Benedict Former

Former Pope Benedict recovering from ‘painful but not serious condition,’ Vatican says – CNN

Rome (CNN)Former Pope Benedict is recovering from a “painful but not serious condition,” the Vatican has said, following reports in a German newspaper claiming he was very ill with shingles.

“The health condition of the Pope Emeritus is not cause for particular concern, except for the fact that he is 93 years old and recovering from the acute phase of a painful but not serious condition,” the Vatican press office said, citing Benedict’s private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, in a statement to CNN.
German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse quoted Benedict’s biographer, Munich author Peter Seewald, who said he saw the former Pope on Saturday.
Seewald said Benedict was “extremely frail,” adding that his voice was “barely audible.” He did say, however, that the Pope Emeritus “appeared optimistic” and said he intended to start writing again when he regained his strength.
Benedict’s 96-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, died in July in Regensburg, Germany, where he lived most of his life, according to Vatican News.
Benedict had visited him days before his death.
Benedict retired in 2013, vowing to remain “hidden from the world” after becoming the first pope in centuries to resign. At the time, he cited his “advanced age” as the reason.

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Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain dies after battle with coronavirus – CNBC

Herman Cain, a former presidential hopeful who was once considered by President Donald Trump for the Federal Reserve, has died after being hospitalized with the coronavirus. He was 74.

Cain’s death was announced Thursday on his website by Dan Calabrese, who edits the site and had previously written about his colleague’s diagnosis.

“Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away,” Calabrese said in the blog post. “We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery.”

Cain was among the highest-profile public figures in the United States to have died from Covid-19. Less than two weeks before receiving his diagnosis, Cain attended Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which had been staged despite concerns about mass gatherings during the pandemic.

Cain, a stage 4 cancer survivor, tweeted a photograph of himself at Trump’s rally showing him surrounded by other attendees, none of whom appeared to be wearing masks or other protective gear.

A July 2 statement from Cain’s social media accounts announcing his hospitalization said, “There is no way of knowing for sure how or where Mr. Cain contracted the coronavirus.” The Trump campaign said after Cain’s diagnosis that he had not met with the president at the Tulsa rally.

The campaign said that all attendees at the event had their temperatures checked upon entry, and that masks and hand sanitizer were handed out but not required to use. Before the event, the campaign revealed that six members of the team involved in the rally preparations had tested positive for the virus and had been quarantined.

Trump later Thursday tweeted his condolences for Cain and his family.

“My friend Herman Cain, a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good, passed away this morning,” the president wrote. “Herman had an incredible career and was adored by everyone that ever met him, especially me. He was a very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend.”

At a Thursday evening press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Trump added that Cain “was a very special person, I got know him very well. And unfortunately he passed away from a thing called the China virus.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had earlier tweeted that Cain “embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit.”

Cain had been hospitalized in Atlanta on July 1, two days after being told he had tested positive for Covid-19, according to his social media.

He did not require a respirator and was “awake and alert” when he checked in to the hospital, the statement said. “Please join with us in praying for Mr. Cain, and for everyone who has contracted the coronavirus – as well as their families,” it said.

Cain had been a business executive and board chairman of a branch of Kansas City’s Federal Reserve Bank before moving into Republican politics and eventually becoming a presidential candidate and a favorite of the conservative tea party faction.

Last year, Trump briefly considered picking Cain as his nominee to join the Federal Reserve Board. Cain remained a vocal supporter of Trump’s after his nomination was withdrawn.

A former CEO of the restaurant chain Godfather’s Pizza, Cain became a player in Republican politics as an economic advisor to Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign before briefly launching his own bid in 2000.

In the 2012 GOP presidential primary season, Cain gained outsized media coverage with his catchy “9-9-9” economic plan to replace much of the federal tax code with a 9% business transactions tax, a 9% personal income tax and a 9% sales tax. Critics called the plan “dubious” and impractical.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who would clinch the GOP nomination in 2012, tweeted Thursday that he was saddened to hear of Cain’s passing.

