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#1 New Hampshire primary Democrats make final push in lead-up to New Hampshire primary

Who needs to win the New Hampshire primary

The New Hampshire expectations game for (nearly) every candidate, explained.

By Ella Nilsenella.nilsen@vox.com  Feb 10, 2020, 9:50am EST

SOMERSWORTH, New Hampshire — After chaos in Iowa, the next primary has become the crucial early decider in the 2020 Democratic race.

Despite Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg both declaring victory after the extended, messy caucuses, the Associated Press was unable to declare a winner there. Now, all eyes are on New Hampshire.

“Twenty-four hours later, they’re still trying to figure out what happened in Iowa,” former Vice President Joe Biden joked at a Somersworth town hall last week. “At this rate, New Hampshire will be the first in the country to get the vote.”

The primary on Tuesday, February 11, will be a decisive moment for five top-tier candidates. Sanders won New Hampshire in 2016 by a record number of votes, so he has big expectations to meet here. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) needs a win or a strong second-place finish after coming third in Iowa — particularly because she represents a neighboring state and is well-known here. Midwesterner Buttigieg is hoping to beat these two New England senators on their home turf and fend off a late rise from moderate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). And while Biden’s team has been downplaying expectations here for months, he can’t afford to come stumbling out of New Hampshire after suffering a self-described “gut punch” in Iowa.

Some of the presidential campaigns — most notably Biden’s — are already tempering expectations for Tuesday, instead looking ahead to the more diverse early states of Nevada and South Carolina as the real start of their campaigns’ momentum. But a loss in New Hampshire could hamper those plans.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg campaigns in Salem, New Hampshire.
 Win McNamee/Getty Images

“Money’s going to winnow the field, and money follows results,” said Tom Rath, a veteran Republican strategist in New Hampshire. “Your donors get less enthusiastic if you don’t have some results to show them.”

Polls show a good chance of Sanders reprising his 2016 win. Buttigieg is in second place, with Warren and Biden tied for third. Klobuchar is also a wild card; recent polls show she’s on an upward trajectory, with large crowds and fundraising in the past week.

The narrative coming out of Iowa was largely about what a disaster the caucuses themselves were. That allowed winners and losers alike to skate into New Hampshire; no one has dropped out yet.

New Hampshire may not be as forgiving. Here’s a rundown of the top candidates and how they need to perform on Tuesday.

New Hampshire is all-important for Bernie Sanders

Sure, Sanders has a bit of a cushion after performing well in Iowa. But New Hampshire has special — and crucial — significance for him. Put simply, he can’t afford to lose here.

It’s not just that Sanders is from right next door in Vermont; he won New Hampshire in 2016 by 152,000 votes, a historic number. He’s the only Democrat in the 2020 field with anything close to that record.

“I think he needs to win, and I think he will do that,” said New Hampshire state Rep. Renny Cushing of Hampton, who endorsed Sanders in 2016 and 2020. “I didn’t say that in 2016, but I think we’re in a really different time. I think Bernie can beat Trump; other people may handicap it a different way.”

Sanders’s high-profile supporters in New Hampshire say they are not expecting him to replicate his 22-point win over Hillary Clinton in 2016; there are more than two choices this year.

Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters at Keene State College on February 9, 2020.
 Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“I think whoever wins New Hampshire is going to win by 3 to 5 points, and I think that would be a great win,” said Andru Volinsky, a Democratic candidate for governor and Sanders surrogate. “But what happened in 2016, first of all, it was a two-person race, so it was a binary decision. You can’t expect a similar outcome.”

Sanders’s history and familiarity here aren’t the only reasons he needs to do well. The next contest is Latino-heavy Nevada on February 22, and Sanders is banking on support from Latino voters to carry him into Super Tuesday strong. Nevada experts told me they’ll be watching the results coming out of the New Hampshire primary — making it all the more crucial for the Vermont senator.

Can lightning strike twice for Pete Buttigieg?

Buttigieg had a very good night in Iowa, which could set him up for another good one in New Hampshire.

Here’s the latest RealClearPolitics polling average for New Hampshire: Buttigieg is the purple line, and that upward trajectory started two days after the Iowa caucuses.

RealClearPolitics

Of course, Iowa isn’t everything — New Hampshire has a long tradition of bucking Iowa’s results. But it’s undoubtedly a boost for Buttigieg, who has been drawing 1,500- and 1,800-person crowds this weekend. He still has plenty of competition among the moderate field; voters who like him tend to say they’re also considering Biden or Klobuchar.

