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Sen. Mitch McConnell to step down as Senate GOP leader after 17 year-run

Mitch McConnell, 82, announced he will step down as Senate GOP leader in November. McConnell said he plans to serve out his Senate term, which ends in January 2027, “from a different seat in the chamber.”

McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader in history, announced his decision Wednesday with prepared remarks which began: “One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter. So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”

McConnell’s announcement is said to be unrelated to his health — he had a concussion from a fall last year, and two public episodes where his face briefly froze while he was speaking. Despite the concerns about his health, colleagues have said in recent months that they believe he has recovered and that McConnell was not impaired cognitively, but did have some additional physical limitations. McConnell said in his prepared remarks: “As I have been thinking about when I would deliver some news to the Senate, I always imagined a moment when I had total clarity and peace about the sunset of my work. A moment when I am certain I have helped preserve the ideals I so strongly believe. It arrived today.” McConnell gave no specific reason for the timing of his decision, but cited the recent death of his wife’s youngest sister as prompting the decision: “The end of my contributions are closer than I’d prefer.”   He added:“I love the Senate. It has been my life. There may be more distinguished members of this body throughout our history, but I doubt there are any with more admiration for it,” but added, “Father Time remains undefeated. I am no longer the young man sitting in the back, hoping colleagues would remember my name. It is time for the next generation of leadership. I still have enough gas in the tank to thoroughly disappoint my critics and I intend to do so with all the enthusiasm which they have become accustomed.”

The Kentucky senator had been under increasing pressure from the wing of his party that has aligned firmly with former President Donald Trump. McConnell and Trump have been estranged since December 2020, when McConnell refused to abide Trump’s assertion that the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president was the product of fraud. After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, McConnell assigned blame and responsibility to Trump and said that he should be held to account through the criminal justice system for his actions.

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News Daypop

Hunter Biden appears on Capitol Hill for closed-door deposition with Republican lawmakers

On Wednesday, Hunter Biden testified before two GOP-led House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Biden, telling lawmakers in a closed-door deposition that his father was not involved in his various business deals.

In a copy of his opening statement, Hunter Biden said his father was never involved in his business: “I am here today to provide the committees with the one incontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry: I did not involve my father in my business. Not while I was a practicing lawyer, not in my investments or transactions domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist. Never.”

The two House committees have alleged that the Biden family, including the president, financially benefitted from Hunter Biden’s business dealing overseas, despite having direct evidence. The committees subpoenaed Hunter Biden and threatening him with contempt of Congress when he at first refused to testify in private, while he said he preferred to testify in public instead. After negotiations, Biden agreed to the private deposition voluntarily, arguing that his testimony was a “critical component” of their impeachment inquiry, which has centered around allegations that the president profited off of his family members’ foreign business dealings while he was vice president.

Hunter Biden said in his prepared statement: “For more than a year, your Committees have hunted me in your partisan political pursuit of my dad. You have trafficked in innuendo, distortion, and sensationalism — all the while ignoring the clear and convincing evidence staring you in the face. You do not have evidence to support the baseless and MAGA-motivated conspiracies about my father because there isn’t any.” While Biden acknowledged he “squandered” opportunities afforded him during his addiction, he said that those “shortcomings are my own and not my father’s.”

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Sports Daypop

Anthony Kim comes out of hiatus to join LIV Golf for remainder of 2024

LIV Golf announced Wednesday that 38-year-old Anthony Kim will return from nearly a 12-year hiatus, and will play the remainder of the season in the Saudi-funded league as an individual.  LIV Golf released a video of Kim on the course on X, captioned: “I’ve missed the competitive part of the game” 💬 #LIVGolf @anthonykim_golf”

Kim is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, but was forced to depart with injuries. He has been out of the public eye since he walked off the course at Quail Hollow, withdrawing after one round of the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2012.

Kim is joining the league as a wild card, and as such he will not be affiliated with any of the 13 teams. Hudson Swafford is the other player guaranteed to play all the individual events. Kim will have a chance to accrue points that would lead to him earning a spot on one of LIV’s teams for the 2025 season.

