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Elon Musk Visits Destroyed Kibbutz and Meets Netanyahu in Wake of Antisemitic Post

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Elon Musk visited Israel on Monday, meeting with leaders and touring through a kibbutz destroyed by Hamas last month in an attempt to quell criticism over his support for an anti-Semitic remark on his social media platform, X.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drove Musk to Kfar Azza, one of the kibbutzim targeted on October 7. Abigail Edan, a four-year-old American dual citizen kidnapped by the militant group that day and released the next day, lived on the kibbutz.

Musk agreed with Netanyahu in a live online conversation on X on Monday that Israel must eliminate Hamas.

“Those who intend to murder must be stopped. The propaganda must then cease,” Musk stated. “They’re just training people to be murderers.”

He also stated that Gaza must be “prosperous.”

“If (all) that happens, I think it will be a good future,” he said. “I’d love to help.”

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Musk also met behind closed doors with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

According to a readout from the meeting, Herzog pushed Musk to combat internet antisemitism.

“Unfortunately, we are inundated with antisemitism, which is hatred of Jews,” Herzog said in a statement. “I think we need to fight this together, because the platforms you lead, unfortunately, have a large reservoir of hatred, hatred of Jews, antisemitism.”

According to an earlier statement from the president’s office, representatives from the families of Hamas hostage families attended the meeting to express “the horrors of the Hamas terror attack, as well as the ongoing pain and uncertainty for those held captive.”

According to the Israeli government press office, Israeli officials recounted what had happened to Musk during the visit to the damaged kibbutz.

“The prime minister and Musk then proceeded to the Edan family home, where Musk heard about the family story of four-year-old Abigail Edan, whose parents were murdered and who was kidnapped to Gaza and released yesterday from Hamas captivity,” the office of the prime minister said.

The billionaire’s trip to Israel comes less than a week after he agreed with the notion that Jewish communities incite “hatred against Whites,” prompting a condemnation from the White House and a significant departure of advertisers from X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

One user accused Jewish groups earlier this month in an X post of “pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” The message allegedly alluded to “hordes of minorities” invading Western countries, a common antisemitic conspiracy theory.

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Musk responded, “You have said the actual truth.”

Online hate organizations have promoted the antisemitic conspiracy idea that Jews intend to import illegal minority populations into Western countries to diminish the White majority in such countries.

Musk then stated in subsequent posts that he does not believe hatred of White people extends “to all Jewish communities.”

However, he claimed that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a global anti-antisemitism group, “unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel.” This is because, according to their own beliefs, they cannot attack the minority groups that constitute their major threat.”

The remarks, which coincide with an increase in hate crimes against Jews and Muslims in the United States, attracted rapid condemnation from human rights organizations and politicians.

Musk has also disputed racist accusations, writing on X last week that any assertions that he is antisemitic are “far from the truth.”

The problem is becoming too tough for X to ignore. The controversy has quickly developed into a serious business nightmare for the corporation, with at least a dozen large brands suspending advertising spending as of last Wednesday. Disney, IBM, Fox Sports, and even the European Commission are among them.

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Elon Musk visited Israel on Monday, meeting with leaders and touring through a kibbutz destroyed by Hamas last month

Even before the present upheaval, X had been chastised for the abundance of antisemitic content on their network. Organizations like as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Center for Countering Digital Hate had documented a spike in hate speech on X in the previous year, which Musk either criticized or disputed.

Musk vowed to sue the ADL for defamation in September, alleging that the group’s reports had damaged advertising sales on X.

More recently, the organization has observed a significant spike in antisemitic posts on X, notably after the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war in early October.

X has responded to similar charges made by the progressive media watchdog Media Matters, which highlighted antisemitic and pro-Nazi content on X in a previous analysis.

In response, X has sued Media Matters, claiming that the organization overstated the likelihood of adverts running alongside extremist content on the platform. It has also asked its advertising partners to assist in defending what it refers to as “freedom of speech.”

Musk’s visit to Israel coincides with a cessation of hostilities with Hamas. In the first three days of a truce, Hamas released 58 captives, mostly women and children, in exchange for the release of 117 Palestinian prisoners and has stated that it intends to extend the truce.

