-Crazy the Real Herschel Walker
NBCWith three days to go before Georgia's Senate runoff, Saturday Night Live opened on an intervention of sorts on Capitol Hill, with Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders confronting Herschel Walker over his cratering campaign.

"Hey there, Mitch McDonald's!" Kenan Thompson's Walker said when he walked into the room. "I'm sorry I'm late, I was having too much fun in that free merry-go-round you have out front," he added, referring to the revolving door.

Over the course of the cold open sketch, a deeply confused Walker mistook Senator Marsha Blackburn for the Queen and revealed that he recently drove yet another woman to a "Planned Parent Trap."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Cormac McCarthy Uses Fiction to Cross Examine the Universe
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty and PublisherCormac McCarthy's latest novel, Stella Maris, consists entirely of transcripts of conversations at a psychiatric facility between a suicidal genius named Alicia Western and her therapist. Readers of McCarthy's previous novel, The Passenger, know how the story ends: Alicia has already committed suicide when The Passenger begins. Stella Maris shares themes and its central character with The Passenger, but it offers a new angle on her strange, luminous mind. In the first book, we saw Alicia's troubling hallucinations as they appeared to her—as bizarre but undeniably real beings. In Stella Maris, we have a more external view of Alicia. Her inner life is not dramatized, only described in exchanges with a therapist whose sympathy cannot entirely conceal his bewilderment at many of her comments about her mind and the world. Yet the novel suggests that she may have grasped more of the nature of reality than her interlocutor.

It's odd to call Stella Maris McCarthy's latest novel, since it's being published just six weeks after The Passenger. While each book stands alone, they clearly form a single broader system, something like a planet and its dark orbiting moon. Like The Passenger, Stella Maris is a fascinating and disturbing book, its essential bleakness of vision powerful if not completely persuasive.

Alicia is a mathematical genius, an extraordinarily gifted violinist, and a voracious reader with a photographic memory. Asked by the therapist if she remembers everything s

The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Pulse Shooting Survivor Tells How to Make Anti-LGBT Pols Pay
Jim Watson/GettyBrandon Wolf was the first survivor from the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting to testify before Congress, where he called for gun reform so that event which left 49 people dead, including his best friend Drew, would not happen again.

He told The New Abnormal after hearing about the shooting last month at Club Q in Colorado Springs—another LGBT nightclub—he was not just heartbroken but furious. Wolf says anti-LGBT legislation like the "Don't Say Gay" law in Florida has made his community a target yet again.

"We have a right to be angry because this is what we've been telling people would happen," he said. "This is what we warned would be the inevitable consequences of this, I want to call it diabolical hysteria, that has been whipped up by the right wing in this country. We always told them that someone was going to pay the price for the words coming out of their mouths."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Don Katz Built Audible to Keep Us Telling Campfire Stories
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyThis is an excerpt from the book The Moment: Changemakers on Why and How They Joined the Fight for Social Justice, edited by Steve Fiffer and published by NewSouth Books. The author of more than a dozen books, Fiffer most recently collaborated with the late civil rights icon Dr. C.T. Vivian on his memoir, It's in the Action. For The Moment Fiffer interviewed more than 35 activists of all ages, backgrounds, and professions. Among those featured "in their own words" are Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; Don Katz, founder of Audible.com; and award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat. Excerpts featuring Jackson, MS Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and Professor Ebony Lumumba, Zev Shapiro, Renee Montgomery, Doug Glanville, and Christian Picciolini appeared here earlier this year.

Don

The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Here's Why You Need to Get Hated on Twitter
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyWith all of the news about Twitter following Elon Musk's purchase and peculiar actions as CEO, a common question in the Twitterverse has been—"is everyone else losing followers?"

Since its inception, a primary goal of Twitter has been to attract followers as yet another measure of success in the modern quantocracy. But is more always merrier?

One way to answer this question is to ask not how to attract followers—but how to repel them. The easiest way is to tweet something undemocratic or vastly unpopular with a democratic audience, and "presto," you'll be left with an account that is hated.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Musk's Twitter Has a Huge Blindspot—and It Could Be Deadly
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyA tidal wave of bad news has rained down on Twitter in the U.S. since Elon Musk bought the company in late October. Almost immediately after the acquisition, hate speech spiked on the platform, the company spectacularly botched a new paid verification system, and Musk went to war against major advertisers that had pulled back spending.

