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Rihanna became the first Black woman to head a luxury house with LVMH

NEW YORK (AP) — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, has put Rihanna’s Fenty fashion collection on hold.

The move, confirmed by LVMH Wednesday, comes nearly two years after the fashion conglomerate announced the collaboration with the pop artist and business mogul.

Black Lives Matter opens up about its finances

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2021, file photo, Epilogue Kitchen & Cocktails owner Jonathan Jones speaks with customers near an image of George Floyd while serving free meals in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Salem, Ore. A financial snapshot shared exclusively...

Tiger Woods seriously injured in crash on steep LA-area road Draft

By STEFANIE DAZIO and DOUG FERGUSON Associated Press A vehicle rests on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods along a road in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car...

Wife of drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ arrested on US drug charges

By MICHAEL BALSAMO Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leaves federal court in New York. The wife of Mexican drug kingpin and escape artist Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been...

NASA releases Mars landing video: ‘Stuff of our dreams’

By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer This combination of images from video made available by NASA shows steps in the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover as it approaches the surface of the planet on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP) CAPE CANAVERAL,...

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TheUrbanFly Exclusive!-  “Watch Party”Each entry will automatically be Entered into a Grand Prize Drawing For: Argent Orfévres Paris Gold 20-piece Hammered Flatware Set Watch the Movie Trailer Below!Join us and more with TheUrbanFly Exclusive!- “Watch Party”  ...

EXPLAINER: Why the power grid failed in Texas and beyond

By DAVID KOENIG and MICHAEL LIEDTKE Associated Press Carlos Mandez waits in line to fill his propane tanks Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Houston. Customers had to wait over an hour in the freezing rain to fill their tanks. Millions in Texas still had no power after a...

Democratic congressman sues Trump over role in Capitol riot

www.theurbanfly.com FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2020 file photo, Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., speaks during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing on 'worldwide threats to the homeland', on Capitol Hill Washington. Thompson has sued former...

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LVMH to put Fenty fashion collection on pause

FILE - Rihanna poses as she unveils her first fashion designs for Fenty at a pop-up store in Paris, France, on May 22, 2019. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, has put Rihanna’s Fenty fashion collection on hold. The move, confirmed by...

Wife of drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ arrested on US drug charges

Rafael Payare to head Montreal Symphony starting in 2022-23

 

O’Neal hosting SHAQ Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday

Viola Davis, LeBron James among honorees at AAFCA TV Honors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested Monday in the United States and accused of helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar cartel and plot his audacious escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and is expected to appear in federal court in Washington on Tuesday. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico.

Her arrest is the latest twist in the bloody, multinational saga involving Guzman, the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Guzman, whose two dramatic prison escapes in Mexico fed into a legend that he and his family were all but untouchable, was extradited to the United States in 2017 and is serving life in prison.

MONTREAL (AP) — Conductor Rafael Payare was hired Thursday as music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal starting with the 2022-23 season.

A Venezuelan who turns 41 on Feb. 23, Payare follows the lengthy tenures of Montreal music directors Kent Nagano (2006-20) and Charles Dutoit (1977–02).

Payare trained with Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim and Lorin Maazel. Payare has been music director of the San Diego Symphony since 2019-20 and has a contract there through 2025-26.

Fans looking for pregame entertainment before the Super Bowl will have another option this year.

Shaquille O’Neal will be holding the virtual SHAQ Bowl on Feb. 7. It’s one of the few events taking place in Tampa, Florida, since many parties that traditionally take place during Super Bowl week have been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SHAQ Bowl takes the place of Shaq’s Fun House, which had been held the past two years in Atlanta and Miami.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Viola Davis, Sterling K. Brown and LeBron James are among several honorees at the AAFCA TV Honors later this month.The African American Film Critics Association announced the recipients of the second annual event on Wednesday. The virtual ceremony is scheduled to air on Aug. 22. Comedian-actress Aida Rodriguez will host the invitation-only streamed event.“In a time of such uncertainty, we have witnessed how powerful the medium of television and streaming is,” said Gil Robertson, co-founder and president of AAFCA. “We couldn’t be more proud to honor shows and performances that uplift and inspire at a time when we all need entertainment the most.”

