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President Biden receives second COVID-19 booster shot, pushes for more COVID funding

President Joe Biden received his second COVID-19 booster shot on Wednesday, as the White House rolled out efforts to help Americans live with the coronavirus, including a new website and a push for vaccinations and funding.  On Tuesday, U.S. health officials authorized a second booster shot for Americans age 50 and older and those who are immunocompromised, two years after the start of the pandemic. The 79-year-old Biden received his fourth dose of the Pfizer vaccine. A second booster of Moderna’s shot also was authorized.

Biden said in remarks at the White House launching COVID.gov“If we fail to invest, we leave ourselves vulnerable if another wave hits.”  COVID.gov is described as ‘a clearinghouse of information aimed at helping people manage the virus as they seek a return to normalcy.’  Biden, who had sought $22.5 billion in funding, has also asked Congress to pay for current vaccinations and treatments, as well to prepare the nation for future outbreaks.  Biden said:  “We need to secure additional supply now. Congress, please act… immediately. The consequences of inaction are severe.”

Several drugstore chains, including CVS Health and Walgreens said they would start offering second booster doses. Although vaccines and increasingly available therapies for COVID-19 have reduced severe illness and deaths, public health officials are monitoring BA.2, an Omicron sub-variant that now accounts for more than half of all U.S. cases. U.S. officials have said they do not expect another major surge, but noted COVID cases could rise from BA.2 or a subsequent variant, reflecting the administration’s position that the country must learn to live with and adapt to some level of this coronavirus.

Biden this month warned the U.S. government would run out of funding for supplies without more support.  The president warned free COVID vaccines may not be available this autumn without more funds, especially if a new vaccine is needed.

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News Daypop

Death toll rises to 6 after snow squall causes 80 vehicle pileup on I-95 in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state police reported on Wednesday that the death toll from an 80-vehicle pileup on a Pennsylvania highway Monday has risen to six people. Police also said 80 vehicles were involved in the crash — 39 commercial and 41 passenger vehicles — up from previous estimates of more than 50.  The crash also injured 24 people, who were taken to hospitals.

The crash occurred around 10:30 a.m. Monday after a snow squall blinded drivers and led to the crash on Interstate 81 near Minersville, about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.  A snow squall is described as ‘an intense, short-lived burst of heavy snowfall accompanied by gusty wind.’  While snow squalls typically only last about an hour and might only leave behind a moderate amount of snow, they can create deadly highway conditions, suddenly reducing visibility for drivers and causing slick roads.

Police reopened the interstate just after midnight Wednesday, according to a tweet from Pennsylvania State Police spokesman David Beohm. Snowy conditions and fires initially made it difficult for emergency services to access the scene. The road was already covered with snow prior to the squall and the pileup, making driving conditions even worse.

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Sports Daypop

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins retires after 13 years in NFL

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins announced Wednesday on social media that he will retire from the NFL, ending a 13-year career.  Jenkins wrote: “Grateful. After 13 seasons, my time on the football field has come to an end. I’m just a boy from Piscataway, who through this game became a champion in the sport and a champion for the people. My time on the field may be over, but I’ll never stop fighting for the people.”

The 34-year-old Jenkins spent the past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He totaled 79 tackles, five passes defensed, an interception, a touchdown, a sack and a forced fumble in 16 starts in 2021.  The three-time Pro Bowl safety spent his first five seasons with the Saints and won a Super Bowl with the franchise in 2010. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014 and won a Super Bowl with that franchise in 2018. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a news release: “In so many ways, Malcolm Jenkins defined everything we want a Philadelphia Eagles to be. He was talented, intelligent, versatile and reliable. He was physically and mentally tough. He led with his words, with his actions, and with the professionalism he brought every single day to our building.”

Jenkins, a two-time Super Bowl champion, also was known for his off-field efforts. He was given the NFLPA’s Alan Page Community Award in 2016 for his impact on his team’s city and communities across the country. Saints coach Dennis Allen said in a news release“I recall when we first drafted Malcolm in 2009, he made contributions to a Super Bowl championship team in multiple positions in the secondary and then pretty quickly developed into an outstanding safety. The combination of skill, awareness and intelligence allowed Malcolm to be in position to make plays all over the field. To put up the numbers he did for as long as he did speaks both to his talent and his commitment to his craft. He was also a great leader in the locker room and important contributor to the community. I’m proud to say that I had the opportunity to coach Malcolm and congratulate him on an excellent career.”

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Sports Daypop

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery for torn meniscus

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee Wednesday morning and is expected to miss four to six weeks.  Williams could potentially return to the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs, if the team advances past the first round.

The 6-foot-8, 237-pound Williams injured the knee during the Celtics win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday in Boston. The four-year veteran started 61 regular-season games, and is averaging career highs, with 10 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 2.0 assists and 0.9 steals per game this season.

The Celtics (47-29) hold the No. 3 seed in the current Eastern Conference standings. Six games remain in the NBA’s regular season. The Miami Heat (48-28) are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks (47-28).

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Country Daypop

“CMT Crossroads: LeAnn Rimes & Friends” featuring Carly Pearce, Mickey Guyton and more to debut in April

LeAnn Rimes is the guest of honor on the next installment of “CMT Crossroads.”  The concert event also includes Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Carly Pearce and Mickey Guyton, who will help commemorate Rimes’ 25th anniversary as a recording artist.