Cain suspended that campaign in December 2011 following multiple allegations of sexual harassment, ranging back to his time as chief executive of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Cain denied the allegations.

After his hospitalization, Cain’s social media accounts occasionally provided vague updates on his condition. A message on July 5 said he was “making progress” and that “more encouraging news” was expected to come soon. Two days later, Cain’s Twitter account said “doctors are trying to make sure his oxygen levels are right.”

On July 10, another tweet said Cain himself described his status as “cruise control,” because “the progress is slow but his breathing is getting stronger every day. Make no mistake: He is improving!”

The most recent update came Monday, when Cain’s social media revealed that he was “being treated with oxygen for his lungs” nearly a month after entering the hospital. “He really is getting better, which means it is working,” the update said.

Calabrese repeatedly declined CNBC’s requests for additional information on Cain’s condition throughout his struggle with the virus.

“We’re not saying anything else beyond what we’ve posted on social media,” Calabrese said in a July 7 email. “That’s Herman’s and Gloria’s wish so I appreciate you respecting it.”

In addition to his wife Gloria Etchison, survivors include his two children, Melanie and Vincent, Calabrese said.

— CNBC’s Marty Steinberg contributed to this report.

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Former Malaysian prime minister jailed in connection with looting of multibillion dollar state fund – NBC News

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A court sentenced former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to serve up to 12 years in prison after finding him guilty of crimes involving the multibillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund that brought down his government in a shocking election ouster two years ago.

Najib was calm and stone-faced as he became the first Malaysian leader to be convicted. He has vowed to appeal the verdict and took an oath in brief remarks from the dock before the sentencing that he was unaware of the graft.

Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali sentenced Najib to 12 years in jail on one count of abuse of power, 10 years each for three counts of criminal breach of trust, and 10 years each for three counts of money laundering, as well as a fine of 210 million ringgit ($48.4 million). But he ordered the sentences to run concurrently, meaning Najib will face up to 12 years in jail.

The ruling in the first of his five corruption trials came five months after Najib’s Malay party returned to government as the biggest bloc in an alliance that took power from the reformist government that ousted Najib’s in 2018.

Analysts said the ruling would bolster the prosecution’s case in Najib’s other trials and would signal to the business community the Malaysia’s legal system has strength in tackling international financial crimes. But others cautioned the ruling could be overturned and his political party remains in office.

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“I find the accused guilty and convict the accused of all seven charges,” Judge Mohamad Nazlan Ghazali said after spending two hours to read out an elaborate ruling.

Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak arrives at the Duta Court complex awaiting a verdict in his corruption trial in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.MOHD RASFAN / AFP – Getty Images

After court resumed in the afternoon, Najib’s lawyers argued for a light sentence. The defense said it was “crippled” by the judge’s refusal to delay the sentencing arguments until next week. Prosecutors said the case had tarnished the country as a kleptocracy and sought a deterrent sentence to remind those in high public office that “no one is above the law.”

Speaking from the dock, Najib outlined his achievements during his nine-year tenure and swore in Arabic with God as his witness that he wasn’t aware of the 42 million ringgit ($9.8 million) channeled into his bank accounts from SRC International, a former unit of 1MDB.

“I did not demand the 42 million, I did not plan for the 42 million, nor was the 42 million offered to me. There has been no evidence nor witness to this. And I also like to say that I have no knowledge of the 42 million,” Najib insisted.

Some of Najib’s supporters outside the courthouse cried when they learned of the verdict while others chanted “free bossku” and “long live bossku.” The nickname meaning “my boss” was coined for Najib in his social media campaign to reinvent himself as a working-class leader.

Najib, 67, faces between 15 and 20 years plus hefty fines for each of the seven charges and has vowed to fight to the end. He has said he was misled by rogue bankers and the case against him is political.