NASA releases Mars landing video: ‘Stuff of our dreams’

Dwayne “The Rock”

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA on Monday released the first high-quality video of a spacecraft landing on Mars, a three-minute trailer showing the enormous orange and white parachute hurtling open and the red dust kicking up as rocket engines lowered the rover to the surface.

The footage was so good — and the images so breathtaking — that members of the rover team said they felt like they were riding along.

“It gives me goose bumps every time I see it, just amazing,” said Dave Gruel, head of the entry and descent camera team.

The Perseverance rover landed last Thursday near an ancient river delta in Jezero Crater to search for signs of ancient microscopic life. After spending the weekend binge-watching the descent and landing video, the team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shared the video at a news conference.

“These videos and these images are the stuff of our dreams,” said Al Chen, who was in charge of the landing team.

US officials: Pilot error caused Kobe Bryant chopper crash

Dwayne “The Rock”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pilot who crashed the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, killing all nine aboard, made a series of poor decisions that led him to fly blindly into a wall of clouds where he became so disoriented he thought he was climbing when the craft was plunging toward a Southern California hillside, federal safety officials said Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board primarily blamed pilot Ara Zobayan in the Jan. 26, 2020 crash that killed him along with Bryant, the basketball star’s daughter and six other passengers heading to a girls basketball tournament.

Zobayan, an experienced pilot, ignored his training, violated flight rules by flying into conditions where he couldn’t see and failed to take alternate measures, such as slowing down and landing or switching to auto-pilot, that would have averted the tragedy. The NTSB said it was likely he felt pressure to deliver his star client to his daughter’s game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy.

Rapper DaBaby arrested on Beverly Hills weapons allegation

Law enforcement diversity may improve policing, study shows

Witness: Driver gunned down armed protester in Texas capital

Police and protesters clash in violent weekend across the US

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Grammy-nominated rapper DaBaby has been released from a Los Angeles County jail after an arrest in Beverly Hills, where police said he took a loaded gun into an upscale store on Rodeo Drive.

DaBaby, whose legal name is Jonathan Kirk, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle, Beverly Hills police said.

The 29-year-old was one of a group of men who walked into a store on an upscale stretch of Rodeo Drive, police said. Store security called police after seeing a gun in one man’s waistband, and officers met the men as they returned to their vehicle, police said.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — In the last decade, high-profile police killings — including George Floyd in 2020 — have shaken the nation and led to widespread protests and calls for reform, including hiring more nonwhite and female officers.

But there was little research to back that up. Now, a new study published Thursday in the journal Science, suggests that diversity in law enforcement can indeed lead to improvements in how police treat people of color.

“It’s a system that very clearly needs reforming,” said University of Pennsylvania data scientist Dean Knox, a co-author of the study. “We just haven’t had good data on what reforms work.”

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A protester who was apparently armed with a rifle at a demonstration against police violence in the Texas capital was shot and killed after a witness says he approached a vehicle that had driven through the crowd and the driver opened fire.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. Saturday as demonstrators were marching through downtown Austin, police spokeswoman Katrina Ratliff told reporters early Sunday. The man who was shot was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

 

ATLANTA (AP) — Protests took a violent turn in several U.S. cities over the weekend, with demonstrators squaring off against federal agents outside a courthouse in Portland, Oregon, forcing police in Seattle to retreat into a station house and setting fire to vehicles in California and Virginia.

A protest against police violence in Austin, Texas, turned deadly when a witness says the driver of a car that drove through a crowd of marchers opened fire on an armed demonstrator who approached the vehicle. And someone was shot and wounded in Aurora, Colorado, after a car drove through a protest there, authorities said.

“Watch Party”

EXPLAINER: Why the power grid failed in Texas and beyond

Tamar Braxton

DALLAS (AP) — The power outages tormenting Texas in uncharacteristically Arctic temperatures are exposing weaknesses in an electricity system designed when the weather’s seasonal shifts were more consistent and predictable — conditions that most experts believe no longer exist.