Said Rimes: “It was such a magical and surreal experience, celebrating the past 25 years of my music as a full installment of ‘CMT Crossroads. And to share the stage with women who are each, so unique and truly standing in their own magnificence, to get to hear firsthand how I have, in some special way, influenced their artistry… it was humbling and special.”  Rimes added: “This is such an expansive year for me, from my new album release later this year to my upcoming tour, and I could not think of a better way to kick it all off than to celebrate the past, present, and future with this memorable show.”

“CMT Crossroads: LeAnn Rimes & Friends” features McBryde, Clark, Pearce and Guyton performing Rimes’ most popular hits along with her, as well as Rimes taking a solo turn in the spotlight.  The show will air during the first-ever CMT MUSIC AWARDS WEEK, featuring all-new original programming culminating with the “CMT Music Awards Extended Cut” featuring 30 extra minutes of bonus content and performances on Friday, April 15 at 8p/7c. For more information, visit CMT.com.

“CMT Crossroads: LeAnn Rimes & Friends” will premiere 8p/7c Thursday, April 14, on CMT.

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Country Daypop

Miranda Lambert announces ‘Velvet Rodeo’ Las Vegas residency

Miranda Lambert is returning to Las Vegas to headline her own residency—Miranda Lambert: Velvet Rodeo The Las Vegas Residency. Launching this fall, the residency will take place at Zappos Theater inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  Lambert took to social media on Wednesday, March 30, to reveal the news: I’m heading to Vegas y’all! My new residency ✨ Velvet Rodeo ✨begins this fall! Presale begins April 1. Join RanFans at mirandalambert.com to get presale tickets.’  

Lambert added in a statement: “When you’ve been touring as long as I have, there’s something really creative about imagining a residency in a city like Las Vegas. I’ve had a lot of fun designing our sets, merchandise and clothing and boot lines – and even my place on Broadway in Nashville, Casa Rosa – so, this opportunity allows me to lean in a bit more into that side of myself and think about how to really bring country music to life in this room. I think everyone will like what we’ve dreamed up. I’m really excited about this!”

Lambert will kick off the residency on Sept. 23, 2022 for a run of 24 shows. The shows will include songs off of her seven No. 1 albums as well as her forthcoming project, Palomino, set for release on April 29.

Tickets go on sale to the public starting Thursday, April 7 at 10 a.m. PT. Fan club members will have access to a presale starting Friday, April 1 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets may be purchased online at ticketmaster.com/mirandavegas.

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Entertainment Daypop

Bruce Willis to “step away” from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia

Bruce Willis is “stepping away” from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia, which leads to the loss of ability to understand or express speech, his family said in a statement posted to social media.

In an Instagram post, Rumer Willis, the eldest daughter of Demi Moore and Willis, shared that her father’s diagnosis “is impacting his cognitive abilities.”  The statement read:“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”  The statement was also signed by other members of Willis’ family: Emma, Demi, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn. Moore also shared the statement in a post on her Instagram page.

The news comes just weeks after Bruce Willis celebrated his 67th birthday. According to the Mayo Clinic, aphasia “is a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written.”  It most commonly arises after a stroke or brain injury, though can also come on more gradually to due the growth of a brain tumor or a degenerative disease. The family did not say what the cause is in Willis’ case.

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Entertainment Daypop

‘Flash’ star Ezra Miller arrested, charged with harassment and disorderly conduct in Hawaii

“Flash” star Ezra Miller was arrested in Hilo, Hawaii early Monday following an incident at a karaoke bar. The 29-year-old actor was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment, according to a press release from the Hawaii Police Department.

According to South Hilo patrol officers, the 29-year-old Miller became agitated and started yelling obscenities at patrons singing karaoke, grabbing the microphone from a 23-year-old woman who was performing. Miller “later lunged at a 32-year-old man playing darts,” according to police.   The bar owner told officers that despite repeated attempts, he could not calm the unruly customer. Miller was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment and was released after posting $500 bail.

Miller made their debut as The Flash in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Next month, Miller will appear in the film Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, reprising the role of Credence Barebone/Aurelius Dumbledore.

In the upcoming ‘The Flash” movie, set for release next year, Miller will be joined by both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton reprising their roles as Batman. Sasha Calle as Supergirl and Kiersey Clemons as Iris West also star.

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Rock Daypop

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators announces livestream concert event

Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators have released their new single “April Fool” from their new album 4, which is available now. The group will celebrate the release of the new album by sharing it with fans around the world via a global streaming event to be held Friday, April 15th 3 pm ET/noon PT in an exclusive partnership with premium concert livestream platform Veeps.

Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – Live From Boston was shot on location this month during the group’s sold out House of Blues show. The streaming concert event will give fans around the globe the chance to see SMKC’s live show, including classic favorites, as well as new songs from their new album. Tickets for the streaming event are on sale now at Veeps and will be available for viewing for 48 hours after the event airs.

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Rock Daypop

Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless to launch 2022 summer tour

Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless will be launching a 2022 summer U.S. tour. The Warning and Lilith Czar will support the duo on select dates, to make the lineup comprised entirely of bands led by women.  The run begins in July in Detroit, Mich. and continues through mid-August.

Czar wrote in an Instagram post: “I am so thrilled to be heading back out on the road with our good friends in Halestorm this summer! Our last tour together was an experience like no other and something I will never forget. The camaraderie women show each other in the rock scene has proven to be unmatched. Always fixing each other’s crowns and lifting one another up. I’m so grateful to Lzzy [Hale], Taylor [Momsen] and everyone in the bands for sharing the stage with me on what will most definitely be the tour of the summer!”

Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 1 at 10AM local time.

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