“I want justice. I want to clear my name,” he wrote on Facebook late Monday. “After this, we will go to the Court of Appeal. I am ready.” A scion of one of Malaysia’s most prominent political families, he faces 42 charges in five separate trial and could face years in prison.

The current trial involved a charge of abuse of power, three charges of criminal breach of trust and three money laundering charges.

The judge agreed with prosecutors that Najib had “overarching control” of SRC, failed to rebut the allegations against him and that prosecutors had established beyond reasonable doubt that Najib misappropriated money for his own use.

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Former CDC chief Tom Frieden says states should make more COVID-19 data easily accessible – USA TODAY


Former CDC director Tom Frieden warns that at least five states have sharply rising cases of COVID-19 and are headed toward ‘big outbreaks.’ To slow its spread, he said Americans must wear masks, wash their hands and keep their distance. (June 22)

AP Domestic

To get a better handle on the COVID-19 pandemic, every state in the country should be providing more data, Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday.

Frieden is now president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative designed to prevent epidemics and cardiovascular disease, which recommended Tuesday that states release 15 categories of information deemed “essential” to understanding the pandemic.

The categories include things like a rolling average of new cases and deaths, hospitalizations per capita, testing turnaround time, number of contacts of infected people traced within 48 hours, and percentage of people wearing masks in indoor settings such as stores and on mass transit. No state provides all 15 categories of data, only 40% of essential data points are being monitored and reported publicly, and half isn’t made public at all, Frieden said in a video call with reporters. 

“We’re flying blind on the risk and effectiveness of the response,” Frieden said in a prepared statement. “Data are inconsistent, incomplete and inaccessible.”

Right now, for example, there are not enough tests for everyone who needs or wants one. Frieden said state governments should “be frank about that” and prioritize testing for vulnerable populations, like hospitalized patients, people who work in meat processing plants, and those in nursing homes, prisons and homeless shelters.

“That’s the kind of meaningful metric that can help us get ahead of the virus,” he said, “not just ‘oh we’re going to test another 400,000 so we can say we tested another 400,000.'” 

The federal government should have required this data months ago, he and others on the call said, but in the absence of national leadership, Resolve to Save Lives decided to step into the void.

“With clear guidance, we can understand our risk better and improve our response rapidly,” Frieden said. “This information was obtained with taxpayer dollars and we should demand that we have access to the information…on performance and risk.”

Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, who was also on the call, said uniform and consisted data would provide a “road map” for measuring success. “We’re trying to give a group of metrics that when taken as a whole give you a real picture of whether or not we’re getting our hands around this epidemic.”

If Arizona had been keeping data on COVID-like illnesses in late May, for example, it would have gotten an early warning that its cases were about to increase dramatically, said Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, director of the Prevent Epidemics Team at Resolve to Save Live. 

Benjamin added that he wished this data collection had been started in March. “We’re way behind the curve,” he said. But put in place now, the metrics will eventually provide a better picture of the pandemic in the United States, and guide decisions to help combat it.

Individuals also need this information to make good decisions, said Caitlin RIvers, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who was also on the call. “The more information we can get out to the public, the better we will be able to do on both an official and individual level,” she said.

Frieden said the CDC made some mistakes in fighting Ebola, when he ran the agency, but because data was made available, those mistakes were identifiable and fixable. 

Data has to be available to inform decision making, Benjamin said. “What gets measured, what gets seen, gets done,” he said. “Advocacy groups can add political pressure, resource allocators can figure out where to put the money. The media can hold us accountable.”

All the speakers also reinforced the importance of increasing funding for the CDC and supporting the experts who work for government – in an implied slap at the current administration, which has often overlooked its own experts.

“I still trust the CDC,” Benjamin said. “They haven’t stopped being smart. They haven’t stopped being innovative. They’ve been silenced.”

States shouldn’t be worried that making COVID-19 data accessible will make them look bad, Frieden and the others said. “Bad news does not get better with time,” Benjamin said. “This is not an issue of personal pride. These numbers save lives. Making them public saves lives.”