This isn’t just happening in Texas, of course. Utilities from Minnesota to Mississippi have imposed rolling blackouts to ease the strain on electrical grids buckling under high demand during the past few days. And power outages have become a rite of summer and autumn in California, partly to reduce the chances of deadly wildfires.

But the fact more than 3 million bone-chilled Texans have lost their electricity in a state that takes pride in its energy independence underscores the gravity of a problem that is occurring in the U.S. with increasing frequency.

WHAT HAPPENED IN TEXAS?

Plunging temperatures caused Texans to turn up their heaters, including many inefficient electric ones. Demand spiked to levels normally seen only on the hottest summer days, when millions of air conditioners run at full tilt.

Arts – Entertainment – Culture – Politics

Lil Wayne, Kodak Black get clemency; Joe Exotic does not

US taps tactical border squads
Two rappers were among the entertainment figures included in a list of 140 people who were pardoned or had their sentences commuted by President Donald Trump in a last-minute clemency flurry early Wednesday. But the news was not as good for one hopeful celebrity.

— Rapper Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was given a full pardon. The Grammy-winner was charged in Florida on Nov. 17 with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a federal offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. In the pardon, Lil Wayne was praised for his “commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks.” Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders backed the pardon. Lil Wayne is one of the seminal figures in rap in the last two decades, selling more than 20 million albums in the U.S. since releasing his debut in 1999. Sentencing for the rapper, who frequently expressed support for Trump, was set for Jan. 28. In a statement, Carter’s attorney Howard Srebnick said a pardon was appropriate since “prosecuting a non-violent citizen for merely possessing a firearm violates the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.”

Culture

LVMH to put Fenty fashion collection on pause

 

Octavia Spencer

NEW YORK (AP) — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, has put Rihanna’s Fenty fashion collection on hold.

The move, confirmed by LVMH Wednesday, comes nearly two years after the fashion conglomerate announced the collaboration with the pop artist and business mogul. Rihanna became the first Black woman to head a luxury house with LVMH, which owns such labels as Christian Dior, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton.

“Rihanna and LVMH have jointly made the decision to put on hold the RTW activity, based in Europe, pending better conditions,” according to the statement by LVMH emailed to The Associated Press.

A representative for Rihanna couldn’t immediately be reached.

LVMH said that the Paris-based company and Rihanna will focus their efforts on the growth and long-term development of Fenty on cosmetics, skincare and lingerie.

WWD first reported the news on LVMH’s pause of Fenty fashion collection.

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Sundance adds Coogler-produced ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

The Ryan Coogler-produced Fred Hampton film “Judas and the Black Messiah” will have its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival before heading to HBO Max and theaters, programmers announced Tuesday.

Daniel Kaluuya plays the Black Panther Party chairman and his “Get Out” co-star Lakeith Stanfield plays FBI informant William O’Neill who agrees to infiltrate the group in the late 1960s. Martin Sheen co-stars as J. Edgar Hoover, who headed the FBI during that time.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” will premiere Feb. 1 on the Festival’s digital platforms and at various drive-ins in locations like Birmingham, Alabama, Columbia, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Jan. 28, is going largely virtual this year due to the pandemic. Tickets are currently on sale.

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Jan. 28, is going largely virtual this year due to the pandemic. Tickets are currently on sale.

Coogler, who directed “Black Panther,” has a long history with Sundance. His first film “Fruitvale Station” premiered at the festival in 2013, winning the top audience and jury awards.

Arts Entertainment Culture

Fresh comedy faces, ‘Modern Family’ farewell seek Emmy nods

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Morning Show” and “Ramy” are among the series vying for Emmy nominations as TV’s top honors strive to keep Hollywood’s awards tradition going despite the pandemic.

The 72nd prime-time Emmys are the first major entertainment honors to unfold amid the coronavirus’ disruption, and Tuesday’s virtual announcement makes clear how much improvising is required.

