HBO responds to coffee cup on “Game of Thrones”: “Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea”

Entertainment News  HBO responds to coffee cup on "Game of Thrones": "Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea"



(LOS ANGELES) — Attention Game of Thrones fans who are still chuckling over the inclusion of a Starbucks-like coffee cup in last night’s episode: HBO thinks its funny, too.

The company tweeted on Monday, “The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.”

As previously reported, around the 17:40 minute mark in Sunday’s episode, Daenerys Targaryen was sitting behind a table at Winterfell, and for two seconds you could see a to-go coffee cup on the table. Twitter lost its mind, and the hashtag #Starkbucks started tending after the episode.

Game of Thrones art director Hauke Richter told Variety that it’s not unusual for things that are brought onto sets of TV and movies to be accidentally left behind. 

“Things can get forgotten on set,” he wrote to Variety in an email. “[The coffee cup error has been] so blown out of proportion [because] it has not happened with Thrones so far.”

Richter also told TMZ that the coffee cup in question was not Starbucks; it came from a local coffee shop in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, near where the episode was filmed.

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Posted On 06 May 2019

Amy Schumer welcomes a baby boy with husband Chris Fischer

Entertainment News  Amy Schumer welcomes a baby boy with husband Chris Fischer


Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — It’s a boy for Amy Schumer!

The comedian and her husband Chris Fischer welcomed their first child together Sunday night. Schumer posted a photo of herself cradling the new bundle of joy as Fischer kisses her cheek.

“10:55 pm last night. Our royal baby was born,” she captioned it.

The baby was born just hours before Meghan, Duchess of Sussex welcomed her own baby boy with Prince Harry. Schumer had jokingly compared herself to Meghan throughout their pregnancies.

Schumer had a difficult pregnancy, suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. Back in February, she had to scrap the remaining dates of her comedy tour due to complications from the condition.

But she kept her sense of humor throughout, even posting a funny Instagram photo before heading to the hospital Sunday night. She stopped by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to snap a pic on the steps ahead of Monday night’s glamorous Met Gala. She posed wearing leggings, t-shirt and long cardigan.

“Met look this year,” she wrote. “Last night on the way to the hospital.”

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Posted On 06 May 2019

Emily Mortimer and Grace Van Patten on their “liberating” female friendship in ‘Good Posture’

Entertainment News  Emily Mortimer and Grace Van Patten on their "liberating" female friendship in 'Good Posture'


Savannah JankaoskyThe Tribeca Film Festival came to a close in New York City over the weekend, but during its nearly two-week run, it shined a spotlight on some independent gems.

One such film debuting at the fest was Good Posture, starring up-and-comer Grace Van Patten as an aimless 20-something named Lilian, who moves into the spare room of a famous author’s Brooklyn home. Lilian strikes up a unique bond with the reclusive writer, Julia Price, played by Emily Mortimer.

“The culture has often pitted [women] against each other — especially older women against younger women — and taught us to feel threatened,” Mortimer explains to ABC Radio.

But Mortimer explains that this film shows “how liberating it can be and how beautiful it can be when you stop feeling that way and you actually are curious about each other.”

Good Posture re-teams Mortimer with her best friend, writer-director Dolly Wells, following their HBO series Doll & Em. Van Patten, who grew up on TV sets with her director dad, Tim Van Patten, also knew both Mortimer and Wells beforehand. They shot the film in just 12 days.

“[The] pressure was on but I think ’cause we all know each other really well — I did a play with Dolly before, Emily’s my neighbor and good friend — and I think because we’re all comfortable with each other it wasn’t as high stress,” Van Patten says.

Good Posture is currently seeking U.S. distribution.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 06 May 2019

Church of Scientology ship with measles case on board still quarantined in Curacao as blood samples tested; measles patient now healthy

Manjurul/iStock(NEW YORK) — Hundreds of crew members and passengers aboard the Church of Scientology cruise ship Freewinds must remain under quarantine in the Caribbean until blood samples come back negative for measles, a health official in the ship’s home port of Curacao told ABC News.

