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Obama warns against divisiveness on social media

Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 @ 6:28 AM

Former President Barack Obama, left, was interviewed by Prince Harry in September.
Handout
Former President Barack Obama, left, was interviewed by Prince Harry in September.(Handout)

Former President Barack Obama, without mentioning his successor, urged people in leadership roles not to use social media in a way that promotes divisiveness, CNN reported Wednesday.

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In a BBC interview conducted by Great Britain’s Prince Harry, Obama warned that the internet risks reinforced prejudices and a fractured society.

“All of us in leadership have to find ways in which we can recreate a common space on the internet,” Obama told the prince in an interview that aired on the BBC 4’s “Today” program. “One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases.”

Obama did not mention President Donald Trump by name during the interview, but Trump has been an outspoken and controversial user of Twitter.

Obama’s interview with Prince Harry was taped in September during the Invictus Games in Toronto, CNN reported.

>> When Harry met Barry: Prince interviews Obama 

Asked how he felt the day he left office in January, Obama said he had mixed feelings.

“The sense that there was a completion, and that we had done the work in a way that preserved our integrity and left us whole and that we hadn't fundamentally changed, I think was a satisfying feeling,” he said. “That was mixed with all the work that was still undone and concerns about how the country moves forward. But overall there was a serenity there, more than I would have expected."

Asked by Harry what was the biggest change for him after his eight years in office, Obama reflected on a slowed pace of life and the new freedom he had to decide how to focus his activities.

“The things that are important to me haven't changed, I still care about about making the United States and the world a place where kids get an education, where people who are willing to work hard are able to find a job that pays a living wage, that we are conserving the amazing resources of our planet so that future generations can enjoy the beauty of this place like we did,” he said.

Questioned live on the air after the pretaped interview was broadcast, Prince Harry said the guest list has not yet been put together for his wedding to actress Meghan Markle next May, CNN reported.

>> UK government worries about Trump’s reaction

Asked if he got along well enough with the former president to invite him to the event, the prince laughed off the question, CNN reported.

“Well, I don't know about that,” he said. “We haven't put the invites or the guest list together yet so who knows whether he's going to be invited or not. I wouldn't want to ruin that surprise.”

Video: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin gets upset with Delta agent over missed flight

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:24 PM

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was seen on video getting upset with a Delta Air Lines agent when he missed his flight.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WE
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was seen on video getting upset with a Delta Air Lines agent when he missed his flight.(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WE)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin got upset with a Delta Air Lines agent after missing a flight at Los Angeles International Airport, according to TMZ video posted Tuesday.

Aldrin was told he wouldn’t be able to get on the flight, which prompted his frustration

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The issue was that it was past the check-in cutoff time at Los Angeles International for the flight, but the agent offered to rebook him on an alternate flight.

“Are you operating an airline here or not?” Aldrin asked on the video. “We’ve been sitting here now 20 minutes waiting for somebody to come and fix a two-minute problem…. This is the most lousy operation I’ve ever seen.” 

At one point, Aldrin stands up out of his wheelchair, frustrated about having to be booked on an alternate flight.

A TMZ cameraman later caught up with Aldrin, who seemed to have cooled off. “Look, my son worked for Delta, I know the people quite well,” Aldrin said.

The astronaut said he’d get a later flight.

Dolly Parton earns two Guinness World Records

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:36 PM

What You Need To Know: Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton has yet another accomplishment to add to her already legendary list: two world records.

Billboard reported the singer and songwriter holds Guinness World Records for the most decades with a Top 20 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, with six decades, and most hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart by a female artist, with 107 hits.

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Parton has Top 20 Billboard hits across six consecutive decades, starting with 1967’s “Something Fishy” and ending with a 2016 version of her 1974 song, “Jolene” with Pentatonix. That same 2016 song set the record for her 107th Hot Country Songs chart entry. Her first was “Dumb Blonde” in 1967.

“To receive these two Guinness World Records is so great,” Parton said in a statement. Joining so many wonderful singers and songwriters who have been honoured this way feels so special to me. You never know when you start out with your work how it’s going to turn out, but to have these two world records makes me feel very humbled and blessed!”

Parton’s six-decade run puts her in the company of George Jones, the only other country artist who spent more than five decades on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Speaking to Guinness World Records about her songwriting process, Parton said it comes from her own experiences.

