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‘Queen Of Soul’ Aretha Franklin Dies At Age 76

Aretha Frankin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” died on Thursday at the age of 76. Franklin died at her home in Detroit, her representative Gwendolyn Quinn confirmed. She had battled health problems over the last few years, forcing the cancellation of multiple concerts this year. One of the most iconic musicians of the twentieth century, Franklin said last year that she planned to retire soon from touring. Franklin was born in 1942 in Memphis, Tenn., though her family eventually relocated to Detroit. When Franklin was 10, her mother died, and a number of women helped take care of Franklin and her siblings. It was around this time that Franklin started playing piano, singing and performing gospel songs at her father’s church in Detroit. Franklin recorded a gospel album when she was just 14; Franklin later moved to Atlantic Records, where the iconic hits “Respect,” written by Otis Redding climbed up charts in 1967. Over the following three years her hits would include “Chain of Fools”, “Natural Woman” and “Think.” Franklin won a total of 18 Grammy awards, and was later honored with a Grammys Legend Award in 1991 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. In 2014, Franklin became the first woman to have her 100th hit on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart with “Rolling in the Deep (The Aretha Version)” and she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. ...Read more

YouTube Pulls Ad For ‘The Nun’ Because Of ‘Shocking’ Content

YouTube has banned an ad for upcoming horror film The Nun (out Sept. 7) from the video site because the clip violates its “violent and shocking content” policy. The six-second ad shows first a volume control icon and then a startling appearance by the movie’s demon-Nun. The footage was flagged by a YouTube user who advised fellow viewers to “look away and/or turn down the volume if you have anxiety or just straight up hate jumpscares, pls rt to save a life.” On Aug. 13, YouTube responded to that message by stating that the advert violates the website’s “shocking content policy” and that “it’s no longer running as an ad.”  The Nun is the latest horror film to be spun off from the Conjuring movies. Set in early-’50s Romania, the film is about the origins of the inhuman spirit, also known as Valak, that tormented ghost-hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) in the 1977-set The Conjuring 2. ...Read more

White House Revokes Ex-CIA Director’s Security Clearance

President Donald Trump is revoking the security clearance of former Obama administration CIA director John Brennan, the White House said Wednesday. “Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Brennan has been deeply critical of Trump’s conduct, calling his performance at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland “nothing short of treasonous.” Sanders said the security clearances of other current and formers officials are also “under review.” They include former FBI Director James Comey; James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; former CIA Director Michael Hayden; former national security adviser Susan Rice; and Andrew McCabe, who served as Trump’s deputy FBI director until he was fired in March.  ...Read more

Traces Of Weed Killing Chemicals Found In Popular Breakfast Food

Some popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children contain a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities have linked to cancer. New research out Wednesday morning discovered trace amounts of glyphosate in oats, granolas, and snack bars. Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) said “we’re very concerned that consumers are eating more glyphosate than they know.” They found glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto weed-killer RoundUp, in all but two samples. EWG used its own more stringent standards to conclude that products with excessive levels of the herbicide included Quaker “Old Fashioned Oats,” Cheerios, Quaker “Dinosaur Egg” Instant Oats, Great Value Instant Oats, and Back To Nature Classic Granola Clusters. Quaker responded to the EWG’s report with a statement which read in part, “We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products.” General Mills responded by saying, “Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels. The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow.” ...Read more

Former E! Reality Star Lyric McHenry Dead At 26

Lyric McHenry, a reality star who appeared on the E! program EJNYC, was found dead Tuesday morning of a suspected drug overdose. She was 26 years old. According to reports, McHenry was discovered on a sidewalk at 5 a.m. Tuesday, found above the Major Deegan Expressway at Undercliff Ave. and Boscobel Place in Highbridge in the Bronx area of New York. There was a small Ziplock bag of cocaine on McHenry at the time, leading police to believe she died of an overdose. Authorities said: “McHenry was rushed to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, where she died. Police are investigating, the matter is ongoing.” It was also revealed that McHenry was 20 weeks pregnant at the time of her passing. McHenry was very good friends with EJ Johnson, the son NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.  They both made appearances on EJ’s Rich Kids of Beverly Hills spinoff, EJNYC, which aired for one season on E! in 2016. McHenry also served as a producer on the series. ...Read more

Bruno Mars Announces New Special Guests For Upcoming Tour

Bruno Mars has announced the special guests who will replace Cardi B on the upcoming finale leg of the 24K Magic World Tour. Cardi was originally slated to join Bruno on the tour, but she dropped out after giving birth to her baby girl this summer. Mars has been traveling around the world on his 24K Magic World Tour since March 2017, and will have made over 135 stops when the tour finally wraps in November. The final leg of the tour will end in Bruno‘s home state of Hawaii with record-breaking three shows at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Ciara, Ella Mai, Boyz II Men, and Charlie Wilson will rotate dates on the tour. See the full list below. ...Read more

Seattle Mariners Reinstate Robinson Cano After 80-Game Suspension

The Seattle Mariners have activated second baseman Robinson Cano after his 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Cano was banned on May 15, having tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic, but is now available again and could be in line to face American League rivals the Oakland Athletics. Ahead of Cano’s activation, Seattle manager Scott Servais said: “It’s a great offensive player to add to our mix. With the fact he can move around the field and is willing to do it, it should really keep some guys fresh and hopefully it pays dividends.” Cano was at .287/.385/.441 in 39 games this season before his suspension he is an eight-time All-Star with 305 career home runs. ...Read more

Washington Redskins Release Cornerback Orlando Scandrick

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick was released by the Washington Redskins on Tuesday. Scandrick received a $1 million signing bonus as part of a two-year contract, but head coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday the potential of the team’s younger cornerbacks forced the move. Scandrick was expected to be in Kansas City to meet with the Chiefs later on Tuesday; and according to reports, the New York Giants are also on the list of teams who are interested in meeting him. Scandrick started his career with the Dallas Cowboys and was a fifth-round pick out of Boise State by the Cowboys in 2008. ...Read more

Report Identifies More Than 1,000 Children As Victims Of Priest Abuse

More than 1,000 children were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six cdioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, according to a landmark grand jury report released Tuesday. The grand jury said it believes the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report said more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period of decades.The report faulted Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese, for what it said was his part in the concealment of clergy sexual abuse. Wuerl defended himself, releasing a statement Tuesday that said he had “acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse.” The Pennsylvania grand jury heard from dozens of witnesses and reviewed more than a half-million pages of internal documents from the Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton dioceses. The identities of those clergy members remain under court seal. ...Read more