The nominations, typically unveiled with fanfare at the TV academy’s Los Angeles headquarters, will be announced online Tuesday by host Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”) and presenters Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”), Josh Gad (“Frozen”) and Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”).

Last year’s best series winners “Game of Thrones” and “Fleabag” called it a wrap, clearing the path for others to prevail. With the downtime forced on academy TV voters by the virus, the field could include underdogs that benefited from more attention.

Something else to look for: Whether recent social justice tumult affects the Emmys’ up-and-down record of ethnic and gender inclusivity in nominations and awards.

On the drama side, “The Morning Show” is aiming for best series and actress bids for Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. It’s the flagship entry from Apple TV+, one of the new kids on the increasingly competitive streaming block.

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” which took the best drama trophy in 2017, is vying for its third nomination in the category. “Big Little Lies,” last year’s winner for best limited series, is hunting for a drama series nod for its second season.

Culture

Among the previously nominated drama contenders asking for more: “Succession”; “Better Call Saul”; “The Crown”; “Ozark”; “Stranger Things”; “Westworld”; “This Is Us”; “Pose,” and the eighth and final season of past winner “Homeland.”

The comedy categories hold the promise of fresh faces, including the Muslim American series “Ramy.” Its star and co-creator, Ramy Youssef, earned a Golden Globe in January for his performance.

Others seeking their first top comedy nod include the female-led comedies “Insecure”; “Dead to Me”; “Better Things” and “The Great,” with past winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” also in the running.

Previous nominees “Schitt’s Creek,” “The Good Place” and “Silicon Valley” are pursuing recognition for their farewell seasons, as is “Modern Family” — which aired for 11 seasons and has five wins to date in the category, a record it shares with “Frasier.”

The Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be presented Sept. 20 on ABC.

Recordings reveal confusion behind Breonna Taylor’s death

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The police officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor described seeing only “shadowy mass” and said he didn’t recall firing the 16 bullets later matched to his gun. As she lay bleeding, Taylor’s boyfriend called his mother before dialing 911.

And neighbors roused by the gunfire at Taylor’s apartment after midnight on March 13 only added to conflicting testimony about whether police serving a narcotics warrant announced themselves before using a battering ram to break down her door.

Details of the chaos and confusion during the raid that resulted in the 26-year-old Black woman’s death were revealed in 15 hours of audio recordings released Friday. They contained testimony and recorded interviews presented last month to the Kentucky grand jury that decided not to charge any Louisville police officers for killing Taylor.

“If you told me I didn’t fire a gun, I would be like, OK,” detective Myles Cosgrove told investigators soon after the shooting.

In fact, investigators determined Cosgrove shot 16 of the 32 bullets police fired into Taylor’s apartment, responding to a single gunshot from her boyfriend when they rammed down her door. Evidence showed one of Cosgrove’s bullets killed Taylor.

Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought intruders had burst into Taylor’s home, not police. As she lay bleeding, Walker said he called his mother — then dialed 911, telling an operator: “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”

The dramatic accounts of the moments before Taylor’s death are key to a case that has fueled nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Police said they knocked and announced themselves for a minute or more before using a battering ram to get inside. Walker said he did not hear officers identify themselves, perhaps because he was too far from the door.

Culture

Game on: NBA finally set to see games that count again

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Games were canceled. Practice facilities were shuttered. A season ended unceremoniously for eight teams. The draft process was delayed, as was free agency. Some players tested positive for the coronavirus. Many more took to the streets and used their voices to demand justice and equality as racism and police brutality sparked a nationwide conversation.

The world has changed since the NBA stopped on March 11.

For 22 franchises, however, there is a goal that remains in place.

The NBA, at long last, is officially back. A re-opening night doubleheader inside the bubble at Walt Disney World awaits Thursday, when New Orleans takes on Utah before a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference — the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

There won’t be any fans in attendance, health and safety protocols that were painstakingly written in response to the coronavirus pandemic will be paramount, and teams can’t even shower in the arena after games. But after 20 weeks of waiting, wondering and worrying, the 2019-20 NBA season is ready to hit the restart button with a champion scheduled to be crowned in October.