Contact Weintraub at kweintraub@usatoday.

Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.

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Former Employees Say Ellen’s “Be Kind” Talk Show Mantra Masks A Toxic Work Culture – BuzzFeed News

Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Getty Images

Ellen DeGeneres has built her worldwide, multimillion-dollar brand on the motto “be kind,” with lavish giveaways and acts of charity. But behind the scenes, current and former employees on her leading daytime show say they faced racism, fear, and intimidation.

“That ‘be kind’ bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one former employee told BuzzFeed News. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”

BuzzFeed News spoke to one current and 10 former employees on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, all of whom asked to remain anonymous, fearing retribution from the award-winning NBC daytime talk show and others in the entertainment industry. They said they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals. One employee, who claims she was fed up with comments about her race, essentially walked off the job. Others said they were also instructed by their direct managers to not speak to DeGeneres if they saw her around the office.

Most of the former employees blamed executive producers and other senior managers for the day-to-day toxicity, but one former employee said that, ultimately, it’s Ellen’s name on the show and “she really needs to take more responsibility” for the workplace environment.

“If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on,” one former employee said. “I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody’s happy,’ and she just believes that, but it’s her responsibility to go beyond that.”

In a joint statement to BuzzFeed News, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner said they take the stories of the employees “very seriously.”

“Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment,” they said. “We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.

“For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”

A Black woman who used to work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show told BuzzFeed News she experienced racist comments, actions, and “microaggressions” during her year and a half as an employee. She said when she was hired, a senior-level producer told her and another Black employee, “Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused.” And at a work party, she said, one of the main writers told her, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here,” and other coworkers “awkwardly laughed it off” instead of coming to her defense.

When the former employee brought up issues of race and representation on the show and asked producers not to use offensive terms like “spirit animal” in segments, her colleagues called her “the PC police.”

When she started to speak up about the discrimination, she said, all of her colleagues distanced themselves from her.

“Whenever I brought up an issue to my white male boss, he would bring up some random story about some random Black friend that he had and how they managed to get over stuff,” she said. “He would use his Black friend as some way to say, ‘I understand your struggle.’ But it was all performative bullshit.”

After one year at Ellen, she said she asked for a raise after learning another recent hire made double for doing the same job, despite her having worked in the television industry for a decade. Her manager told her “they’d see what they could do,” but months went by and nothing happened, she said.

“They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.”

The former employee said she was also called into a meeting with executive producer Ed Glavin, where she was reprimanded for her objections to the term “spirit animal,” asking for a raise, and suggesting employees on the show receive diversity and inclusion training.

“He said that I was walking around looking resentful and angry,” she said.

After the meeting, she left work for the day and never returned to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She said she has no plans to ever work in the entertainment industry again. For years, she felt “a fear of speaking out” but is now inspired to share her experience because of recent conversations about race in Hollywood and other workplaces.

“I feel like I’m not alone in this,” she said. “We all feel this. We’ve been feeling this way, but I’ve been too afraid to say anything because everyone knows what happens when you say something as a Black person. You’re blacklisted.”

The former employee also said her manager from Ellen recently reached out to her amid the Black Lives Matter protests to apologize for not being a better ally. But the former employee said it’s too little, too late.

“I feel angry about the way I was treated, and I am always going to stand up for Black, Indigenous, Latino, and Asian people, regardless if they’re around,” she said. “I can’t not say anything. I’m not going to stop talking.”

We want your help! If you have more information or a tip regarding workplace culture on the Ellen show or in Hollywood, contact, or reach us securely at

There have been rumors for years about DeGeneres being difficult and how many employees feel unhappy. In March, comedian Kevin T. Porter started a Twitter thread asking people to share “the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen [DeGeneres] being mean.” The tweet has more than 2,600 replies.

