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Nelsan Ellis dead at age 39

Actor Nelsan Ellis has died at age 39. He is best known for HBO's "True Blood, and for his roles in "The Soloist" and "The Help." The cause of death was heart failure, his manager said.
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MTA’s Sarah Feinberg says subway safety will improve as riders return
Subway ridership plummeted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to hover around 2 million daily riders -- much less than the 5.5 million daily trips in 2019.
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Pastor Greg Locke Attacks Joe Biden, Calls Pope 'Biggest Pedophile on the Planet'
People tell me "Joe Biden is a practising catholic," Locke said. "So is the Pope but he's the biggest pedophile on the planet."
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Flu season could get worse, experts warn
This winter's flu season might get worse because of an imperfect vaccine and steady cold weather, flu experts and public health officials said this week.
Queen Elizabeth II reflects on coronation
For the first time, Queen Elizabeth II is sharing what it was like to experience her coronation back in 1953. CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata has the details on the documentary that has the queen opening up.
Tough flu season could get worse
Flu season is off to a nasty start across the country, resulting in a spike in hospital visits. CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook explains why it's been hard to get under control.
"Time's Up" movement takes center stage at Golden Globes
Prominent actresses used the Golden Globes to highlight the "Time's Up" movement, created in response to a wave of sexual assault and misconduct allegations against prominent men. CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal reports.
Long suspected of murder, she confessed but avoided prison
There was no shortage of tips about who killed Pamela Pitts, a rowdy but compassionate 19-year-old whose body was found burned beyond recognition in a pile of trash in 1988
Romney cancer treatment; Trump Tower fire; Calif. floods
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was treated for prostate cancer over the summer, and a fire at Trump Tower in New York City resulted in three injuries.
3 romance novels by Stacey Abrams to be re-released
Stacey Abrams is known as a fierce voting rights advocate, a former gubernatorial candidate and a rising star in the Democratic Party. But the Georgia Democrat is also known by another name: Selena Montgomery.
What Elon Musk’s SNL Jokes Obscured
However your 2021 is going, what’s undeniable is that after Donald Trump left office earlier this year, a strange cultural quietude settled upon America. No one would dare call it peace. But the audiences for TV news and online media immediately shrunk. Rather than fretting quite as much about an imminent civil war, commentators have been arguing about sexy hip-hop videos. Saturday Night Live, the rare 21st-century entertainment that most Americans seem to maintain some awareness of, has been adrift. Millions of viewers have been sitting out the 2021 season. The show’s most notable segment this year was about sassy icebergs.Recently, though, America appears to be auditioning a new candidate for prime agitator of profitable controversy: Elon Musk. When SNL announced that the 49-year-old Tesla CEO would host last night’s show, it kicked off a national argument with all-too-familiar overtones. Musk is a billionaire commanding a personality cult with trollish tweets. He’s a self-styled savior of mankind who also downplayed the threat of COVID-19. He’s a white man who thinks he’s funny but who really, really isn’t. Some pundits chided SNL for elevating a figure who has used public platforms to bully and spread misinformation. Others cheered open discourse and capitalism. Musk’s fans dreamed of him plugging their favorite cryptocurrency, Dogecoin. SNL appeared all but sure to bust its ratings slump.[Read: SNL is breaking with its old patterns]The episode that ultimately aired didn't feel worth the fuss. It wasn’t offensive, redemptive, memorable, or even entertaining. Yet, as Trump’s history with SNL shows, the cloak of mildness and mediocrity can be useful for someone whose true influence has little to do with comedy or charm.The pundits who said SNL would “humanize” Musk were onto something, though it’s tough to criticize the humanization of any living, breathing person. The show opened with a feel-good Mother’s Day montage of cast members bantering with their moms while Miley Cyrus sang Dolly Parton’s “Light Of A Clear Blue Morning.” Musk’s mom later joined him for his monologue. But first, he showed up onstage alone, dressed in a dictator-chic suit, and offered this factlet: “I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL.”The historicity of