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'American Idol': Southern heartthrob Laine Hardy pulls off stunning win over Alejandro Aranda

The rebooted "American Idol" ended its second season on ABC Sunday night, with Southern rocker Laine Hardy besting viral star Alejandro Aranda.        
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Ex-Yankees prospect is on wild journey to opera stardom
Dwight Gooden knew. Dr. K had gotten tipped off that the 29th-round pick of the 2003 draft by Yankees, a rookie 5-foot-8 second baseman from Long Island, had a secret talent. So during one of the long bus rides across Florida for the 2003 Gulf Coast League Yankees, for whom Gooden was the pitching coach,...
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nypost.com
White House Fears Effect of Coronavirus on Election as World Braces for Pandemic
Global health officials are increasingly concerned about new cases that appear to have no direct link to travel to China.
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slate.com
Half of South Korea’s coronavirus cases are linked to a controversial religious organization
Disinfection workers wearing protective gears and prepare to disinfect against the novel coronavirus in Daerim Central Market, a neighbourhood with one of the largest Chinese population on February 05, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images One Covid-19 patient attended Shincheonji Church of Jesus, services while she nursed a fever. There’s been a rapid spike in coronavirus disease, or Covid-19, cases in South Korea, and about half of the 433 confirmed cases are linked to a secretive religious group often viewed with suspicion by more traditional religious groups. At least 182 Covid-19 cases have come from the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the city of Daegu, which is the fourth-largest in the country. The group itself is often considered a cult in South Korea by mainstream churches: it was founded in 1984 by Lee Man-hee, who claims he is the second coming of Jesus. Lee teaches he is the only person who can interpret the Bible and promises to take 144,000 people to heaven with him on the Day of Judgement. Despite its unorthodox background, the church boasts at least 150,000 members. There is growing concern the current number of confirmed cases in South Korea — already nearly eight times what it was early last week — will rise. Currently, 6,037 people being tested, and more than 1,250 church members have reported potential Covid-19 symptoms. The church is at the center of scrutiny in large part because several of these confirmed cases can be traced back to one person: Patient no. 31, a 61-year-old woman who is a devout follower of Shincheonji. The woman first checked in to a hospital following a small car accident. On the fourth day of her stay, she developed a fever, but refused to get checked for the virus because she hadn’t traveled abroad or been in contact with anyone contaminated. She was finally tested on Monday, and on Tuesday she received positive results. Up until that point, she had slipped out of the hospital at least four times to attend services that attracted up to 1,000 people. Shincheonji’s method of worshipping during these services could have contributed to the spread of the virus among its congregation, according to the Korea Center for Disease Control. Members are expected to kneel in tight rows and aren’t allowed to cover their faces with items like glasses or face masks. After patient no. 31’s case went public, church members reportedly received social media messages that encouraged them to continue evangelical work in small groups and to deny their affiliation to the church if public health officials asked. The church, however, later denounced these messages, claiming they didn’t come from the group’s leadership and that the church member behind the texts had been punished. Church leaders also said that they’ve been fully cooperating with the government’s quarantine efforts, and have closed all of their 74 sanctuaries across the country, providing worship services online instead. In a message to his worshippers, Lee encouraged members to adhere to government instructions and avoid gathering in groups. “This disease outbreak is the work of the devil, which is hellbent on stopping the rapid growth of the Shincheonji,” he wrote. Despite these instructions, government officials have faced difficulty in discovering the whereabouts of about 700 Shincheonji members who have yet to be tested for the virus, according to The New York Times. Many members, the Times notes, work to keep their affiliation with the church secret due to negative connotations that surround the organization. The government is also struggling to figure out how patient no. 31 contracted the virus, though KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong acknowledged that the church had invited Koreans from northeastern China to South Korea as part of their evangelical work. She said they were also looking into reports that the organization had opened a church in Wuhan — the epicenter of the disease — although the group has erased all references of it from their website. The government is taking drastic measures in response to the surge in cases The rapid rise of confirmed cases in the mere span of a week has led to deep concern among residents of Daegu: Public spaces, such as parks, movie theaters, and stores, are reportedly empty as people avoid them in fear of getting ill. In response, the government has decided to close thousands of community centers and daycare facilities across the country. The government’s most drastic measure, however, might be the ban on political rallies outdoors — a surprising move considering how such rallies are a common part of daily life in Seoul. Prime Minister Chung Sye-Kyun also discouraged organized religious activities for the near future. “In accordance with law and principles, the government will sternly deal with acts that interfere with quarantine efforts, illegal hoarding of medical goods and acts that spark uneasiness through massive rallies,” Chung said, according to Korea Times. However, this public announcement hasn’t done much to stop large public gatherings. Several conservative groups continued to hold political rallies in Gwanghwamoon on Saturday — which is considered the center of all political activism in Seoul and has hosted demonstrations daily — to call for the resignation of President Moon Jae-in (although to be clear, these conservative groups have tried to push the liberal president out of the office even before the Covid-19 began to spread). The demonstrations reflect scenes that health officials remain particularly worried about and that Chung’s announcement was meant to minimize: elderly people in close proximity together outdoors. Under city law, the organizers of rallies could be fined up to about $2,500. LIVE IN SEOUL'S GWANGHWAMUN: This is absolute madness. Conservative groups have defied the ban on protests re: containing the spread of coronavirus in South Korea, which has surged. Most people here are elderly. They are singing "Imprison Moon Jae-in". Large police presence. pic.twitter.com/C8nanNTbA6— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) February 22, 2020 The ban on public gatherings comes as the government works to limit the spread of Covid-19 among another population that lives in close quarters: There are currently at least three confirmed cases — one each from the army, marines, and air force — in the country’s 600,000-member military. All three servicepeople either recently visited or were stationed in Daegu. In response, the military launched a mass quarantine of all soldiers who were in contact with the three sick troops, and has announced it will also shut down all vacations and visits indefinitely. The effort is part of the government’s strategy for fighting Covid-19 on a new front, now that it’s rapidly spread throughout the nation, Chung said: “Our efforts until now had been focused on blocking the illness from entering the country. ... But we will now shift the focus on preventing the illness from spreading further in local communities.”