The ship, carrying a female crew member who had tested positive for measles but is now healthy, had been quarantined in St. Lucia before arriving in Willemstad, Curacao, Saturday morning, at which point its 216 crew members and 102 passengers were again prevented from disembarking, according to Izzy Gerstenbluth, the head of the Epidemiology and Research Unit at Curacao’s Ministry of Health.

On Saturday, a team led by Gerstenbluth — an epidemiologist and public health physician leading Curacao’s response — boarded the ship and spent the day interviewing passengers and crew members. The team gathered documentation from those who could prove they had been previously vaccinated or were immune to the disease from a prior diagnosis.

At least 31 crew members and 10 passengers were able to provide proof, while health officials took blood samples from 277 people and sent them to the Netherlands to test for measles, Gerstenbluth said.

Those test results are expected to arrive on Wednesday at the latest. Curacao officials will then consult with health authorities in the Netherlands and the Pan American Health Organization as to whether passengers and crew may disembark, according to Gerstenbluth.

Until then, everyone must remain in quarantine, he said, adding that the mood on board was positive.

The Freewinds is described on its website as “a religious retreat that marks for Scientologists the pinnacle of their journey to total spiritual freedom.” No one has been allowed to leave the ship since Tuesday, when it docked in St. Lucia and authorities there said a possible case of the measles was on board.

The next day, an unnamed crew member tested positive, and St. Lucian authorities quarantined the ship until it left Thursday night.

The crew member, who had traveled in Europe before boarding the ship last month, has since recovered, Gerstenbluth said Monday.

“The irony is she’s probably the safest on board,” he said.

Because of the measles case, the Freewinds cancelled a planned stop in Dominica, according to an official there, and nixed a departure for Aruba it had planned for Sunday night, a person familiar with the situation told ABC News.

The Church of Scientology has not responded to repeated requests for comment from ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Number of US measles cases continues to climb, now with 764 reported

Pornpak Khunatorn/iStock(NEW YORK) — The number of measles cases in the U.S. continues to climb, with 60 new cases reported since last week, breaking recent records.

There have been a total of 764 individual cases of measles reported in the U.S. this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of states impacted by the outbreaks has increased from 22 to 23, as Pennsylvania now has at least one reported case of measles.

Less than two weeks ago, the number of measles cases reported in 2019 broke the previous recent annual record, beating 667 cases reported in 2014. At the time, that was the highest number of cases reported since the disease was eliminated in the U.S.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The new number of measles cases reported Monday means that so far this year, there have been nearly 100 more cases than there were in all of 2014.

New York has the highest number of reported measles cases, but other states already have double digit tallies.

California has reported 40 cases in 12 counties. New Jersey has reported 14 cases so far this year, and the state’s department of health said there were currently 12 cases in two counties.

The outbreaks in New York — in both New York City and in suburban Rockland County — first began in the fall of 2018, and have continued into this year.

As of May 3, there were 214 cases of measles in Rockland County, according to the health department. Of those cases, 79.7% of infected individuals were unvaccinated.

In New York City, there have been 423 confirmed measles cases in Brooklyn and Queens between the start of the outbreak in October 2018 and April 29, 2019.

The city’s health department states that “most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.”

Of the 17 measles outbreaks that occurred across the country in 2018, three contributed the highest number of cases, and those cases “occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities,” according to the CDC.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in early April that he was putting an emergency order in place that will fine people in certain zip codes in Brooklyn if they are not vaccinated.

Isaac Abraham, who is involved with Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and frequently speaks to the media on the groups’ behalf, told ABC News that he felt the blame being attributed to the Jewish communities is unfair.

Talking to ABC News in late April, Abraham pointed to de Blasio’s order, saying that the mayor mentioned the Orthodox Jewish community more than a dozen times in his press conference.

Abraham said that there were multiple reasons why some in the community do not vaccinate their children, including skepticism of government orders, frustration with how the city government has approached the issue, and not believing that the vaccine will work. He added that the community has noticed an increased sense of anti-Semitism, as people, he said, appear to attribute the spread of the disease to the Orthodox Jewish community.

In early April, the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg reported an incident in which a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver refused to stop for Orthodox Jewish individuals. When the driver eventually did stop, he shouted “Measles — go in,” according to UJO.

MTA Chief External Affairs Officer Max Young released a statement following the incident.

