News Daypop

Russia-Ukraine conflict updates: European Union makes historic move to arm Ukraine; Russia and Ukraine to meet for talks at the Belarus border

Tensions rose over the weekend as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered nuclear deterrent forces to be on high alert, and the United States advising that Americans should leave Russia as soon as possible.

As fighting continued across Ukraine overnight into Monday morning, Ukraine and Russia prepared to meet at the border of Belarus, where Kyiv said it would push for a cease-fire during the talks with officials from Moscow. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had agreed to meet with the Russians on the border of Belarus “without preconditions” after speaking with that country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, but added that he did not expect those ‘talks to be fruitful.’

Meanwhile, the European Union made a historic move to finance the purchase and delivery of lethal weapons to aid the Ukrainian resistance.  FedEx and UPS announced they were suspending shipments to Russia, further isolating Russia’s economy from the rest of the world.  And Google will no longer allow Russian state media outlets to run ads, following a similar decision over the weekend from YouTube, and from Meta — Facebook’s parent — saying it would suspend Russian state media’s ability to run ads and monetize them on its platforms.

For full, in-depth coverage of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, head to NBC News at the link here, or click the link to ABC news below.

Editorial credit: Milan Sommer /

News Daypop

Congress lifts mask requirement ahead of State of the Union address

Congress is lifting its mask requirement on the House floor, making face coverings optional for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Federal regulators eased guidelines last week in a rethinking of the nation’s strategy to adapt to living with COVID-19.

Congress’ Office of the Attending Physician announced the policy change Sunday, lifting a requirement that has been in place for much of the past two years on Capitol Hill.  The Capitol move also comes just one day before Washington’s mask mandate expires on Monday, and as a host of states and local governments have begun implementing the new CDC guidelines and lifting mask-mandates indoors and in schools.

The nation’s capital is now in an area considered low risk under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new metrics, which place less of a focus on positive test results and more on what’s happening in community hospitals. The new system greatly changes the look of the CDC’s risk map and puts more than 70% of the U.S. population in counties where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals. Healthy people in those risk areas can stop wearing masks indoors, the agency said.

Mask-wearing will still be a personal choice in Congress and special precautions will be in place for Biden’s speech. Unlike last year’s joint address, this year will be open to all members of Congress. All attendees will be required to take a COVID-19 test before entering the chamber ahead of Biden’s address.

Editorial credit: BiksuTong /

Sports Daypop

Sepp Straka overcomes five-shot deficit to become first Austrian to win on PGA Tour at the Honda Classic

Sepp Straka overcame a five-shot deficit Sunday and became the first Austrian to win on the PGA Tour with his victory at the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort.  Straka birdied three of the last five holes, leaving his 46-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole inches short after he reached the par-5 final hole in two.  Straka defeated 2019 British Open champion Shane Lowry by a shot at 10-under 270.

Straka said of the win: “It’s awesome. I had no idea where I stood. I knew so many things could happen on the back nine. Most of it was out of my control, so I tried to keep my head down and hit good shots. I knew I could win because there was only one guy ahead of me. Strange things happen out here.”

The 28-year-old Straka entered the week 176th in the world rankings and the final round in a four-way tied for second place. Before Sunday, his biggest moments in golf were finishing third in the 2019 Barbasol Championship, a PGA Tour opposite-field event, and leading after the first round of the 2020 Summer Olympics (he finished T10) held in 2021.

Editorial credit: Eric Glenn /

Sports Daypop

Scott McLaughlin wins first IndyCar race at season opener in St. Petersburg

Scott McLaughlin earned his first career victory Sunday in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. McLaughlin drove his No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet from the pole to victory by .5095 of a second over reigning series champion Alex Palou.

New Zealand native McLaughlin made his series debut at this event in 2020 after winning three straight Australian V8 Supercars championships and then raced in his first full season of open-wheel competition in 2021. He finished 14th in the standings, with a best finish of second, and earned series Rookie of the Year honors

Sitting in front of his winning car in Victory Lane, McLaughlin said: “Thank you to Roger Penske, everyone. Yeah, DEX Imaging jumping on board, trusting me, and then Roger Penske and Tim Cindric giving me the opportunity to come here. I miss my mom and dad dearly and my family. Wish you guys were here. What a day.”

Editorial credit: Dave Hewison Photography /

Country Daypop

Cody Johnson’s ‘Til You Can’t’ earns the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Chart

Cody Johnson’s single “‘Til You Can’t” has hit the No. 1 position on Billboard’s airplay, streaming and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart. “’Til You Can’t” continues its climb at country radio sitting at No. 8 on Billboard and No. 5 on Mediabase airplay charts. The RIAA certified, gold-selling song is the debut single from Johnson’s sophomore major-label release, Human The Double Album.

