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Oprah Winfrey And Steven Spielberg Also Pledge $500K To March For Our Lives

Oprah Winfrey, along with Steven Spielberg and his Kate Capshaw, are the newest celebrities to pledge donations to the March for Our Lives goal of new gun reform laws. On Monday, George and Amal Clooney announced that they would donate $500,000 to the March for Our Lives, an event happening on March 24 in the wake of the Parkland shootings in Florida last week. Following their announcement, Winfrey tweeted out her support and pledged a sizable donation of her own in support. Spielberg and Capshaw also pledged a donation for the group of high school survivors that claimed the lives of 17. “The young students in Florida and now across the country are already demonstrating their leadership with a confidence and maturity that belies their ages,” said the couple in a joint statement. “We are joining in this movement with a donation of $500,000.”  March For Our Lives is happening on March 24 in Washington D.C. and across America. ...Read more

Talk Show Host Wendy Williams Taking Leave From Her Show After Being Diagnosed With Graves’ Disease

After canceling a number of shows last week, Wendy Williams announced on-air that she would be taking three weeks off to focus on her health. The host was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, a condition in which the thyroid overproduces hormones resulting in anxiety, hand tremor, heat sensitivity, weight loss, puffy eyes, and and enlarged thyroid. “My doctor has prescribed … are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation,” Williams told her audience on the show.  It’s not known if this diagnoses has anything to do with the fall she took back in October after fainting on air. Shortly after the stumble, her publicist said that Williams was “dehydrated and is on her way home for a good day and night of sleep. She has been examined by medical professionals and is well.”   Encore tapings of The Wendy Williams Show will be shown during Williams’ 3-week hiatus. ...Read more

New Charges Brought In Case Against Ex-Trump Campaign Manager

New sealed criminal charges have been filed in federal court in the criminal case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and campaign aide Rick Gates, a court record indicated on Wednesday.  The single-page document did not reveal the nature of the new charges. Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for almost five months in 2016, and Gates, who was deputy campaign manager, were indicted by Mueller’s office in October. They face charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to file as foreign agents for lobbying work they did on behalf of the pro-Russian Ukrainian Party of Regions. Both have pleaded not guilty.   ...Read more

Prominent Christian Evangelist Rev. Billy Graham Passes Away At Age 99

Reverend Billy Graham, the North Carolina pastor who took his evangelizing crusades around the country and the globe, died on Wednesday morning. He was 99. Graham achieved prominence as an evangelist serving as a counselor or minister to a dozen U.S. presidents. He preached to an estimated 215 million people in 185 countries around the world during his life, and his message reached millions more as he maintained a near-constant presence on radio, television and the internet. Graham also wrote more than two dozen books, including his 1997 memoir, “Just as I Am,” which was a New York Times best-seller.  Graham died just before 8 a.m. at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, surrounded by family, according to a spokesman for Samaritan’s Purse, the nondenominational evangelical Christian organization headed by Graham’s son Franklin.  ...Read more

U.S. Army Awards Medal of Heroism To 3 School Shooting Victims

The US Army is awarding the Medal of Heroism to three students killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting last week. An Army spokesman confirmed that the award had been approved for three members of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who “gave their lives during the shooting.” The family of Peter Wang received the award during his funeral Tuesday. The family had requested that he be buried in his JROTC uniform, and the Army provided a medal to be pinned to his uniform at the open-casket service. Wang, 15, was last seen holding a door open so that others could escape the shooter and was wearing his ROTC uniform when he was shot and killed. On the day of his funeral, the academy posthumously admitted him in the class of 2025.  The medal was also presented to the family of 14-year-old Alaina Petty at her memorial service on Monday, and a third cadet who died, Martin Duque, will also receive a JROTC Heroism Medal from the Army. It will be presented to his family during his viewing and service on Saturday, a spokesman said. ...Read more

George And Amal Clooney Announce $500K Donation In Wake Of Florida Shooting

George and Amal Clooney announced on Tuesday a $500,000 donation to the “March for Our Lives” demonstration organized by the Florida school shooting survivors, to take place next month. The couple made the donation in the name of their 8-month-old twins, Ella and Alexander.  They said their family will be attending the “March for Our Lives” on March 24. George Clooney said in a statement. “Amal and I are so inspired by the courage and eloquence of these young men and women from Stoneman Douglas High School. Our family will be there on March 24 to stand side by side with this incredible generation of young people from all over the country, and in the name of our children Ella and Alexander, we’re donating $500,000 to help pay for this groundbreaking event. Our children’s lives depend on it.” ...Read more

Serena Williams Says She Almost Died After Giving Birth

Serena Williams gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September. Now Williams, 36, gives a first-person account of the complications she faced during and after childbirth in an opinion piece for CNN published on Tuesday. “I almost died after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia,” the piece begins. Williams writes that her daughter was born by emergency C-section when the baby’s hear rate dropped dramatically during contractions. Just 24 hours after the surgery, Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism, a condition where one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. The pulmonary embolism Williams suffered after giving birth led to other complications, saying “When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.”  Williams considers herself fortunate and is drawing attention to the issue among mothers in the U.S. and the world who don’t have access to quality medical care. ...Read more

“Shib Sibs” Win Ice Dancing Bronze Medal For U.S.

The American brother-sister combination of Maia and Alex Shibutani won bronze in ice dance on Tuesday. Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold for the second time. The French team of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who endured a wardrobe malfunction in Monday’s short program, rebounded with a world-record score of 123.35 to win silver. The Shibutanis of Ann Arbor, Michigan, edged fellow Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who started the day in third but slipped to fourth after Donohue stumbled during the performance. Known on social media as the Shib Sibs, the duo were thrilled with their performance and the judges saw the same thing, pushing them into a long-awaited bronze medal spot. ...Read more

Free Agent J.D. Martinez Agrees To Deal With Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox agreed to a five-year deal with slugger J.D. Martinez. Reports state the deal is worth $110 million, with opt-out clauses after the second and third years, according to multiple reports. Martinez will be paid $25 million in 2018 and ’19 before the first opt out, $22 million in 2020 before the second opt out, and $19 million in the last two years if he remains with the club. The Red Sox emerged as a potential suitor for Martinez earlier this offseason and reportedly offered him a five-year deal worth approximately $100 million last month.  Martinez played outfield in Detroit and Arizona, but is expected to serve primarily as the DH for Boston. ...Read more