But overseas, watchdogs say, the situation is perhaps even more dire.

"There are certain markets that Twitter is operating in that are in open genocide," said Thenmozhi Soundararajan, executive director of Equality Labs, a civil rights organization that advocates against caste systems in South Asia.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

‘Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo' Is a Horrifying Exposé of a Megachurch's Pedophilic Predators
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty and HBOReligion, self-help, and horrific sexual abuse frequently go together, as detailed by Spotlight (about the Catholic Church), The Vow (about NXIVM), Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey (about the FLDS), Wild Wild Country (about guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's New Age movement), and numerous other modern exposés. In terms of sheer despicableness, however, few nonfiction affairs can match Unveiled: Surviving La Luz del Mundo, a three-part HBO offering (Dec. 6) about La Luz del Mundo ("The Light of the World"). A Christian church-cum-cult that now spans the globe with a reported 5 million members, its doctrine revolves around strict loyalty and obedience to its "apostles," who claim to be the chosen messengers of God—and who, according to those featured in director Jennifer Tiexiera's docuseries, are pedophiles who prey upon their adherents.

La Luz del Mundo was founded in 1926 by Eusebio (Aarón) Joaquin, the first "Servant of God," and he was succeeded by his son Samuel Joaquín Flores and then, in 2014, by his grandson Naasón Joaquín Garcia. Built around the notion of these men's divinity, the church recruits Mexico's poorest and most in-need citizens, and under Samuel, it gr

The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Right-Wing Hosts Try Saving Kanye but He's Too Far Gone
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyIn the past week, Kanye West has done the unthinkable. He's made Alex Jones look like the voice of reason.

In case you missed it, on Alex Jones' Infowars show, Jones attempted to throw the scandal-plagued star a lifeline. "I get the Hugo Boss uniforms [are] amazing," Jones said, perhaps attempting to explain West's antisemitism. "But just because you're in love with the design—you're a designer—can we just kinda say you like the uniforms, but that's about it?"

"No, there's a lot of things I LOVE about HITLER," West replied. "A LOT of things." At this point, Jones had that same look on his face that Mike Myers had when Kanye said, "George W. Bush doesn't care about Black people."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

McDonald's Launches a Fashion Collection, Fries Not Included
Photo composite by The Daily Beast/Photos shot by Sofia OkkonenWhen the outfits started burbling up on social media this week, people responded with shock: why were McDonald's employees, usually decked out in basic black separates, suddenly appearing in photos wearing chic, Balenciaga-esque skirts, button-downs and hoodies emblazoned with oversized versions of the iconic logo?

It turns out that the designs are the result of an official collaboration between the brand and VAIN, a freshly-launched Helsinki-based fashion label run by designer Jimi Vain, representing an interesting new entry into a years-long trend that's seen big names like TELFAR and Forever 21 pair with fast casual chains like White Castle and Taco Bell. The goal? Come up with bizarre, lighthearted new garments to be sold at accessible prices.

Unlike luxury labels like Gucci and Ralph Lauren, which have lately begun branching out into the culinary space with Michelin star-courting restaurants and branded cafés, slightly less prestigious fashion brands are tapping into the populist power of food via collaborations wi

The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Why the Media Makes Musk a Villain but Lets SBF Off Easy
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyWhen Sam Bankman-Fried sat down with George Stephanopoulos for a Good Morning America interview this week in his signature t-shirt, it wasn't the first national news appearance the disgraced former crypto wunderkind had given.

Since losing tens of billions of dollars in his over-leveraged and shadily funded businesses, FTX and Alameda, Bankman-Fried has been on a media tour, showing up in reporters' DMs, on Vox, Axios, at The New York Times' DealBook Summit, and he is still scheduled for a Twitter Space and a YouTube interview to round out his week.

Somewhere, an expensive lawyer is pulling his well-coiffed hair out—a contrast with Bankman-Fried, who seems relatively calm, his unkempt hair and Bahamas abode unchanged in the wake of this stunning fall from financial grace.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Even the Jan. 6 Committee Knows Its Report Is Dead on Arrival
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyThe House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, is nearly done with its work. Witness interviews, including one on Monday with former Trump administration adviser Kellyanne Conway, are wrapping up.