“I’ve always just written from my heart,” she said. “I try not to dwell on just trying to be commercial and what's a radio hit or whatever. Usually when an idea hits me, it comes from my heart, but I still try to be alert and to be aware and to try to be as up-to-date as I can be, and evidently I’m doing alright after all these decades.”

Ellen Pompeo returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for two more seasons, earning $20 million

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:35 PM

What You Need to Know About Ellen Pompeo

Meredith Grey is here to stay at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital — for at least two more seasons.

Deadline reported that the star of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Ellen Pompeo, has signed on to continue her role for another two years. She’ll also be permanently adding the title of “producer” to her credits on the series, while also being bumped to executive producer on the forthcoming firefighter spinoff series.

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In addition to growing her resume, Pompeo stands to rake in $575,000 per episode, which comes to $20 million a year, making her the highest-paid actress on a primetime TV drama. The show already holds the title of ABC’s highest-rated series.

Pompeo’s pay wasn’t a given, however. Like many women, she had to fight to be paid adequately, particularly compared to her male counterparts.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, the actress said she’s now comfortable asking to be paid what she’s worth.

“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age,” Pompeo said.

“For me, Patrick (Dempsey) leaving the show (in 2015) was a defining moment, deal-wise. They could always use him as leverage against me: ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick,’ which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and I'm Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the No. 1. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: ‘Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy?’You feel conflicted but then you figure, ‘I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.’”

Pompeo said that once series creator Shonda Rhimes became more successful and had more control, it brushed off on her and allowed her to have more say in her own career.

“ (Shonda) got to a place where she was so empowered that she was generous with her power. Now, what did that look like? It looked like her letting me be the highest-paid woman on television, letting me be a producer on this show, letting me be a co-executive producer on the spinoff and signing off on the deal that the studio gave me, which is unprecedented.”

While Pompeo is excited to keep the show going, she makes no promises about when it will eventually end.

“I’ve been saying since season one, ‘We have two more years.’ This show, it’s taking on a life of its own, and who knows? We take it season by season,really,” she told Deadline.

Pompeo added, “You never think TV shows are going to go this long. Of course not, never, and especially me, I don’t ever assume things like that. I assume tomorrow everyone’s going to hate us. You got to try. You got to stay humble.”

“I’m extremely proud of the show and everyone that has worked on it in the past, everybody who’s here now,” she said, sharing that she’ll definitely let her children — Stella, 8; Sienna, 3; and Eli, 1, with husband Chris Ivery — watch when they’re old enough.

“It’s the beginning of a movement, and it’s so special to me for so many reasons. So I certainly hope they watch every episode twice,”  Pompeo said.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashes into tree after helping car stuck in snow

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:50 PM

What You Need To Know: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It could be said that former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has some of the best driving skills ever, having made a living out of going more than 200 miles an hour on some of our country’s toughest racetracks.

Yet, with snow involved, Earnhardt got into some trouble while trying to help other people stuck in the weather.

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“(North Carolina) stay off the roads today/tonight. Five minutes after helping these folks I center punched a pine tree,” Dale shared on his Twitter page on Wednesday shortly after stopping to help some stranded travelers on the road. “All good. Probably just needs a new alignment,” he added.

Fans were were thankful Earnhardt was OK, but the tweet didn’t come without some NASCAR jokes. 

“Jr. did you attempt to turn right? Gets ya every time,” one Twitter user said.

Earnhardt’s accident comes a day after the former NASCAR driver, voted the sport’s most popular driver for 15 consecutive years, announced the day before that he would be covering the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl in the coming weeks as part of his new deal as a contributor to NBC Sports.

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 29: Dale Earnhardt Jr. speaks on stage during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on November 29, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)(David Becker/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, Dale Jr. was not the only driver to find himself in harm’s way thanks to the snow, as NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez found himself stuck in the snow on the side of the road in his sports car Wednesday.

Michael Waltrip decided to drive in snowy conditions in North Carolina, and appeared to do so safely in his Ford and later in his Toyota Tundra.

Headed out. I don’t have snow worries in my @toyotausa #Tundra.

A post shared by Michael Waltrip (@mwr55) on

Driver Kevin Harvick thought better of it, making the decision to stay in and enjoy the snow off the main roads.

How we celebrate a snow day!! #burnemdown

A post shared by Kevin Harvick (@kevinharvick) on