IT40 News for 01/09/2019

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IT40

#1 President Trump says he’s cutting off FEMA money for California fires

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Wednesday again threatened to cut off federal funds to fight California wildfires, saying the money is being wasted.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen," Trump tweeted. "Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  responded that Trump's threat "insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes."

Pelosi said House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, another Californian, "must join me to condemn & call on POTUS to reassure millions in CA that our govt will be there for them in their time of need."

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#3 Documentary Accusing Michael Jackson of Sexually Abusing Boys to Premiere at Sundance

Leaving Neverland, a documentary that accuses Michael Jackson of sexually abusing a pair of young boys, is set to premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

“At the height of his stardom, Michael Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged 7 and 10, and their families,” the film’s synopsis states. “Now in their 30s, they tell the story of how they were sexually abused by Jackson, and how they came to terms with it years later.”

The two-part, 233-minute Leaving Neverland, named after Jackson’s famed California ranch, will receive its world premiere as part of the festival’s Special Events category.

Dan Reed, who previously helmed the documentaries The Pedophile Hunters and Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks, directed and produced Leaving Neverland.

It’s unclear which of Jackson’s accusers are the focus of Leaving Neverland. As the Wrap notes, the two brothers who accused Jackson of molestation in the singer’s 2005 criminal trial are now only in their 20s. Choreographer Wade Robson, now 36, filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Jackson in 2013, claiming Jackson molested him when he was seven years old. That lawsuit was dismissed in December 2017.

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#4 Trump walks out of border security meeting after Pelosi rejects wall pitch

President Trump walked out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday afternoon over the partial government shutdown after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi again rejected supporting new funding for a border wall, according to those in the meeting.

Speaking to reporters after the brief session, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the “president just got up and walked out."

“He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘will you agree to my wall?’ She said no. And he just got up, and said, 'Well we’ve got nothing to discuss,'" Schumer said.

The president, in a tweet, called the meeting “a total waste of time” and appeared to confirm that he left after Pelosi's answer.

“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Trump tweeted.

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#5 Predicting studs and duds for the Divisional Round

With NFL Wild Card Weekend on the books, the focus shifts to the Divisional Round taking place this Saturday and Sunday.

In the AFC, the Chiefs will host a red-hot Andrew Luck, whose offense is playing lights-out. Meanwhile, veteran quarterback greats Tom Brady and Philip Rivers square off in Foxborough.

Over in the NFC the Eagles are taking on Drew Brees in the Dome while the Cowboys hit the road and will attempt to put the Rams to rest for the year.

With some NFL players destined to shine and others slated to disappoint, we present our stud and dud predictions for the Divisional Round.

Stud: Michael Thomas, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints

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#6 Why Federal Workers Still Have to Show Up Even If They’re Not Being Paid

Eric Young is the president of the union that represents the approximately 30,000 employees of the Federal Bureau of Prisons who are working during the government shutdown.

Young’s members, scattered at 122 facilities located in largely rural areas across the country, aren’t being paid and don’t know when their next paycheck will come. Like the leaders of virtually every federal-employee union during the past three weeks, he has condemned the shutdown and its toll on innocent workers as “unconscionable.”

“My personal opinion,” Young told me over the phone from his office in Arkansas, “is that it constitutes involuntary servitude.”

Neither Young nor any of his partners in union leadership will urge their members to do the one thing that would seem most natural for employees facing the same treatment in the private sector: If they don’t pay you, stay home.

“We can’t call or advocate for a strike,” Young said.

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#7 Trump’s lawyers told Mueller he will not respond to any more questions: Giuliani

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Donald Trump's legal team told special counsel Robert Mueller that the U.S. president will not answer any more questions in the probe of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Wednesday.

Trump submitted written answers to questions from Mueller in late November. In an interview with Reuters, Giuliani said Mueller raised the possibility of follow-up questions but that the president's outside legal team told the special counsel before Christmas that Trump would not respond.