Agreement on the "scope of the investigation" to be included in the final report is "very close" to being reached, committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said this week, and that document will soon be ready for the public to review. Before the year is out, Schiff declared, America will "have the evidence."

Sure—but what will we do with it? Will anything come of these toils?

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Even the Jan. 6 Committee Knows Its Report's Dead on Arrival
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyThe House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, is nearly done with its work. Witness interviews, including one on Monday with former Trump administration adviser Kellyanne Conway, are wrapping up.

Agreement on the "scope of the investigation" to be included in the final report is "very close" to being reached, committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said this week, and that document will soon be ready for the public to review. Before the year is out, Schiff declared, America will "have the evidence."

Sure—but what will we do with it? Will anything come of these toils?

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Christian Nationalist Leader Claims He Forgot He Ran Mega-Racist Twitter Account
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyUntil last month, Thomas Achord's friends in the increasingly assertive world of right-wing Christian nationalism saw him as an upstanding member of their movement.

The headmaster of a Baton Rouge school that teaches "classical Christian education," Achord hosted a podcast with the author of a new book advocating for Christian nationalism. In the insular online community where Christian nationalists debate how to live out their values in a secular world—perhaps by abandoning society altogether or by rallying around an American Caesar who will impose their values by force—Achord was seen as a rising star.

Then someone found his secret Twitter account.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

An Ode to Henry Cavill's Surprisingly Literary Instagram Captions
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/GettyWe all know Henry Cavill. He is Superman. And until recently, he was the Witcher. He is also—seeing as he has to look the part to play the superhero convincingly—a very big guy. So it is understandable if the man comes across as slightly intimidating. However, you only need to look at the actor's Instagram account to see that may not be the case. More specifically, his Instagram captions.

Now I am admittedly not someone who reads long captions on any platform. My approach to long captions and texts is that meme that says: "I ain't reading all that. I'm happy for you though. Or sorry that happened." But Henry Cavill's captions? I read them religiously. Because that man makes things as mundane as making a brisket on International Men's Day or installing coolers during a heatwave an entire literary experience, compelling you to read it from start to finish.

Even when he talks about cool things like his work, interviews, co-actors, his partner Natalie Viscuso, and his

The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Jessica Chastain Proves Why She Earned That Oscar With ‘George & Tammy'
Photo Illustration by Erin O'Flynn/The Daily Beast/Dana Hawley/Courtesy of SHOWTIME"As long as I can remember, I've been in pain," Tammy Wynette slurs into a microphone in the fifth episode of George & Tammy. The country music icon, played here by Jessica Chastain, isn't performing one of her more melancholic hits, but delivering an impromptu speech at her wedding to her fourth and final husband, songwriter George Richey (Steve Zahn)—hunched over and high on painkillers.

By the time this line is uttered in the penultimate episode of the Showtime miniseries, it feels cathartic. As the title suggests, the bulk of George & Tammy, premiering on Sunday, focuses on the tumultuous six-year marriage between the "Stand By Your Man" singer and her third husband, legendary country artist George Jones, played by Michael Shannon.

Wynette experiences physical and emotional pain at the hands of Jones, who suffers from alcoholism. Richey, who eventually becomes her manager, also turns out to be an abusive partner. In the second episode, we see a flashback of Wynette receiving electric shock treatment while pregnant after being diagnosed with depression during her first marriage. Later on in the series, while giving birth to her and Jones' daughter Georgette, she's given a hysterectomy without her consent, causing chronic abdominal pain that would lead to her drug abuse and he

The Daily Beast
Dec 03, 2022

Star of MTV's ‘Rich Girls' Hits Showbiz Lawyer With Rape Suit
Jamie McCarthy/GettyOne of the stars of the MTV reality show Rich Girls has filed a federal lawsuit against an entertainment lawyer, claiming he raped her when she was a 19-year-old virgin.

Jamie Gleicher, who is now a 37-year-old social worker, is using the one-year window created by the Adult Survivors Act to go after Roger Haber almost two decades after the incident.

Haber denies the allegations.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



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