Arts Entertainment Culture

Barack Obama to appear on Michelle Obama’s podcast debut

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first guest of Michelle Obama’s new podcast will have a familiar presidential voice: Barack Obama.

The former United States president is expected to appear on “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on Spotify, the Obama’s Higher Ground and streaming service announced Friday. The podcast will debut Wednesday.

In the premiere episode, the former first lady and her husband will hold an intimate conversation about community, the love that powers relationships and life after living eight years in the White House.

“For eight years my life was full of crazy schedules, juggling big initiatives, speeches, state dinners,” Michelle Obama says in the first episode’s intro. “Not to mention trying to raise two daughters and keeping my head above water. But once Barack’s second term ended, the presidency was over and finally had some time to breathe.”

Arts. Entertainment. Culture. Politics.

Breaking News

From police chief to VP? Inside Val Demings’ unlikely path

South Texas drenched by cyclone amid surge in virus cases

Police investigate anti-Semitic tweets by grime artist Wiley

Oprah’s O Mag to end regular print editions after 20 years

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Val Demings has already been vice president.

In 1972, the future Florida congresswoman was a young Black girl struggling to make friends at a predominantly white Jacksonville high school. She and her best friend, Vera Hartley, created the Charisma Club. Hartley was president and Demings was her second-in-command.

“We created an environment of inclusion,” Hartley said, recalling how she and Demings invited white students to join. Then “we were able to get into other clubs.”

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A day after roaring ashore as a hurricane, Hanna lashed the Texas Gulf Coast on Sunday with high winds and drenching rains that destroyed boats, flooded streets and knocked out power across a region already reeling from a surge in coronavirus cases.

Downgraded to a tropical storm, Hanna passed over the U.S.-Mexico border with winds near 50 mph (85 kph), the National Hurricane Center said. It unloaded more than 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain on parts of South Texas and northeastern Mexico.

LONDON (AP) — London’s police are investigating after a stream of anti-Semitic comments were posted on British grime artist Wiley’s social media accounts.

Twitter banned the rapper for seven days after rants on Friday and Saturday. He was also dropped by his management company after he shared the comments, which called Jews “cowards’’ and “snakes,’’ among other things.

9

O, The Oprah Magazine is ending its regular monthly print editions with the December 2020 issue after 20 years of publication.

The brand, which is among the most recognizable magazines in the U.S., is not going away but will become more “more digitally-centric,” a Hearst spokeswoman Monday said. There will be “some form of print” after the December issue “but what it is exactly is still being worked out,” she said.

 

Movie theaters implore studios: Release the blockbusters

NEW YORK (AP) — A long time ago in a pre-COVID universe far, far away, blockbusters opened around the globe simultaneously or nearly so. In 1975, “Jaws” set the blueprint. Concentrate marketing. Open wide. Pack them in.

Since then, Hollywood has turned opening weekends into an all-out assault. Staggered rollouts still happen, of course, but the biggest films are dropped like carpet bombs. Anything less risks losing the attention of moviegoers. Global debuts north of $300 million became commonplace. Last year, “Avengers: Endgame” made well north of $1 billion in a couple days.

Hollywood has now gone more than four months without a major theatrical release. While some films have found new streaming homes, the biggest upcoming ones — “Tenet,” “Mulan,” “A Quiet Place Part II” — remain idled like jumbo jets on the tarmac. The leading chains are still shuttered. Recent coronavirus spikes have forced release dates to shuffle and chains to postpone reopening to August.

Civil rights icon John Lewis remembered in his hometown

US attorney: Feds will stay in Portland until attacks end

Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas greet first child

fter talk of collaboration, conferences go their own way

Lights Out

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — After George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, people in Portland came out in droves to protest police brutality and racism, chanting that “Black lives matter.” As the weeks went by, the crowds dwindled to a few dozen and the protests increasingly turned violent.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. militarized officers will remain in Portland until attacks on a federal courthouse cease, a top official said Monday after another night of violence. And more officers may soon be on the way.