Herzog spoke to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday about the bittersweet sensation of seeing freed prisoners reunited with their families.

“It’s something that gives us happiness, but of course, happiness with a lot of sorrow in it because there are at least 200 hostages still held out there,” Herzog told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Herzog said the truce may be prolonged, citing the initial agreement that a day of ceasefire would be added for every ten hostages released, but that it was up to Hamas to liberate more prisoners.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

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According to a statement on his agent’s website, Chris Gauthier, an actor best known for roles in “Once Upon a Time,” “Eureka,” and other well-known Hallmark Channel movies, passed away on February 23.

He was 48.

His agent, Chad Colvin, confirmed the news on Facebook, adding, “This still doesn’t feel real. How could it be? “A world without you is much darker.”

His reps verified the news to CNN.

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Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

“So much so that when his wife contacted me with the news yesterday, I grieved for hours in shock. “It took me until now to fully mentally and emotionally prepare myself to write this,” Colvin wrote on Sunday. “When I started in the talent representation profession almost nine years ago this month, it was at the request of one specific actor. However, I realised I needed more clients to get started if any event would take my business venture seriously. Chris Gauthier was the second actor to join the cast after recalling my experience as a press member on the Eureka production.”

“He felt my excitement for this new endeavour, he trusted me and he had faith in what I wanted to do to get him out there with the public and fans more,” he said. “Without Chris’ excitement and devotion, I wouldn’t be able to book practically the whole Eureka cast. His word of mouth, trust, and unending love of life encouraged me every day.”

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Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

Colvin cited Gauthier’s work on shows such as “Smallville” and “Supernatural,” as well as his role as William Smee on “Once Upon a Time.”

“Brother…Colvin commented, “I will miss you more than you can imagine.” “I wish we could have spent more time together and that you realised how much of an impact you had on my life and everyone else’s. “Without you, this world feels smaller and colder.”

Raphael Sbarge, the actor’s “Once Upon a Time” co-star, also expressed his condolences.

gauthier

Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

“A sweeter, happier soul would be hard to find,” Sbarge wrote in the caption to a group photo he shared on his verified Instagram account. “A man of consummate character, generosity and great talent, he was someone who cared deeply, loved his art, and was always kind to everyone he met.”

Gauthier’s other credits include the TV shows “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Joe Pickett,” and various Hallmark TV movies, including “Ms. Christmas Comes to Town.”

“We’re sorry to learn of Chris Gauthier’s passing. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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2024: Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

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Bridgit Mendler, known for appearing on Good Luck Charlie and other Disney productions, is venturing into new territory: space.

Disney has effectively launched the careers of major stars such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. However, one former child actor who starred on the network is pursuing a different venture: a space corporation.

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Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Bridgit, a 31-year-old singer and actor best known for her role as Teddy Duncan on the Disney Channel original series Good Luck Charlie, announced this week on X (formerly Twitter) that she is venturing into uncharted territory by launching Northwood Space, a California-based satellite data startup.

Bridgit will lead the company as CEO, while her husband, Gryphon Cleverly, whom she married in 2019, will serve as chief technical officer. “Expect the unexpected!” she posted on X, reacting to a CNBC reporter who broke the story.

According to Ari Eisenstat, the space programme director for the upcoming Texas Eclipse Festival, Bridgit’s venture into science “is a great example of space moving from the domain of governments to becoming accessible to everyone”. Eisenstadt adds that we should all look to “younger generations to see diverse entrepreneurs create social, economic, and environmental impact in the space community”.

According to Bridgit’s post on X, investors have already provided $6.3 million (£4.9 million) in preliminary funding for the startup to create “a data highway between Earth and space.” Mendler said, “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but that’s the fun part.”

While it may come as a surprise to her followers, Mendler has always had interests beyond performing. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 and began working at the MIT Media Lab in 2017. She enrolled in the graduate programme in 2018 and will begin her doctorate in philosophy at MIT in 2020. The next year, Mendler enrolled at Harvard Law School.

