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U.S And Canada Investigating Possible E. coli Link To Romaine Lettuce

 U.S. and Canadian health officials are investigating whether contaminated romaine lettuce caused dozens of E. coli infections leading to one death.The Public Health Agency of Canada said it found enough evidence to link 41 cases of E. coli to the vegetable, though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is still attempting to determine the cause. The CDC said it’s unable to recommend whether Americans should stop eating romaine lettuce, but Consumer Reports issued a warning Wednesday. It’s also advising that stores remove the item from store shelves. ...Read more

NY Islanders Sign Defenseman Scott Mayfield To Five-Year Contract Extension

The New York Islanders have signed defenseman Scott Mayfield to a five-year contract extension through the 2023-24 season. The deal announced Thursday has an average annual value of $1.45 million . The 25-year-old Mayfield has two goals and eight assists in a career-high 29 games this season. He led the team with 35 penalty minutes before Thursday night’s game at Philadelphia. The Islanders selected the St. Louis native in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft. ...Read more

Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Leads NBA In All-Star Voting

The NBA All-Star Game voting has been live since Dec. 21, and so far, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is ahead of the pack. Milwaukee’s 23-year-old superstar leads the entire NBA with 863,416 votes, which is over 7,000 ahead of four-time league MVP LeBron James. An All-Star starter for the Eastern Conference last season, Antetokounmpo is averaging career highs in points (29.1), rebounds (10.4) and minutes (37.9) per game. NBA voting closes Jan. 15, with another update of the voting tallies coming Jan. 11. ...Read more

Cate Blanchett Named Cannes Film Festival Jury President

Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett has been named the President of the Jury for the 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival. The “Carol” and “Thor: Ragnarok” star will be the first female jury president since Jane Campion served in 2014. Other women to take on the role this century include Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert and Liv Ullmann. It is the 12th time in festival history a woman has headed the jury.  Blanchett succeeds 2017 jury president Pedro Almodova.  She’ll be featured in the female-driven reboot “Ocean’s 8” in June, then taking on the leading role in Richard Linklater’s “Where’d You Go Bernadette.” ...Read more

HBO Confirms That Game of Thrones’ Six-Episode Final Season Will Air In 2019

“Game of Thrones” viewers will have to wait until next year to see how the HBO drama will come to an end. While it’s been speculated the final season of the series would not air until 2019, HBO made the news official on Thursday. “‘Game of Thrones’ will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019,” the network announced via Twitter. “David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik will be the directors for the new season. Writers for the new season are David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.”  HBO announced last year that the hit series would end with Season 8.  Season 7, which had only seven episodes, concluded on August 27. ...Read more

President Trump Dissolves Voter Fraud Commission After Pushback From States

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to dissolve his voter fraud commission Wednesday, the White House said. Trump cited lack of cooperation from states as the reason for his decision to dissolve the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which faces a series of lawsuits over privacy. Trump established the commission in May to research “improper” voter registration procedures, systemic vulnerabilities and voting irregularities including any scenario where a person ineligible to vote becomes an eligible voter in a particular jurisdiction.   ...Read more

‘Bomb Cyclone’ Forming Off The East Coast Could Bring Blizzard Like Conditions And Coldest Temperatures In 100 Years

As record cold temperatures paralyze much of the country, a “bomb cyclone” forming off the East Coast is threatening to douse the area in ice and snow. Meteorologists are calling the event Winter Storm Grayson, and they say it could bring snow to the Southeast on Wednesday, as well as possible blizzard conditions to the Northeast Wednesday night and Thursday. The weather event has the potential to make 2018 one of the worst winters in the U.S. yet. A bomb cyclone typically brews over the water where drops in barometric pressure can make it an extra forceful weather event. Making matters worse, forecasters say the storm could trap the bone-chilling cold currently putting the middle of the U.S. in a deep freeze over the Atlantic coastline later this week. ...Read more

YouTube Star Logan Paul Taking A Break From His Daily Vlog After Backlash From His Controversial Video

Logan Paul is taking a break from his daily vlog. Days after the YouTube star came under fire for posting a graphic video of the body of an alleged suicide victim filmed in a forest in Aokigahara, Japan (often referred to as “suicide forest,”) he revealed Wednesday that he will not be releasing new videos for the time being. Paul, who boasts 15 million followers on YouTube, first apologized for posting the since-deleted 15-minute clip on Twitter Monday, claiming the intention of his video was to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Paul made reference to the seriousness of suicide, depression and mental illness in his video. But criticism from his audience, who are mostly teens, came swiftly; with many asking YouTube to suspend his account. ...Read more

Beyoncé, Eminem, And The Weeknd To Headline Coachella 2018

Beyoncé, Eminem and the Weeknd will headline the 2018 Coachella Music and Arts Festival, set to take place April 13th through 15th, and April 20th through 22nd in Indio, California. Beyoncé’s headlining spot comes one year after she backed out of the 2017 festival citing doctors’ orders, as she was pregnant with her twins at the time. Eminem’s headlining slot marks his first full performance at Coachella, though he previously made a cameo during Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre’s set in 2012. As for the Weeknd, the R&B star will be returning to Coachella for the first time since 2015 (though he appeared alongside NAV last year.)  The full lineup is available on Coachella’s Twitter and website. Passes go on sale January 5th at 12 p.m. PST. ...Read more

Fired Arizona Wildcats Coach Rich Rodriguez Disputes Sexual Harassment Allegations, Admits To Extramarital Affair

The Arizona Wildcats fired head football coach Rich Rodriguez on Tuesday, citing “the direction and climate of the football program” as the reasoning. Arizona will pay Rodriguez his full $6.3 million buyout and will hire a search firm as it looks for its new head coach. Rodriguez went 43-35 in six seasons in Tucson, but was also recently alleged of sexual harassment by a former administrative assistant. Rodriguez released a statement Tuesday night following his firing. He shed more details on his dismissal, disputed the sexual harassment claims, and admitted to having an extramarital affair with a woman who is not affiliated with the University. ...Read more