In April, Variety reported that employees were “distressed and outraged” by top-level producers who didn’t communicate details about their jobs and pay at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. DeGeneres’s former bodyguard also recently said he had had a negative experience with her at the 2014 Oscars, calling the TV host’s treatment of others “demeaning.”

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Television, which distributes the show, told Variety that the crew was consistently paid during the pandemic, although at reduced hours, and “acknowledged that communication could have been better, but cited complications due to the chaos caused by COVID-19.”

A current employee told BuzzFeed News that on May 1, the same day the story about the former bodyguard was published, executive producers took the rare move of holding an all-staff meeting over Zoom to address the negative stories and low morale.

“I think it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the show’s brand,” a former employee said. “They pull on people’s heartstrings; they do know that’s going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message. But that’s not always reality.”

Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Youtube / Ellentube

After working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for nearly a year, one former employee said they took medical leave for one month to check into a mental health facility for a suicide attempt. But the week they returned to work, they were told their position was being eliminated.

“You’d think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives,” the employee, whose story was corroborated by four other employees and medical records, told BuzzFeed News.

“Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there’s a stigma,” they said. “They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.”

Another former employee said they were fired after an unexpectedly difficult year that required them to take time away from the job on three occasions: medical leave for three weeks after they were in a car accident, working remotely for two days to attend a family member’s funeral, and then three days off to travel for another family member’s funeral. Each request was a battle with supervisors and HR, they added.

“That’s the definition of a toxic work environment, where they make you feel like you’re going insane and then you’re like, no, everything I was feeling was right. It was all leading up to this,” the former staffer, whose story was corroborated by five former employees and medical records, said.

A third former employee said they were given a warning for creating a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for medical costs that weren’t covered by their company health insurance and then sharing it on social media.

Just 24 hours after posting the GoFundMe, they said, they were called into the department head’s office and told to take it down because of concerns it might hurt DeGeneres’s image.

“They discovered my fundraiser, then got mad at me. … They were more concerned about Ellen’s brand instead of helping me out,” the former employee, whose story was corroborated by four other employees, told BuzzFeed News.

About one month later, this employee said they were fired after posting a selfie laughing with coworkers at the office on a personal Instagram story — a violation of their contract — even though others had posted similar photos before.

“Be kind to the world,” they said, “not your employees.”

Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Youtube / Ellentube

According to employees, there’s a division between staff members who work on the show: people who “drink the Kool-Aid” and are usually well-liked by producers, and people who recognize the work environment is toxic. Those who push back against senior producers don’t usually have their contracts renewed, former employees said.

“They hire people who maybe are inexperienced with how a functional, nontoxic work environment actually is, or someone who just wants to be in that atmosphere so bad that they’ll put up with it,” one former employee claimed. “They kind of feed off of that, like, ‘This is Ellen; this is as good as it gets. You’ll never find anything better than this.’”

According to former staffers, those who have “more likable” personality traits, who are willing to work the 10-plus-hour days without complaint, and who actively ignore how managers and senior-level producers treat others have been given new iPhones, JetBlue gift cards, and other swag the show keeps on hand from its sponsors.

“I remember feeling depressed and horrible and sad and just thinking that I can’t leave but I want to leave,” one former employee said. “Everyone was unhappy unless you were one of those people being favored.”

Some employees defended the show’s work culture, saying it’s typical of TV production, but other former employees with experience in the industry said The Ellen DeGeneres Show stood apart as particularly negative.

“We all have a kind of ‘this isn’t normal’ feeling about how people get treated there,” one former employee claimed. “And there’s this ushering out the door. Or your contract isn’t renewed the minute you ruffle anyone’s feathers. Or you don’t show that you’re extremely grateful and appreciative to work there.”

The employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News said they worked in a culture dominated by fear. One of them said a general feeling among staffers was “if you have an issue, don’t even think about bringing it up.”

“I never felt like it was safe to go to my manager when I had issues — because this was the same person who would wait for me to go to the bathroom and then message me, asking me where I was and why I wasn’t at my desk,” one employee said.