Said Johnson to Billboard:  “I’m so excited to see the ripples that this song has created. ‘Til You Can’t’ has such a positive message, and it’s so much fun to sing!   After playing music for almost 15 years, I’m still taken back by the power of a good country song; I’m very excited about what’s to come, and very honored by the success of the single on all platforms!”

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

Country Daypop

Jon Pardi announces 2022 ‘Ain’t Always The Cowboy’ North American tour

Jon Pardi announced he will hit the road on the ‘Ain’t Always The Cowboy’ Tour, named after his song of the same name off the album Heartache Medication. The 25-date trek will kick off in Irving, Texas on July 14 and running through October 1 with a performance at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater. Lainey Wilson and Hailey Whitters will be opening through this stretch of dates.

Said Pardi in a press release: “I’m really excited to take two great friends and great artists out as openers for the Ain’t Always The Cowboy Tour.” Pardi also shared on social media: “My friends @laineywilsonmusic and @haileywhitters are hitting the road with me and we can’t wait to see y’all out there starting in July. Presale code coming Monday #Pardianimals, so make sure you’re on the list at the link up top! Gonna be awesome!”

Tickets will be available to purchase beginning March 4 at 10am local time via Ticketmaster.  For more information visit

Editorial credit: Debby Wong /

Entertainment Daypop

2022 SAG Awards: See the complete list of winners

The 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held Sunday, February 27, simulcast live on TNT and TBS from The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

The casts of “Ted Lasso” and “Succession” won for their ensemble work in the best television comedy and drama categories, while the cast of “CODA” won for best motion picture ensemble. Jean Smart picked up the Best Actress in a Comedy statuette for Hacks, and Jason Sudeikis was awarded the Best Actor in a Comedy trophy for Ted Lasso.

Jessica Chastain won for Best Actress in a Film for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, while the Best Actor in a Film trophy went to Will Smith for King Richard. Ariana DeBose earned the honor for Best Supporting Actress for her role in West Side Story, and Troy Kotsur was named Best Supporting Actor for his performance in CODA.

Lee Jung-Jae and Jung Ho-Yeon were voted Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Series for Squid Game. Kate Winslet took home the award for Best Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series for Mare of Easttown, and Michael Keaton won the award for Best Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series for Dopesick.

Helen Mirren was honored with the SAG Life Achievement Award.

For the full list of SAG award winners, head here.   The 2022 SAG award ceremony will be available to stream on HBO Max on Monday.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

Entertainment Daypop

Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone out of ‘Company’ for 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19

Theater legend Patti LuPone announced she has tested positive for COVID-19, and will be forced to miss performances of the Broadway musical Company.

LuPone tweeted Sunday: “Hi Dolls. I showed up for Saturday’s matinee, tested positive for Covid with 3 tests. Unfortunately, I’ll be out of the show for 10 days. I’m so sorry.”

The 72-year-old LuPone stars with Katrina Lenk, Matt Doyle and Christopher Fitzgerald in the show, which features Stephen Sondheim’s well-known songs, “Company,” “You Could Drive a Person Crazy,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Side by Side,” and “Being Alive.”  LuPone is expected to return to the show on March 8.

Editorial credit: Cubankite /

Rock Daypop

Green Day cancel stadium concert in Moscow due to Russia-Ukraine conflict

Green Day have canceled an upcoming stadium show in Moscow in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The band had been set to play a concert at Spartak Stadium in Moscow on May 27th. However in a statement, Green Day confirmed they were canceling the gig.

Green Day’s statement read: “With heavy hearts, in light of current events we feel it is necessary to cancel our upcoming show in Moscow at Spartak Stadium. We are aware that this moment is not about stadium rock shows, it’s much bigger than that. But we also know that rock and roll is forever and we feel confident there will be a time and a place for us to return in the future. Stay safe.”

Editorial credit: Andrea Raffin/

Rock Daypop

Eddie Vedder’s ‘Earthling’ debuts as the top-selling album in North America

Eddie Vedder’s new solo album, Earthling, has debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Current Albums Sales, Album Sales, Rock Albums Charts and is currently the top-selling album in North America, making it Vedder’s highest solo album debut.

Earthling was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Andrew Watt, and is Vedder’s first album since 2011’s Ukulele Songs. It includes collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, and Elton John as well as Andrew Watt, Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer.

In addition, Vedder and bandmates the Earthlings (comprised of drummer Chad Smith, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Josh Klinghoffer, bassist Chris Chaney, guitarist/vocalist Glen Hansard, and guitarist Andrew Watt) just wrapped up a series of U.S. concert dates for The Earthlings Tour 2022. After a string of shows in Vedder’s hometown of Seattle, the tour concluded on February 27 in San Diego after its sold-out run.

You can download Earthling at your streaming service of choice.

Editorial credit: Matteo Chinellato /