Five-time major champion Brooks Koepka is the two-time defending champion of LIV Golf Jeddah. Kim makes his debut Friday at LIV Golf Jeddah at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

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Sports Daypop

Kansas City Chiefs release wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to save $12M against cap

The Kansas City Chiefs have released veteran wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on Wednesday, ending his two-year tenure with the organization. Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the move will save the Chiefs $12 million against the salary cap. The 29-year-old Valdes-Scantling signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Chiefs in 2022, winning two Super Bowls during his time in Kansas City.

The wide receiver entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick out of South Florida in 2018, spending his first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers. In 2020 led the NFL with 20.9 yards per reception as a deep threat for then-Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and set career highs with 690 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Valdes-Scantling missed six games due to injury in 2021, but came back in ’22 to set a career high with 42 catches and finished with 687 yards and two touchdowns. He also had seven grabs for 122 yards and two touchdowns in the playoff; however, he finished with eight receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown in four contests in the playoffs. Valdes-Scantling had a 16-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter of  Super Bowl LVII which gave Kansas City a 13-10 lead at the time, en route to their eventual victory in OT.

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Country Daypop

Scotty McCreery shares his latest single ‘Love Like This’

Scotty McCreery is sharing his latest song, ‘Love Like This,’ written by McCreery, Frank Rogers and Aaron Eshuis and produced by Rogers, Derek Wells, and Eshuis.

Shares MCreery of the song: “Becoming a father is the greatest thing that’s happened to me. Raising Avery as he grows and watching my wife Gabi be a rock star as his Mom has been the joy of my life these last 15 months. I knew I wanted to write a song about Avery. I even photographed the room number on the hospital door so I could put that into the lyrics.”

McCreery is currently on the road with his headlining Cab in a Solo Tour, joined by Anne Wilson as direct support as well as Greylan James and Noah Hicks on select dates. The tour will continue to trek across the U.S. through mid-March with stops in Boston, Philadelphia, Syracuse and more.

To stream ‘Love Like This,’ head here.

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Country Daypop

Take a listen to Keith Urban’s new single ‘Straight Line’

Keith Urban has shared his latest single “Straight Line”, the first track from Urban’s forthcoming 12th studio album. Urban wrote on Instagram: “This is the song that kicks off an album I’m jonesing to share with you all. I chose it first for a lot of reasons, but particularly because I think it represents an energy and spirit that became a through line of this whole record. I’m gonna cover a lot of themes, emotions and vibes on this album but a very human spirit runs through them all. ‘Straight Line’ is wanting to break out of a soul-sucking routine that you might be stuck in: maybe in a relationship, a job, with creativity, with yourself… whatever it is!! It’s a message of feeling alive again and getting out from under that dark cloud.”

“Straight Line”, written by Urban, Chase McGill, Jerry Flowers and Greg Wells, was co-produced by Urban and Wells. Says Urban of the track: “‘Straight Line’ is the perfect first track off my album because it’s a song born of wanting to break out of routine and feeling like somewhere along the line, life lost some color and excitement – ‘You and me used to be like a year-round summer…’ This song is about getting it back again – a message of taking back your life and driving out from under the dark cloud. If you’ve seen us in concert, I hope this track gives you that same liberated feeling … While ‘Straight Line’s’ lyrics are about being stuck and trying to break out of the monotony, the melody and energy are a boulevard of nothing but green lights. Every song on this album – even the ballads – carries an energy and a life force that became a very strong throughline. I hope you feel it. I’m so excited for everyone to hear the whole thing.”

Take a look at the lyric video for ‘Straight Line’ – here.
To stream the single, head here.

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Entertainment Daypop

Comedian Richard Lewis dies at age 76

Stand-up comedian Richard Lewis, known for his role in Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, has died at the age of 76. Lewis’ publicist, Jeff Abraham, said in a statement that Lewis died at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack. “His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time,” Abraham said in a statement.

Lewis announced in a video posted on X last April he was retiring from stand-up and revealed he had Parkinson’s disease, which he had been diagnosed with two years prior. The comedian said that when he was in the middle of a comedy tour three and a half years ago, he thought to himself, “You know, I’m at the top of my game. After 50 years almost, I’m just gonna call it quits.”