New Hampshire could be a good electoral fit for Buttigieg. Even though voters here picked Sanders in 2016, the state also has a long history of electing moderate governors and members of Congress. That’s a mold some of Buttigieg’s New Hampshire supporters think he fits well.

“I believe he’s putting together a strong coalition of progressive Democrats, independents, and Republicans who no longer support the president,” said state Rep. Annie Kuster, a national campaign co-chair for Buttigieg. Kuster told me she knows people who voted for Trump in 2016 but are looking for another option in 2020 and considering Buttigieg.

“I want to make sure they have a place to land in the general election,” she said. “I know them, and they’re telling me he is a candidate they can vote for in November.”

Audience members listen to Pete Buttigieg at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
 Win McNamee/Getty Images

It’s also a critical time for the South Bend mayor to put up a strong finish. The whole 2020 contest is about to head into Nevada and South Carolina, where polls show Buttigieg is much weaker among nonwhite voters.

New Hampshire is Buttigieg’s real chance to prove he can go toe-to-toe with Sanders and Warren in their own backyards. The big question is whether New Hampshire will make this a two-person race between Buttigieg and Sanders or give another candidate a springboard.

Biden needs to pick things up after a downward slide

From the start, Biden’s team has projected confidence he can win the Democratic nomination even if he loses Iowa and New Hampshire. But Biden came in fourth in Iowa, a less-than-ideal result for the national frontrunner.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We took a gut punch in Iowa, the whole process took a gut punch,” Biden told a crowd of voters in Somersworth. “But this is not the first time I’ve been knocked down.”

Biden didn’t give New Hampshire voters much reason to believe he’ll win here. “I took a hit in Iowa, and I’ll probably take a hit here,” he bluntly admitted during last week’s debate.

Already, Biden’s campaign staff and New Hampshire surrogates are trying to keep expectations for him low ahead of the primary and focus on the path to the nomination they believe runs through Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday.

Joe Biden greets supporters after speaking in Manchester, New Hampshire.
 Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

“It’s longer than the first two,” said former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ned Helms, a prominent Biden supporter in the state. “There are some people that say ‘he’s out of it.’ We haven’t hit South Carolina, we haven’t hit Super Tuesday, and as he said — it was a tough one yesterday, but we’re not going anywhere.”

At least one longtime political expert in New Hampshire threw cold water on the idea that Biden could keep plugging away if he loses here as well. Because Biden’s entire pitch is electability and beating Trump, he has to start winning races soon. And Buttigieg could stand to gain the most from Biden’s fall.

“It’s certainly possible that the former vice president is going to put up not one but two fourth-place finishes in the first contests on the calendar,” said University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala. “The reason [African American voters] are with Biden is they felt it was pragmatic reasons, i.e., electability. I’m very skeptical the so-called electable candidate ... will look as electable to South Carolina voters.”

New Hampshire is a crucial state for Warren

Iowa wasn’t horrible for Warren, but it also wasn’t great. She needs things to go well in New Hampshire on Tuesday night.

“I wouldn’t count her out,” said Rath, the Republican strategist. Warren fits New Hampshire’s political mold; the state has a longtime history of electing women, and she’s a well-known entity across the border in Massachusetts as well.

Even though Warren has one of the best field organizations here, she has been lagging in New Hampshire polls for months and is currently tied for third with Biden. One recent CNN/University of New Hampshire poll showed her in single digits at 9 percent, just 4 points ahead of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).

After flying high in the fall, a combination of attacks by Buttigieg on her Medicare-for-all plan, a nasty public fight with Sanders, and persistent (often gendered) questions about her electability have seen her support drop.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at a rally in Concord, New Hampshire. 
Scott Olson/Getty Images

“She is in a bit of limbo at this point,” Scala said. “Her niche of support here was relatively narrow. Buttigieg has been blocking her among college-educated voters.”

Some of her prominent New Hampshire surrogates are also trying to keep expectations relatively low for her here, and her campaign already put out a memo looking ahead to Super Tuesday and beyond.

“I think it’s very possible we may have four candidates emerging from New Hampshire; it’s not a must-win for any of them,” said former chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party Kathy Sullivan, a Warren backer. “New Hampshire never picks the president — what we do is maybe clarify matters.”