that milestone for SNL was debatable (Dan Aykroyd said, years after hosting the show, he had Aspergers too). For Musk, though, the remark represented a first-time public disclosure of a personal condition. He then touted his grand vision—“a renewable-energy future” in which humanity becomes “a multi-planetary spacefaring civilization”—while acknowledging his antics have often distracted from that vision. “To anyone I have offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars and I'm sending people to Mars on a rocket ship,” he said. “Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?” An apology for dissing vaccines or attacking whistleblowers, this was not. It was, however, decent brand management.In an oddly insistent way, much of the episode reiterated Musk as myth rather than man by having him play versions of his own persona. When he appeared as a “Gen Z Hospital” doctor trading slang with a group of kids, it brought to mind Musk’s penchant for recycling memes on Twitter. Later in the episode, Musk played himself, the SpaceX head honcho, confidently communicating with a Mars colony in crisis (Pete Davidson’s recurring doofus, Chad, became a hero and went splat—R.I.P. Chad!). One bit had Musk playing an unfairly stereotyped villain, Nintendo’s Wario, while Musk’s girlfriend, the singer Grimes, made a cameo as Princess Peach. The last sketch of the night featured him pitching Wild West versions of his Boring Company; buried in the bit was, finally, a tepid mea culpa for mocking COVID-19 safety measures.None of this meta-Musk riffing worked well as comedy, but also none of it was worse than the expected SNL nonsense. Like so many previous hosts of the show, Musk came off as just another celeb undergoing a PR ritual with enthusiasm but not inspiration. In the most trenchant sketch of the night, a pre-filmed vignette about the awkwardness of post-quarantine small talk, he blended in well as a normie at a cocktail party. He also did fine when introducing the evening’s musical guest, Cyrus, who continued her impressive reinvention as the gritty-voiced ambassador between the internet generation and baby-boomer rock.[Read: Elon Musk’s SNL hosting gig is a trap]Only during Weekend Update did the particular significance of Musk’s power assert itself. To kick off the segment, Colin Jost and Michael Che made mildly pointed barbs about recent rocket-related headlines. A Chinese spacecraft had broken apart and crashed back to the Earth only moments before the broadcast—a perfect example of how science like the kind Musk funds can have consequences for even the human beings who aren’t paying attention.Then Musk appeared, playing a bowtie-wearing cryptocurrency expert named Lloyd Ostertag. Here was the moment the internet had been panting about. Cryptocurrency has recently graduated from a subcultural phenomenon to an asset class with greater value than all of the U.S. dollars in the world. In the previous month, the market capitalization of Dogecoin—a joke online currency that Musk once called “pretty cool”—had surged to more than $73 billion. Social-media platforms were boiling with excitement that Musk’s SNL appearance would boost its value even more.Musk ended Weekend Update by howling “to the moon!”—the rallying cry of Doge—yet really he’d sunken the currency into a lagoon: Over the course of the episode, its value ended up plummeting 28 percent. Poor Doge. Really, Musk had done exactly what the currency’s devotees wanted by talking at length about crypto. As Che and Jost expressed mystification about online money, Musk acknowledged that “it’s a hustle,” but also said, “It’s the future of currency. It’s an unstoppable financial vehicle that’s going to take over the world.” Well, which is it—is Dogecoin a hustle, or is it the future? Both things can be true. Online currency has no value outside of its own hype, which is a function of marketing, groupthink, and, yes, memes.It’s worth remembering that Musk wields influence outside of hype. He commands billions in capital and has credible designs for transforming human civilization altogether. Yet when watching him perform sketches with little intrinsic comedic value but lots of self-referentiality, his true significance becomes obscured. He comes to feel like just a celebrity: Someone who matters only because people feel that he matters. Critics aren’t wrong to say there’s danger to this sort of portrayal. The reaction to the episode will cleave into the familiar clans of a culture war—fans and haters—when really the audience should be united in wariness. Musk could drop a rocket on any of our heads, whether we’re laughing at him or not.
GOP Rep. Banks: Liz Cheney is a ‘distraction’ and must be ousted
Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, has stoked controversy inside the Republican Party by continuing to speak out against Trump's claims that the presidential election was stolen.