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Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Then, Mendler told CNBC that the seed of the Northwood idea was planted while she was in New Hampshire during the COVID-19 lockdown. “While everyone else was preparing their sourdough starts, we created antennae from whatever we could find at Home Depot. For me, the ground side is important because it brings the effects of space closer to people. However, it wasn’t until she started working at the Federal Communications Commission in 2022 that she understood her new path: she told CNBC it was when she “completely fell in love with space law”.

Mendler’s big news has her admirers excited to follow up, and her X announcement currently has over 23,000 likes. Northwood Space, which plans to mass-produce massive terrestrial antennas that connect to satellites in space, says: “The one-lane rickety road for space data needs to adapt to a ten-lane highway routing continuous traffic across the globe.”And, as a woman in science who changed careers to pursue her ambition, Mendler is likely to inspire other women to make timely career changes.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Laurie Bardon Syphard, an environmental science educator, says she’s impressed by Mendler’s credentials and is already excited about her new business. “My gut is telling me that she is going to go really far with this career in science and technology,” she adds, adding that the young scientist’s Disney admirers would most certainly keep an eye on her, especially given space is “one of the areas that just is exciting and inspires people”.

Mendler’s followers appear to agree and have taken to X to celebrate her continuous success. One fan wrote, “She’s Barbie. Like 12 different careers. Singer/songwriter, actor, Harvard PhD in law, MIT PHD student, startup CEO.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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2024 OSCARS: Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Oscars

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NEW YORK — After a winter of award events, including the Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys, the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Awards, is just around the horizon. The 96th Academy Awards may be a coronation for “Oppenheimer,” which leads with 13 nominations, but other films, including “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and “Poor Things,” are also in the running.

Here’s what you should know about this year’s show:

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When are the Oscars?

The Oscars will be on Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The event will begin at 7 p.m. EDT, one hour earlier than normal, and will be live on ABC. The pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This is an early reminder to set your clocks – the first day of daylight saving time in the United States.

Are the Oscars livestreamed?
You can access the show on ABC.com and the ABC app with a cable subscription. You may also watch on Hulu Live, YouTube, AT&T, and FuboTV.

Who is hosting the Oscars?
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the ceremony last year, will serve as emcee for the fourth time. That matches him with fellow four-timers Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon, leaving Kimmel trailing only Johnny Carson (five), Billy Crystal (nine), and Bob Hope (eleven) among Oscar hosts. “I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” Kimmel told the audience.

What films are nominated for Best Picture at the 2024 Oscars?
The ten best-picture nominees are: “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” and “The Zone of Interest.”

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Who are the favourites?

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is the front-runner. Nolan, the best director favourite, is expected to win his first Oscar. The best actress category could be a close call between Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) and Emma Stone (“Poor Things”). If Gladstone wins, she will be the first Native American to win an Oscar. Best actor might also be a tight call between Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) and Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”). They would be first-time winners. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Giamatti’s co-star, is the favourite to win Best supporting actress, while Robert Downey Jr. (“Oppenheimer”) is predicted to win Best Supporting Actor. Ryan Gosling is his closest competitor for “Barbie.”

What’s with the ‘Barbie’ snubs?
While “Barbie,” 2023’s largest box-office blockbuster, received eight nominations, much of the conversation has focused on the film’s lack of nominations. Greta Gerwig was not nominated for directing, while Margot Robbie did not win best actress. Some have detected reflections of the misogyny spoofed in “Barbie,” while others have noted comedians’ traditionally poor reception at the Oscars. The nominations for “Barbie” include best-adapted screenplay (by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach), best supporting actress (America Ferrera), and two best song nominees: Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” and Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s “I’m Just Ken.”

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Are there any changes to this year’s Oscars?

Though prior Oscars have been marred by slaps, envelope snafus, and debates about which prizes are presented live during the ceremony, this year’s show promises to remain relatively unchanged. All of the awards will be broadcast live. The academy is introducing a new award for best casting, but the trophy will be handed in at the 2026 Oscars.

What else is there to look for?
Composer John Williams has been nominated for his record 49th best-score Oscar for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and 54th overall. Godzilla is making his Oscar debut, with “Godzilla Minus One” nominated for outstanding visual effects. Two non-English language films are nominated for Best Picture for the first time: the German-language Auschwitz drama “The Zone of Interest” and the French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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