“People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that’s not the problem. The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean,” another former employee claimed. “They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there — ‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.’”

And when people did leave — or get fired — managers never addressed the team about it, employees said.

“We had Friday morning weekly meetings, and sometimes people who we worked with forever just wouldn’t be there,” one former employee said, “like, they disappeared, and it was never explained.” ●

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Former NASA astronaut becomes first woman to reach Earth’s deepest point – CNET


The first American woman to complete a spacewalk, Kathy Sullivan, aboard the space shuttle.


The deepest point in Earth’s ocean has been visited by a woman for the first time.

On Sunday, former NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan reached the bottom of the Challenger Deep, almost 6.9 miles (11,000 meters) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, according to EYOS Expeditions. Challenger Deep is considered the deepest point in Earth’s oceans and resides within the Mariana Trench, a mighty, sickle-shaped depression lying about 1,100 miles east of the Philippines. The pressure at the bottom is over 1,000 times the pressure at sea level.

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Sullivan was accompanied by Victor Vescovo, an entrepreneur and deep sea explorer, in the deep sea submersible Limiting Factor. In total, the expedition lasted just under four hours.

The history-making dive was part of the Ring of Fire expedition organized by Caladan Oceanic, a deep-sea exploration company founded by Vescovo. Caladan and Vescovo also oversaw the Five Deeps expedition, which explored the five deepest points on Earth in 2019. The new expedition is expected to provide the first 4K video of the Challenger Deep.   

Upon the pair’s return, EYOS coordinated a call between the duo and the International Space Station, allowing them to discuss their journey with another group of history-making explorers: the US astronauts recently delivered to the ISS by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon

“As a hybrid oceanographer and astronaut this was an extraordinary day, a once in a lifetime day, seeing the moonscape of the Challenger Deep and then comparing notes with my colleagues on the ISS about our remarkable reusable inner-space outer-spacecraft,” she said in a statement

Vescovo funded the new mission and sent a “big congratulations” to Sullivan in a tweet posted Sunday. 

Just back up from Challenger Deep! My co-pilot was Dr. Kathy Sullivan – now the first woman to the bottom of the ocean and a former astronaut as well as NOAA Administrator! Big congratulations to her! This was my 3rd time to the bottom. Well done by the crew, Triton, and EYOS.

— Victor Vescovo (@VictorVescovo) June 7, 2020

The word “challenger” has become a bit of a theme in Sullivan’s expeditions off the surface of the Earth.

She was part of NASA’s historic STS-41-G mission, the sixth flight of the space shuttle Challenger and first to include two women in the crew. On Oct. 11, 1984, she performed a three hour and 29 minute EVA — a spacewalk — the first ever by an American woman. The mission also carried Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and Paul Scully-Power, who famously refused to shave his beard

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Former nightclub owner saw ‘overkill’ in Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin’s reaction to black clientele – The Mercury News

Demonstrators gathered outside a home owned by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Oakdale on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. (Nick Woltman / Pioneer Press) 

A white Minneapolis police officer and the black man he’s charged with killing both worked as security guards at the same Latin nightclub as recently as last year, but its former owner says she’s not sure if they knew each other.

What she is certain of is how aggressive Officer Derek Chauvin became when the club hosted events that drew a mainly black clientele, responding to fights by taking out his mace and spraying the crowd, a tactic she told him was unjustified “overkill.”

Derek Chauvin (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office) 

“He would mace everyone instead of apprehending the people who were fighting,” said Maya Santamaria, former owner of El Nuevo Rodeo club in Minneapolis. “He would call backup. The next thing you would know, there would be five or six squad cars.”

Chauvin became the focus of outrage and four days of street protests across the nation this week after he was seen on cellphone video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for more than eight minutes during his arrest on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill. Floyd died in custody and Chauvin was fired Tuesday and arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. The three other officers who took part in the arrest were also fired, and they remain under investigation.