Happy 72nd birthday, Billy Joel! His life in pictures
Billy Joel has been entertaining fans since the '60s. The "Piano Man" turns 72 on May 9, 2021. His life in pictures.
Trump addresses farmers conference
President Trump addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation members in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday. In his speech he spoke about how the newly passed tax bill will benefit farmers by “sparing them” from the estate tax and signed an executive order increasing broadband access in rural areas. Watch his full remarks.
Melinda Gates has been meeting with divorce lawyers since 2019: report
Bill Gates’ wife has been talking to divorce lawyers for more than 18 months — and was concerned in part by his ties to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, according to a bombshell report Sunday. Melinda Gates, 56, has been working with lawyers at several firms since at least October 2019 — the same month her husband...
Bill Reiter on the college football title game, NFL playoffs
The Georgia Bulldogs will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship. CBS Sports' Bill Reiter, host of "Reiter Than You," joins CBSN to break down the big game and to discuss the NFL playoffs.
Narco tunnel linked to El Chapo found across from Mexican National Guard base
Mexican authorities discovered a 650-foot tunnel built by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in Tijuana — across the street from a National Guard base
NBC's Chuck Todd fails to ask Fauci about COVID origins amid questions about Wuhan lab
"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd failed to ask guest Dr. Anthony Fauci about the origins of the coronavirus on Sunday, which some viewers considered an oversight, particularly in light of reports that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Kentucky Derby winner's trainer speaks out after doping allegations
Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for elevated levels of betamethasone, trainer Bob Baffert revealed, throwing the horse's victory last weekend at Churchill Downs into question.
California prepares for heavy rain and mudslides
Storms brought rare rain to California on Monday and increased the risk of mudslides in fire-ravaged communities, driving property owners to stack sandbags and authorities to order evacuations.
Lions RB Jamaal Williams has a special connection to the women in his life
Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams has stars tattoos with the names of important women in his life, including his mom, sister and grandmother.
Americans Who Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction Doubles Since Trump Left Office: Poll
The lowest percentage ever is a two-way tie between October 2017 during Trump's term and at the tail end of former President George W. Bush's term in 2008.
Philadelphia DA candidate addresses 2013 incident where woman was found dead in his bathtub
A criminal defense lawyer running for Philadelphia district attorney took to his campaign website to provide an explanation for a 2013 incident that he says people "will not let" go away – a woman found dead in the bathtub of his home.
Michelle Waterson issues statement on UFC on ESPN 24 loss: 'I'll be back'
Michelle Waterson is in positive spirits following her loss to Marina Rodriguez in the UFC on ESPN 24 main event.       Related StoriesMichelle Waterson issues statement on UFC on ESPN 24 loss: 'I'll be back' - Enclosure5 biggest takeaways from UFC, Bellator, PFL: 'Rumble' return, Cerrone's skid, 'MVP' hateGregor Gillespie knew Diego Ferreira couldn't keep up exhausting pace: 'That's how I do it'
Pelosi, Biden praise moms on Mother's Day amid progressive talk of 'birthing people'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House issued Mother's Day messages on Sunday as some progressives use the term "birthing people" instead.
McCarthy confirms he's backing Stefanik for No. 3 House Republican post
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed on Sunday that he backs Rep. Elise Stefanik for the role of House Republican conference chair, as Rep. Liz Cheney faces a vote to oust her from the influential GOP leadership post.
Ireland will no longer require travelers from Italy and Austria to quarantine for two weeks
International travel is starting to return.
What is "clean meat" and should you be eating it?
There may be an alternative on the horizon to your typical ground beef burger. Paul Shapiro, author of "Clean Meat," joins CBSN to discuss efforts to create meat in a lab and how it could change the way we eat.
CES 2018: What to expect from the Consumer Electronics Show editor-in-chief Lindsey Turrentine joins CBSN from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with a preview of what's buzzing in the tech world -- everything from futuristic cars to smart health devices to voice-activated toilets.
Pelicans executive fined $50,000 for criticizing officials in wake of Zion Williamson injury
NBA punishes VP David Griffin for suggesting that referees haven't been paying attention as Pelicans star is "mauled in the paint on a regular basis."
