- WorldAssociated Press
A powerful explosion shook a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, sending thick grey smoke billowing over the village, but the cause was not clear. Lebanon's official news agency, NNA, said the explosion in the southern village of Ain Qana, above the port city of Sidon, coincided with intense Israeli overflights “that did not leave the skies” over the area since Tuesday morning. The Israeli military said it had no comment.
- EntertainmentThe Wrap
Ellen DeGeneres opened Season 18 of “The Ellen DeGeneres” show Monday with a monologue that addressed the toxic workplace accusations posed against the show by current and former employees over the summer. But DeGeneres’ speech, which included apologies and a promise to start a “new chapter” at her show, was found tone-deaf by some former and current “Ellen” staffers due to the inclusion of jokes, according to BuzzFeed News.One former employee told BuzzFeed news, “When she said, ‘Oh my summer was great’ and that was supposed to be funny I thought, ‘It’s funny that you had a rough summer because everyone was calling out all of the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you’re the one suffering?'”“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” another former staffer told BuzzFeed News.Also Read: Ellen DeGeneres Opens Season 18 With Apology for Toxic Workplace Accusations, Says She Is 'That Person You See on TV' (Video)One current “Ellen” employee told BuzzFeed News they also did not approve of the “inappropriate jokes” in DeGeneres’ on-air apology, adding that they were frustrated that their responsibilities at the show were “put on hold” until DeGeneres’ premiere monologue had been delivered. The staffer told BuzzFeed News they are relieved they can get back to work now, but say “it’s all tactical.”“The average person will listen to it and make their own choices, but what people don’t always take into account is that information is power, and she’s sharing it now because it’s for premiere week and it’s to get viewers back, and that just feels the opposite of what this message is about,” the employee said.A spokesperson for DeGeneres declined to comment Tuesday and representatives for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and distributor Warner Bros. TV did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request.Also Read: 'Ellen DeGeneres Show' Sets Season 18 Premiere - 'And, Yes, We're Gonna Talk About It,' Host PromisesAn individual with knowledge of the situation on set told TheWrap that the environment “feels very different,” and that DeGeneres is “more engaged than ever.” The insider says that DeGeneres had been connecting with her staff over Zoom leading up to Monday’s premiere to make sure they feel “heard and valued.”More to come…Read original story Current and Former ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ Staffers Say Her On-Air Apology Was Tone-Deaf (Report) At TheWrap
Um...also..."he did not think that Christina and Ant would last.”
- PoliticsThe Week
I have made no secret of my view that the greatest failing of Donald Trump's presidency has been his handling of Supreme Court vacancies. His first term in office, which has coincided with his party's control of the Senate, was the culmination of decades of work by social conservatives and legal activists to remake the federal judiciary. I have never seen this coalition more united than it was in 2018 behind the much-vaunted possibility of nominating Amy Coney Barrett, the distinguished Notre Dame law professor and U.S. Appeals Court judge.Instead the president tapped Brett Kavanaugh, a decision which disappointed many of Trump's supporters. The sense that he all but betrayed the single most enthusiastic segment of his base explains, among other things, the president's decision to address more than 100,000 anti-abortion protesters in person at the annual March for Life back in January.With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the age of 87, Trump has been given a chance to rectify this mistake, albeit under the most extraordinary circumstances imaginable, by nominating Barrett to the Supreme Court, as he is widely expected to do as early as Monday. She would not be the first justice appointed during an election year, nor would she be the first whose confirmation took less than 45 days. But replacing the high court's longest tenured liberal justice with Barrett, who at the age of 48 would likely end up serving for something like half a century, would be audacious by any measure.It would also be incredibly difficult — arguably the greatest high-wire act in the modern history of the upper chamber. At present there are two likely Republican defectors in the Senate, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Two more would be enough to sink her nomination, and I would not put it past Willard Romney, whose loathing for the president is far more intense than his commitment to any of his ostensible principles, to endear himself further to Trump's critics by breaking rank here. Meanwhile, unlike during the confirmations of both Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, no one should expect Joe Manchin of West Virginia to cross party lines on Barrett's behalf. Any other Democratic defections are unthinkable.Nor is the raw Senate math the only factor that would make Barrett's confirmation difficult. There are also a number of questions about the logistics of holding hearings that would require senators bogged down in re-election campaigns to be in Washington, D.C., to say nothing of the customary individual meetings with the presumptive nominee. Vice President Pence himself would likely have to be on hand in order to vote in the case of a tie, not exactly a remote contingency under the present circumstances.The least important thing is worrying about "messaging" here. No one believed the Republicans' insistence in 2016 that they were only refusing to hold hearings on President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following the death of Antonin Scalia because it was an election year. This is why despite his recent suggestions to the contrary I fully expect Iowa's Chuck Grassley, the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the vast majority of his colleagues who opposed Garland to fall in line behind the president and the Senate majority leader. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and even with Halloween fast approaching I do not expect the GOP to let any magical creatures interfere with its ability to press the greatest advantage it enjoys at present.If Trump can get 50 votes, Barrett — or some hitherto undiscussed dark-horse nominee — will be confirmed before Nov. 3.More stories from theweek.com As the U.S. hits 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, Trump tells an Ohio rally the coronavirus 'affects virtually nobody' Democrats have a better option than court packing Stephen Colbert's Late Show takes Lindsey Graham up on his offer, uses his words against him
Matthew Modine's "Dark Knight Rises" character originally met his maker in gruesome fashion.
- U.S.Business Insider
A Kennedy who worked on Jared Kushner's COVID-19 task force said he was asked to distort a coronavirus prediction to make the outbreak seem less bad
Max Kennedy Jr., a Democrat, said he joined Jared Kushner's coronavirus response team hoping that it would rise above politics. It did not.
- PoliticsThe Week
Mueller didn't investigate Trump's finances or question Ivanka Trump due to blowback fears, prosecutor recounts
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian election interference and President Trump's 2016 campaign treated Trump's family and personal finances with kid gloves, mostly out of concern that Trump would shut down the investigation, former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann writes in a new book, Where Law Ends.At one critical juncture in 2017, the Mueller team issued a subpoena to Deutsch Bank for records about Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Ukraine income, and even though the subpoenas were secret, the White House found out and demanded to know if Mueller was seeking financial information on Trump, Weissmann recounts, according to The New York Times.Mueller authorized his cautious deputy, Aaron Zebley, to assure the White House they had not subpoenaed Trump's financial records, and "at that point, any financial investigation of Trump was put on hold," Weissmann writes. "That is, we backed down — the issue was simply too incendiary; the risk, too severe." He points to other dropped leads, like "payments linked to a Russian oligarch" turning up in the same account from which Trump paid two purported paramours, and Trump's active efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.Weissmann also reveals that even though Ivanka Trump spoke with a Russian delegation that met in Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials about handing over Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, Mueller's investigators did not try to question her because they "feared that hauling her in for an interview would play badly to the already antagonistic right-wing press — look how they're roughing up the president's daughter — and risk enraging Trump."Those fears might have been justified early on in the investigation, before they got up and running, Weissmann told the Times, but he and other team leaders believed they should have gotten more aggressive later on. "We would have subpoenaed the president after he refused our accommodations, even if that risked us being fired," he wrote. "It just didn't sit right. We were left feeling like we had let down the American public, who were counting on us to give it our all."More stories from theweek.com As the U.S. hits 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, Trump tells an Ohio rally the coronavirus 'affects virtually nobody' Democrats have a better option than court packing Stephen Colbert's Late Show takes Lindsey Graham up on his offer, uses his words against him