“The MTA has absolutely zero tolerance for discrimination — we’re taking this issue very seriously and investigating,” he wrote.

As of April 29, the bus operator was on restricted duty and is not in passenger service, pending arbitration, according to an MTA spokesperson.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Red Sox manager bows out of White House visit over president’s comments on Puerto Rico

Sports News Red Sox manager bows out of White House visit over president's comments on Puerto Rico

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(BOSTON) — Amid ongoing criticism over relief funding and the Trump administration’s handling of hurricane-related devastation in Puerto Rico, the Boston Red Sox will now be one leader shy of a full team when the World Series champions visit the White House on Thursday to celebrate their historic 2018 season.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the latest member of the team to bow out of the visit, told a Puerto Rican newspaper he “doesn’t feel comfortable celebrating” at the White House because of the way President Donald Trump has handled natural disaster relief following Hurricane Maria, which struck his home of Puerto Rico in September of 2017.

“Even though the United States Government has helped, there’s still a long road ahead and that is our reality. I’ve used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten and my absence [from the White House] is no different. As such, at this moment, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House,” Cora told El Nueva Dia, a Puerto Rican newspaper. In August, officials raised the official death toll from Hurricane Maria to almost 3,000 people.

Zineb Curran, the vice president of corporate communications for the Red Sox, confirmed to ABC News that Cora will not be attending. The 43-year-old manager, former Red Sox player and three-time World Series champion spoke with the team about his decision, Curran said.

“We fully support Alex and respect his decision. We are grateful to our ownership for creating a culture where we discuss these issues openly and encourage individual decision making. Alex spoke with the team and is supporting those who are looking forward to being honored on Thursday,” Curran told ABC News.

Congress is in the midst of negotiating a disaster relief deal that Democrats want to include increased aid to Puerto Rico but Trump has consistently railed against the measure, saying Puerto Rico should be “very happy” with the aid it’s received.

 Trump has repeated similar claims before but Democrats argue $91 billion is far higher than the actual figure.

In his statement to El Nueva Dia, Cora described the destruction he witnessed when he traveled home this past winter, more than a year after the Category 5 hurricane hit the island, as a reason for his decision.

“Puerto Rico is very important to me. During the winter I spent a lot of time back home, visiting my family and friends. Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting. Some people still lack basic necessities, others remain without electricity and many homes and schools are in pretty bad shape almost a year and a half after Hurricane María struck,” Cora told El Nueva Dia.

Of the 26 players on the Red Sox’ active roster, six players on the World Series championship team have announced in media reports they won’t be attending the White House ceremony. Curran could not publicly confirm the players’ decisions but said there would be over 20 players attending Thursday, in addition to about 20 coaches, staff and trainers and a large group of team executives, owners and partners.

The baseball team members’ concerns about attendance is part of an ongoing trend for Trump’s administration. In the past, the president has disinvited teams whose players were critical of him in the face of a White House invitation – including the Golden State Warriors of the NBA and the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 06 May 2019

Busy Philipps announces ‘Busy Tonight’ is cancelled, then gets a Critics Choice nomination

Entertainment News  Busy Philipps announces 'Busy Tonight' is cancelled, then gets a Critics Choice nomination


Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment(LOS ANGELES) — Today has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Busy Philipps.

First, she announced on social media that E! would not be picking up her talk show, Busy Tonight, for more episodes. Then, just hours later, she found out she was nominated for a Critics Choice Real TV Award for the show.

“Well this is a f****** WILD turn of events this morning; I was just nominated for a @CriticsChoice Real TV Award for Show Host,” Philipps tweeted Monday. “THANK YOU.”

She added on Instagram that the nomination “couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Prior to the nomination, Philipps had posted, “Just wanted to let you know my show Busy Tonight won’t be continuing on the E network after May 16.”

She added that she’s “beyond proud” of the show and is “hopeful” it can find another home.

E! will air the show’s eight remaining episodes Monday through Thursday at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT over the next two weeks.

The Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards will air on VH1 on June 9.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 06 May 2019

Study shows that active ingredients in sunscreen may be absorbed into the bloodstream, FDA says

boophotography/iStock(NEW YORK) — The active ingredients in sunscreen may soak all the way into the user’s bloodstream, according to the results of a study released by the Food and Drug Administration.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Monday, evaluated the systemic absorption of four commercially available sunscreens. Researchers found that at least one active ingredient was absorbed in significant amounts in all four formulas tested, according to the FDA.

The fact that an ingredient is absorbed through the skin and into the body does not mean the ingredient is unsafe, and the public should continue to use sunscreens of at least 15 SPF along with other protective measures, such as sunglasses and hats, according to the FDA.

“Skin cancer incidence rates continue to rise, making risk from excess sun exposure an important public health priority,” according to the agency.

The study shows that further testing is needed to determine the safety of the absorbed ingredients for repeated use.

Last month, the FDA announced that mineral sunscreen ingredients, specifically zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are safe, but another 12 ingredients commonly used in sunscreens, including oxybenzone and octinoxate, need more research to determine if they can be officially listed as safe.

The FDA is asking the industry for additional safety data on those 12 ingredients. The agency began regulating sunscreens in the 1970s.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

HBO mini-series ‘Chernobyl’ explores “mind-blowing” details of 1986 nuclear disaster

Entertainment News  HBO mini-series 'Chernobyl' explores "mind-blowing" details of 1986 nuclear disaster


Liam Daniel/HBO(LOS ANGELES) — The new HBO mini-series Chernobyl premieres tonight, focusing on the 1986 nuclear disaster in the town of Chernobyl in Soviet Ukraine and its aftermath. Creator Craig Mazin tells ABC Radio the historical drama series dives deep into the lesser-known aspects of the catastrophe.

“The explosion is the least of it,” he says. “What happened with the people there, and what people did to fix it, and what people did to cause it, is mind-blowing.”

He was inspired to tell the story because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the event, which was the most disastrous nuclear accident in history.  Mazin says he knew almost nothing about Chernobyl until about five years ago, when he went down an internet rabbit hole looking for info.

“I knew Chernobyl exploded the way I knew that the Titanic sank, but if you say to people, ‘How did the Titanic sink?’ they’ll tell you it was an iceberg,” he says. “No one knows how Chernobyl exploded, nobody knows why.”

On top of that, Mazin feels the story – particularly the spread of lies and misinformation that occurred – is especially timely given what’s happening today with climate change.

“I mean now we’re talking about our entire planet as a kind of Chernobyl, and we’re talking about the people running major nations acting in the way that the least informed and the least heroic people in Chernobyl act,” he says.

Chernobyl, starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson, premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 06 May 2019

Human activity has put 1 million species at risk of extinction: UN report

WORLD NEWS Human activity has put 1 million species at risk of extinction: UN report

Daniel Stevenson/iStock(NEW YORK) — Humans are pushing one million species to the brink of extinction, and nature is declining “at rates unprecedented in human history,” according to a new report from the United Nations.

A summary of the report, released Monday, paints a grave picture of a planet significantly altered by humans.

“We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” said Sir Robert Watson, the chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES), responsible for the report. Watson added that while it is not too late to begin to change course, humans must “start now at every level from local to global.”

Around 75% of Earth’s terrestrial environment has been “severely altered” by human actions, according to the report, and in most major land habitats, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has dropped by 20 percent or more, mostly within the past century.

“When you think about 1 million species, it really brings it home that we are the stewards of the earth,” Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, chief program officer with the Natural Resource Defense Council, told ABC News.

The report found that the major drivers of natural destruction are changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species.

Since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled, raising average global temperatures by at least 0.7 degrees Celsius, according to the report. As a result, climate change may become the biggest disrupter of nature in the coming decades. Even if temperature rise stops at 2 degrees Celsius, the IPBES summary posits that a majority of land species’ populations will “shrink profoundly.”

Achim Steiner, the director-general of UNESCO, said in a statement these findings are a wake up call.

“This essential report reminds each of us of the obvious truth: the present generations have the responsibility to bequeath to future generations a planet that is not irreversibly damaged by human activity,” he wrote.

Casey-Lefkowitz believes that there are available solutions to the problems that the report details.

“The question is do we have the political will to do them?”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 06 May 2019