Rare snow falls in the Sahara Desert
A rare blanket of snow in the Sahara Desert was spotted over the weekend -- an unusual sight for an area known for its relentless heat.
Oprah's breakout interview on 60 Minutes
Mike Wallace interviewed Winfrey in 1986 in her first appearance on the broadcast
Kentucky Derby Winner Fails Postrace Drug Test
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bob Baffert’s frustration was apparent as he tried to digest the latest positive drug test involving one of his prized thoroughbreds.
Trump once said Oprah should be his VP
Donald Trump once praised Oprah Winfrey as a potential running-mate. In an interview nearly 20 years ago on CNN's "Larry King Live," Trump mused about running for president. King asked "Do have a vice presidential candidate in mind?" To which Trump replied: "Oprah, I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice."
H&M "racist" monkey hoodie causes outrage
Some social media users called for a boycott of clothing retailer H&M, slamming the brand over a "racist" hoodie.
Rescuers save woman clinging to tree in the middle of raging river
Firefighters in China rushed to rescue a woman clinging to a tree in the middle of a raging river. The woman had tried to ride a tricycle across a bridge that was overtaken by rising water.
Cyberattack shuts down major U.S. fuel pipeline network
A major U.S. fuel pipeline operator was forced to shut down its entire network after a cyberattack that the company says was caused by ransomware. Christina Ruffini has more.
Fox Host Confronts GOP Rep. Over Opposition to Cheney, Asks if It's Because She's 'Not as Loyal' to Trump
"What is it about Liz Cheney that isn't focusing on this [GOP] mission? She opposes Joe Biden's agenda very strongly," Chris Wallace pointed out.
Bezos biographer Brad Stone on covering the world's richest man
Brad Stone, author of the new book "Amazon Unbound," explains how he managed to get inside the Jeff Bezos bubble, despite the fact that Amazon is "a secretive company and he's a secretive person." Stone also says Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, was in Washington last week "interviewing some of the finalists for that role of executive editor."
Oprah for president?
Oprah's speech at the Golden Globes spurred talk of a possible presidential run. "She would absolutely do it," her longtime partner Stedman Graham told the L.A. Times. Here's what Oprah told "CBS This Morning" about running for office in October.
Baltimore schools close amid heating and flooding issues
"There's icicles in the classrooms ... it's inhuman for these children." Baltimore students were seen wearing jackets and gloves in class after heating systems failed and one school was flooded due to frozen pipes bursting.
Aziz Ansari makes history at Golden Globes
Aziz Ansari made history at the Golden Globes, being the first Asian-American to win for Best Actor In TV Show, Comedy or Musical.
Deadly gunfights near popular beach resorts in Mexico
Two separate clashes between gunmen and police killed 18 people over the weekend in Mexico.
H&M faces criticism over message on sweatshirt
The H&M fashion chain is facing criticism over the message on one of its hoodies. A promotional photo shows a black boy wearing a sweatshirt that reads, "Coolest monkey in the jungle."
How color, sound and smell can change the taste of food
How food tastes is not just determined by its ingredients. At a research kitchen in London, a psychology professor and a top chef are trying to see how big of a role perception plays. Mark Phillips did some taste testing to see how sound and smell can actually change the flavor.
Facebook's rules are 'in shambles, unclear,' says oversight board co-chair
JFK airport mishaps mean nightmare weekend for travelers
Cold weather forced cancellations and delays at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, then a burst pipe and other mechanical issues compounded the chaos and disruption at one of the busiest terminals. CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave has the latest.
Biden admin rejects that extended unemployment benefits to blame for dismal job report
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said on Sunday that the dismal April jobs report shows the economy has a "long way to go" as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic amid criticism that extended unemployment benefits are lowering the incentive for Americans to get back to work.
US Navy seizes weapons in Arabian Sea likely bound for Yemen
The U.S. Navy announced Sunday it seized an arms shipment of thousands of assault weapons, machines guns and sniper rifles hidden aboard a ship in the Arabian Sea, apparently bound for Yemen to support the country's Houthi rebels.