Lewis was a late-night TV staple for decades. His other acting roles included co-starring opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in the ABC series “Anything But Love”, as well as his role as Prince John in “Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men In Tights.” He most recently appeared in Season 12 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” currently airing on HBO, and shared that longtime friend and show creator Larry David made accommodations for his illness while filming the final season. Lewis told Vanity Fair earlier this month: “I’ve got to tell you how he took care of me this year. The cast and a crew — just as I’m diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease—made sure that everything was right for me on the set. They assigned a third AD to me [to clear the path]. ‘Richard is coming!’ Everybody was so lovely on the set. It was all really heartwarming.”

Comedy Central named Lewis one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time and he was included in GQ magazine’s list of the “20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists.”  Lewis is survived by his wife Joyce Lapinsky, whom he married in 2005.

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Entertainment Daypop

Adele pauses Las Vegas residency due to health issues

Adele is being forced to pause her Las Vegas residency show due to health concerns.  The 35-year-old postponed dates of her Weekends with Adele residency show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in March, posting on X saying: “I love you, I’ll miss you like mad and I’m sorry for the inconvenience x

A statement read: “Sadly I have to take a beat and pause my Vegas residency. I was sick at the end of the last leg and all the way through my break. I hadn’t quite gotten the chance to get back to full health before shows resumed and now I’m sick again, and unfortunately it’s all taken a toll on my voice. And so on Doctors orders I have no choice but to rest thoroughly. The remaining 5 weekends of this leg are being postponed to a later date. We are already working out the details and you will be sent the information asap.”  The shows affected were to take place March 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30.

Adele first launched her Weekends with Adele residency show in 2022, announcing new dates in March 2023 and a final run of dates for 2024 in October. She said at the time: “This residency, these shows have changed my life. I desperately needed to fall back in love with performing live again, and I have. I needed to reconnect with my songs and remember what they mean to me, and I have! Being on stage over the last year so up close and personal with an audience again after all these years has been a truly extraordinary restorative experience that I’ll never forget.”

Editorial credit: Fred Duval / Shutterstock.com

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Pop Daypop

Adele pauses Las Vegas residency due to health issues

Adele is being forced to pause her Las Vegas residency show due to health concerns.  The 35-year-old postponed dates of her Weekends with Adele residency show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in March, posting on X saying: “I love you, I’ll miss you like mad and I’m sorry for the inconvenience x

A statement read: “Sadly I have to take a beat and pause my Vegas residency. I was sick at the end of the last leg and all the way through my break. I hadn’t quite gotten the chance to get back to full health before shows resumed and now I’m sick again, and unfortunately it’s all taken a toll on my voice. And so on Doctors orders I have no choice but to rest thoroughly. The remaining 5 weekends of this leg are being postponed to a later date. We are already working out the details and you will be sent the information asap.”  The shows affected were to take place March 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30.

Adele first launched her Weekends with Adele residency show in 2022, announcing new dates in March 2023 and a final run of dates for 2024 in October. She said at the time: “This residency, these shows have changed my life. I desperately needed to fall back in love with performing live again, and I have. I needed to reconnect with my songs and remember what they mean to me, and I have! Being on stage over the last year so up close and personal with an audience again after all these years has been a truly extraordinary restorative experience that I’ll never forget.”

Editorial credit: Fred Duval / Shutterstock.com

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Rock Daypop

Dave Matthews Band, Blink-182, The Killers to headline 2024 Oceans Calling Festival

Blink-182, The Killers, and Dave Matthews Band are set to headline the 2024 Oceans Calling Festival, returning to the Ocean City, Maryland Boardwalk on September 27-29. The Oceans Calling Festival announced on Instagram: “Oceans Calling 2024 🦀 Presale begins this Thursday 2/29 at 10am ET and is your best chance to secure tickets ☀ Sign up now for a presale passcode at the link in bio! A general on-sale will follow on 2/29 at 11am ET if tickets remain.”

The festival brings over 40 acts across 3 stages with additional artists to perform including Cage The Elephant, The Offspring, Mt. Joy, Rebelution, Counting Crows, 311, The Beach Boys, Boyz II Men, O.A.R., Young the Giant, Barenaked Ladies and more.  A special performance from Sublime with original band members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh will also take place at Oceans Calling, featuring Jakob Nowell.

Tickets to Oceans Calling 2024 are available beginning with the pre-sale kick-off. To sign up for a pre-sale code, head here. General on-sale will begin soon via Front Gate Tickets and Ticketmaster.

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