“It is not a solution to tell federal officers to leave when there continues to be attacks on federal property and personnel,” U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said. ”We are not leaving the building unprotected to be destroyed by people intent on doing so.”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas have had their first child.

The 24-year-old “Game of Thrones” star Turner and the 30-year-old singer Jonas announced the birth Monday.

“Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are delighted to announce the birth of their baby,” they said in a statement released through his label Republic Records.

By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer

Plans for the college football season — if it is played — should start coming into focus this week.

They will trickle down from the top of major college football, with Power Five conferences putting in place revised schedules they hope will make it easier to manage potential disruptions brought on by COVID-19.

The Power Five commissioners talked a lot in the spring about the importance of collaboration and trying to launch the season together, with all of the Football Bowl Subdivision acting in unison. The way things are heading, that appears to be out the window.

Here’s where each conference stands with the first scheduled college football games about a month away.

LEADING OFF: Marlins postponed again amid virus outbreak

Here’s how Trump’s opposition to mail voting hurts the GOP

The Latest: South Africa nearing half-million virus cases

Ex-49er Dana Stubblefield convicted of raping disabled woman

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

PANDEMIC PANIC

Major League Baseball has already postponed a second scheduled game between Miami and Baltimore after more than a dozen Marlins players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the club to lock down in Philadelphia. Commissioner Rob Manfred said the soonest the Marlins could resume their schedule is Wednesday, when they are set to play in Baltimore.

“I don’t see it as a nightmare,” Manfred told MLB Network on Monday night. “We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters, that’s why we have the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republicans once dominated voting by mail in Florida. But that was before President Donald Trump got involved.

After months of hearing Trump denigrate mail-in balloting, Republicans in the critical battleground state now find themselves far behind Democrats in the perennial push to urge their voters to cast ballots remotely. While Democrats have doubled the number of their voters who have requested mail ballots compared to 2016, Republicans have increased their numbers by about 20% since the same time.

The recent tally is the hard evidence confirming many Republicans’ fears about Trump’s tweeting about mail-in voting: GOP voters are listening and appear less likely to take advantage of what many election and health officials agree is the easiest and safest way to vote in a pandemic.

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa is closing in on a half-million confirmed coronavirus cases as the country posted nearly 300 deaths in a single day.

South Africa now has 452,529 cases and 7,067 deaths, making up more than half the reported cases on the African continent. It has the fifth highest caseload in the world.

Like many others, the country has struggled with trying to ease lockdown restrictions and then seeing cases rise. But businesses have expressed frustration as unemployment is now above 30% and likely to keep increasing.

And corruption related to pandemic aid is a problem as the president has warned that now, more than ever, persistent graft puts people’s lives at risk.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield was convicted Monday of the rape of a developmentally disabled woman, after prosecutors said he lured the victim to his home with the promise of a babysitting job.

A jury found Stubblefield, 49, guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment, and acquitted him of raping a person incapable of giving consent, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe 

SERVES 4 
INGREDIENTS 
10 ounces white mushrooms 
1 tablespoon sunflower oil 
1 1/2 ounces/3 tablespoons butter 
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped 
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
scant 2 cups vegetable stock 
scant 2 cups milk 
a pinch of dried basil 
2-3 tablespoons light cream (optional) 
salt and ground pepper 
fresh basil leaves to garnish 
1.  Separate the mushrooms caps from the stalk 
     Finely chop the stalks.
2. Heat the oil and add half & half to the butter in a heavy pan. Add the onion, mushroom stalks and about three-quarters of the mushroom caps. Fry for about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, then cover and sweat over gentle heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring from time to time. 
3. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minutes. Gradually add the stock and milk, to make  a smooth, thin sausauce.
    Add the dried basil, and season to taste. Bring to boil and simmer, partly covered, for 15  minutes. 
Variation
    Cremini or portobello mushrooms may be used instead of white mushrooms. They give a fuller flavor but turn the soup brown.
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