Amy Klobuchar is making a stand in New Hampshire

Iowa was supposed to be Klobuchar’s moment, and it just wasn’t. She ended in fifth place, which is not where the senator from Minnesota needs to be heading into the primary.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar campaigns in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 8, 2020.
 Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Still, there’s a chance she could have a New Hampshire bump. Klobuchar perhaps benefited the most from the confusion in Iowa, and she’s campaigning hard here to make up the difference. That was reflected in some good polling, large crowds, and impressive fundraising numbers for her by the end of the weekend. If nothing else, Klobuchar could be a real threat to her fellow moderates Buttigieg and Biden, eating into their bases.

Although voters are taking a close look at her — and despite multiple newspaper endorsements here — New Hampshire political experts told me she needed to put up a “shock the world” number in Iowa order to be seriously considered.

“She had momentum and Iowa stopped her,” Rath said. “I don’t know if you can reignite.”

Much like Biden, Klobuchar’s core pitch is electability. That means she needs to start winning elections. A bad New Hampshire loss could be the end of Klobuchar’s campaign.

Someone in the Gabbard, Yang, Steyer, and Bennet tier could surprise

Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang might not be getting talked about a lot by the national media, but they’ve been doing a lot of campaigning in New Hampshire — and voters are taking notice.

Gabbard, in particular, has billboards all over the state; she’s been surfing in New Hampshire’s freezing cold ocean and skiing on the slopes with supporters. It’s unlikely either she or Yang wins outright, but both could appeal to a very libertarian subset of New Hampshire voters. Either one could surprise on election night.

Steyer hasn’t done much campaigning here, but his advertisements are everywhere. And Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) — who is staking his entire campaign on New Hampshire — is polling at 0.8 percent. But hey, he has James Carville’s endorsement

#2 No, Bill Gates Didn’t Buy the World’s First Ever Hydrogen-Powered Super Yacht for $644 Million But Here it is….

No, Bill Gates Didn't Buy the World's First Ever Hydrogen-Powered Super Yacht for $644 Million

But surely he might want it, right?

By Don ReisingerTechnology and business writer@donreisingerGETTY IMAGES

There's a debate raging over whether Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates spent more than $600 million on a super yacht. And now the company that actually makes the yacht has tried to correct the record.

Earlier on Monday, headlines across the Internet were saying that Bill Gates had bought the world's first hydrogen-powered super yacht for a whopping $644 million. That vessel, which is being designed and built by Sinot, and is known as the Aqua, features everything you'd expect in a super yacht, including a 370-foot span, five decks, a gym, and so much more.

The Guardian reported on Monday that Gates has commissioned the vessel and will be the first to own it. Before long, stories cropped up around the Internet, saying that one of the world's richest people is now buying one of the world's most expensive super yachts.

But then Sinot stepped in.

Sinot on Monday morning replaced its homepage with a request that news outlets correct their stories and say that Gates had not in fact bought the Aqua.

"The Hydrogen concept Aqua is not linked to Mr. Gates (or his representatives) in any form or matter," Sinot's site reads. "Sinot has no business relationship with Mr. Gates. Aqua is a concept under development and has not been sold to Mr. Gates. Unfortunately, all information in these recent articles is incorrect."

The company then asked for sites to issue corrections on their stories.

It's unclear what might have caused the apparent mistake. Either way, Gates himself hasn't commented on the reported buy, and it's unclear whether news outlets will correct their stories or will stand by their sourcing and say that Gates is in fact buying the super yacht. 

Still, one would be hard-pressed to blame Gates for wanting the Sinot Aqua. The vessel is downright impressive, with a futuristic design, hydrogen power, and even space for a helipad, so owners and visitors can land on its deck without any trouble.

The Aqua was unveiled last year. Exactly when it'll actually hit the seas remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen whether Gates will be one of the first billionaires to be riding on it when that happens.

PUBLISHED ON: FEB 10, 2020

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

#3 Blac Chyna Makes RANDOM Appearance At 2020 Oscars!

How Blac Chyna Scored a Ticket to the 2020 Oscars

by VANNESSA JACKSON | Mon., Feb. 10, 2020 11:36 AM

David Fisher/Shutterstock

The answer the internet has been waiting for.

On Sunday night, Hollywood's best and brightest hit the carpet in Los Angeles for the 2020 Oscars. There were shockers and snubs, and a highly surprising appearance from none other than Rob Kardashian's ex-girlfriend and mother to his child, Blac Chyna. While Chyna looked right at home on the carpet while wearing a jaw dropping plunging black velvet Dona Matoshi gown with dark blue fringed and jeweled accents and a thigh-high slit, her appearance was a bit confusing. 