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#8 Time’s Up: Skydance’s John Lasseter Hire ‘Perpetuates a Broken System’

Hollywood anti-harassment organization Time's Up condemned Skydance's hiring of Pixar founder John Lasseter in a statement released Wednesday.

Lasseter left Walt Disney Animation and Pixar following accusations of sexual misconduct made in a story published by The Hollywood Reporter, with "former Pixar insiders" saying he frequently made a habit of "grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes" of women at the company.

"Skydance Media's decision to hire John Lasseter as head of animation endorses and perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequence. At a moment when we should be uplifting the many talented voices who are consistently underrepresented, Skydance Media is providing another position of power, prominence and privilege to a man who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace," said Time's Up.

"People often ask when a man who has abused his power "gets" to "come back." There is no simple answer. But here are a few first steps: 1) Demonstrate true remorse. 2) Work deeply to reform your behavior. 3) Deliver restitution to those you harmed. That's the bare minimum."

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#9 Wendy Williams’ fans are worried after she pushed back show return

Many of Wendy Williams' fans are concerned about her after she pushed back the much-anticipated return to her eponymous talk show.

The move comes after just over a year in which the talk show host fainted on live TV, spoke about taking pain medication and fought off rumors of marital strife.

© Splash News
Wendy Williams attends the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2018 Presented By Macy's in New York City on Feb. 11, 2018.

Initially, Wendy was set to return to TV on January 7, even triumphantly tweeting out after the new year, "3 DAYS until I'm back! New year means new shows." That tweet has since been removed.

... To Read more, please click here

#10 Al Roker Defends Local Meteorologist Fired for Using Racial Slur: He ‘Made an Unfortunate Flub’

Jeremy Kappell, a weatherman fired for apparently using a racial slur on air, says it was an honest mistake — and Al Roker is in his corner.

The chief meteorologist at NBC affiliate WHEC in Rochester, New York, was fired after he uttered the word c—, which has been used as a racial slur against black people, while referring to a park named after the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

In an interview with the Today show Tuesday, Kappell said he tripped over his words, accidentally combining “king” and “junior.”

“Two words mashed together incorrectly. What I said wasn’t even a word, it was a sound — people, I believe, read into that,” he said.

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#11 Cardi B, Drake Dominate 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards Nominations

iHeartMedia and FOX have announced the nominees for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards, and Cardi B and Drake lead the way with 13 and eight nominations, respectively.

Now in its sixth year and partnered with FOX, the iHeartRadio Music Awards celebrate the most popular songs and artists from 2018 played on the iHeartRadio stations and app.

Cardi B received the most nominations thanks to her breakout year, debut album “Invasion of Privacy” and multiple collaborations. 2018’s most streamed song, “God’s Plan” by Drake, picked up five nominations and competes in the Hip-Hop Song of the Year race with Drake’s other singles “In My Feelings” and “Nice For What.”

Other artists who received multiple nominations include Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes and Maroon 5.

Check out the full list of nominees below:

... To Read more, please click here

#12 Kevin Hart Rules Out Hosting Oscars: ‘I’m Over It’

http://a.msn.com/0C/en-us/BBS0Waf?ocid=se

Kevin Hart officially ended discussion about him hosting the 2019 Academy Awards on Wednesday, telling "Good Morning America" that he was "over" the negative attention surrounding his old homophobic tweets and wanted to move on.

"There is no ending to it. If you keep feeding this energy, then it's going to grow. You're not getting no more of my energy from it. I'm not giving no more, because it's endless," Hart told host Michael Strahan. "I want everybody to know I'm done with it. It's a choice that I've personally made to say I'm not addressing it anymore."

© TheWrap
kevin hart

"I'm over it," he said repeatedly.

 

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IT40 People in the Media for 01/09/2019

“We don’t need no stinking Politicians”! that’s a funny twist on a line from Blazing Saddles