Chauvin’s off-duty job at  Nuevo Rodeo stretched over 17 years, ending a few months ago. Floyd only recently started working there as a bouncer; he worked about a dozen events put on by African American promoters.

Santamaria, who sold the venue within the past two months, said she doesn’t believe the two men knew each other prior to their fateful encounter Monday night. If Chauvin had recognized Floyd, she said, “he might have given him a little more mercy.”

She said Chauvin got along well with the club’s Latino regulars, but his tactics toward unruly customers on what she referred to as “African American” nights led her to speak to him about it.

“I told him I thought this is unnecessary to be pepper-sprayed. The knee-jerk reaction of being afraid, it seemed overkill,” Santamaria said. “It was a concern and I did voice my opinion, but police officers have a way of justifying what they do.”

She said she was shocked to see the video of Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee, even as Floyd complained that he couldn’t breathe.

“I thought he would have more of a conscience,” she said. “Even if he is a bit of racist, he’s a human being. … At what point does your humanity overpower your racial bias?”

Thomas Kelly, a lawyer for Chauvin, didn’t immediately reply to messages left Friday seeking comment.

Outside Chauvin’s home in Oakdale on Thursday, a message of anger aimed at the former officer was painted in red on his driveway: “murderer.”

A can of red paint and protest signs stand with the trash bins outside Derek Chauvin’s house in Oakdale on Wednesday, 27, 2020. (Nick Woltman / Pioneer Press) 

On Friday, protesters gathered in front of another Chauvin home in Windemere, Fla., which he has owned since 2011 with his wife, Kellie, a Laotian refugee, real estate agent and former Mrs. Minnesota pageant winner.

Both Chauvin and his wife have registered to vote there, rather than in Minnesota, records show. Chauvin last cast a ballot in Florida in November 2018. His wife’s registration is listed as inactive. Both are Republicans.

“I don’t mind peaceful protests at all,” said Oscar Reyes who lives across the street in the quiet neighborhood near Orlando. “I hope everything stays safe.”

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Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin arrested – Fox News

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd. Former U.S. attorney Guy Lewis reacts.

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Former State

Former Ohio State football star Carlos Hyde agrees to deal with Seattle Seahawks: Reports –

Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde carries the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2src2src in Kansas City, Missouri.

Former Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, who rushed for a career-high 1,070 yards with the Houston Texans in 2019, reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.Getty Images

SEATTLE — Former Ohio State football star running back Carlos Hyde and the Seattle Seahawks reached agreement on a one-year deal on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and other reports.

Hyde rushed for a career-high 1,070 yards last season with six touchowns for the Houston Texans. The 29-year-old Hyde carried 245 times and played in all 16 games for the second time in his six-year career.

Hyde joins a backfield in which top backs Chris Carson (hip) and Rashad Penny (ACL) both suffered season-ending injuries in 2019. He became a free agent, and his return to the Texans seemed unlikely after the team traded for former Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson.

Hyde previously played for the San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Browns. He rushed for 1,521 yards and 15 touchdowns as an Ohio State senior in 2013.

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arrested Former

Former QB Ryan Leaf arrested on domestic battery charge – ESPN

10:06 AM ET

  • ESPN News Services

Former quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst Ryan Leaf was arrested Friday on a charge of misdemeanor domestic battery.

Leaf was arrested around 2 p.m. in Palm Desert, California, and booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, according to online jail records.

He was released Friday night on $5,000 bail, according to the records. His next court date is Sept. 25.

Leaf, 44, starred at Washington State and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1997, when he led the Cougars to the Rose Bowl.

He was the No. 2 overall draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1998 but had just a four-year NFL career before his personal life fell apart.

Leaf dealt with drug addiction and spent two years in prison after being arrested in 2012 for breaking into a home in his native Montana to steal prescription drugs and for violating a probation order out of Texas.

After his release, Leaf worked to recover and built a new career in sportscasting.

He was hired by ESPN ahead of the 2019 college football season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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