Alas, the star did have an invite! She was music producer Christopher Trujillo's plus one for the evening. The reality star took to Instagram on Monday morning to share some behind the scenes content from her evening, and revealed that she was there as a guest with Trujillo. 

"Headed to the Oscars with my Award winning engineer @titojustmusic," she captioned a video of herself in her car prior to her big night out. 

Watch

Blac Chyna - 2020 Grammy Awards Glambot

In the video the pair is seen driving along the road while listening to music together. Trujillo is most widely known as Tito JustMusic, and has worked with stars like Ariana Grande, Fifth Harmony and Mariah Carey just to name a few. Plus, he's no stranger to the film industry either. According to his IMDB, he has credits on films such as Think Like a Man and For Colored Girls

Chyna is becoming quite the awards show staple this year. She also made a recent appearance at the 2020 Grammys and opted for a gorgeous fiery red look. 

E! Online

#4 [BREAKING NEWS] Philip River & Chargers mutually agree that Rivers will enter free agency

Los Angeles Chargers and Philip Rivers have mutually agreed to part ways

Posted: February 10, 2020

Updated: 11:04 AM

KUSI Sports

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Los Angeles Chargers and longtime quarterback Philip Rivers have mutually agreed that Rivers will enter free agency and not return to the team for the 2020 season.

This was an expected move, but some say it is likely the franchise could take a quarterback with the sixth overall pick in April’s draft.

On the other hand, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn will go into next season with a contract extension and changes to his staff. Lynn has a 27-24 mark in three seasons, including 1-1 in the postseason. He led the Chargers to the playoffs in 208 but they fell to 5-11 this season.

Lynn was going into the upcoming season on the final year of his original contract but both sides had previously said they were confident something would be worked out.

The official press release from the Los Angeles Chargers announcing the move is below:

The Los Angeles Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers have mutually agreed that Rivers will enter free agency and not return to the team for the 2020 season.

“After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties,” said General Manager Tom Telesco. “As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run.

“We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020.

“I’ve said before that Philip can still compete at a top-starter level and, in a perfect world, number 17 is your quarterback forever. Obviously, we live in an imperfect world where the only constant is change. I think Philip’s tremendous perspective, both when it comes to football and when it comes to life, helped lend clarity to a very complex situation.”

“I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years,” said Rivers. “In anything you do, it’s the people you do it with that make it special. There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful.

“I never took for granted the opportunity to lead this team out on to the field for 235 games. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in LA. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward.

“I’m not sure what the future holds, but my family and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for us next.

“Nunc Coepi.“

Rivers, who owns more than 30 franchise records, ranks inside the Top 10 of the NFL’s all-time lists in numerous categories. His 123 career regular season victories as a starter rank ninth in NFL history, ahead of the likes of Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and Jim Kelly. Sitting at No. 6 on the all-time touchdowns list with 397, ahead of John Elway, Montana and Unitas, Rivers joined Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino this past season as the only players to eclipse 58,000 career passing yards. His 70 300-plus passing yard performances, more than all-time greats Marino and Favre, are good for fourth in NFL history behind only Brees, Peyton Manning and Brady.

“Through 16 seasons, 224 consecutive starts and more ‘dadgummits’ and ‘shoots’ than any of us can count, not only has Philip Rivers been our quarterback, he’s been the heart and soul of our organization,” said Owner Dean Spanos. “He wore a bolo tie and cowboy boots to games. He introduced us to ‘Nunc Coepi.’ He always went out of his way to interact with the fans, and he even made fans of nuns. Over the years, I think he broke just about every team record in the book and, simply put, it was just fun to watch him play football.

“There’s only one Philip Rivers, and we’ve been fortunate to call him our QB1 for the better part of two decades. We cannot thank Philip enough for giving it his all on every single down and for the memories he created that will last a lifetime.”

Rivers’ streak of 224 consecutive starts is a franchise-best and the third longest since 1970, trailing Favre (297) and Bruce Matthews (229). In 2014, Rivers became the first player in NFL history to post five straight games with a passer rating of at least 120 in a single season. Four years later, he posted the most consecutive completions in NFL history, connecting on 25-straight attempts in a 35-point home win over Arizona.

An eight-time Pro Bowler, Rivers trails only Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Thomas, Jason Peters and DeMarcus Ware among players that entered the NFL since 2004. A 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist for his work with the Rivers of Hope Foundation that raised more than $1 million to help abandoned and orphaned children, Rivers is tied with Antonio Gates for the second-most Pro Bowls by a Charger since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, trailing only Junior Seau’s 12 selections.

Philip Rivers

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