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vox.com
Two FDNY firefighters arrested at NJ blaze for defying police orders to leave
Matthew Paglione and Matthew Farletta were collared Feb. 2 at the scene of a three-alarm, multi-house blaze in Trenton after they repeatedly defied orders to stay behind police tape, officials said.
nypost.com
Julio Urías set to be part of Dodgers' starting rotation this season
Julio Urías bounced between the starting rotation and the bullpen last season, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sees the 23-year-old as a starter in 2020.
latimes.com
Messi ends mini scoring drought with four-goal spree
Lionel Messi ended his mini scoring drought in typical style Saturday as he notched four goals in Barcelona's 5-0 rout of Eibar in La Liga.
edition.cnn.com
China says it's taking care of Taiwanese stranded by coronavirus. Taiwanese aren't sure
After nearly a month, Taiwanese citizens quarantined in China's coronavirus epicenter are chafing. Geopolitics is adding to the tension.
latimes.com
Man convicted of murdering two train passengers who intervened in hate tirade
Jeremy Christian was convicted Friday of killing two people who intervened when he went on a hate tirade against two young black women on a Portland, Oregon, commuter train. CBS Portland affiliate KOIN reports.
cbsnews.com
Get ready for the newest change to airport security
Starting October 1, 2020, most Americans will need a new ID to fly for security reasons. Here's how to find out if yours will be accepted.
edition.cnn.com
No. 3 Kansas fights off No. 1 Baylor in thrilling Big 12 showdown
The Jayhawks fed off big man Udoka Azubuike, who had a double-double, in their 64-61 win in Waco. Baylor had no answer for the 7-footer.       
usatoday.com
2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports
Investigators in Tennessee looking into the disappearance of 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell who was last nearly two months ago have arrested two people in connection to the case, reports say. 
foxnews.com
Steven Spielberg ‘embarrassed’ and ‘concerned’ for porn star daughter
This week brought a Steven Spielberg blockbuster no one saw coming. On Wednesday, the director’s daughter Mikaela announced to the world that she is embarking on a film career of her own — as a porn star. The 23-year-old told The Sun about making solo sex videos that she posted on PornHub.com and how she...
nypost.com
Magical Messi gets four in Barcelona's Camp Nou rout
edition.cnn.com
Liz Hurley sizzles in white, hot pink bikinis during island getaway
Elizabeth Hurley wasted no time modeling off her bathing suit collection while touching down in the Maldives for a luxurious tropical getaway.
foxnews.com
Missing 11-year-old boy from Pennsylvania may be headed to NYC: cops
Andray Knighton, 11, left Danville Middle School around 3 p.m. Friday after telling a friend he was moving to New York, Danville Police said in a Facebook post.
nypost.com
Fmr. Sen. Dean Heller: 'We may be talking about Nevada on Super Tuesday'
As 2020 Democratic presidential candidates make their final pitch to Nevada voters, a question hangs in the air: will this election be a continuation of Iowa's caucus chaos? 
foxnews.com
Nevada Democrats prepare to caucus
edition.cnn.com
America’s Parasite
Frankly, Trump doesn’t give a damn.
nytimes.com
Nevada Dems irk caucus volunteers by asking them to sign non-disclosure agreements
The Nevada Democratic Party is asking volunteers to sign non-disclosure agreements before they work the presidential caucus on Saturday, a move that has caught some by surprise and caused at least one volunteer to quit.
foxnews.com
Dozens take part in underpants run
Dozens of running enthusiasts wearing nothing but underwear and jogging shoes took part in a race along the Danube river in Belgrade on Saturday. (Feb. 22)       
usatoday.com
Two Fashion Institute of Technology Officials Placed on Leave Following 'Racist' Runway Show
The FIT school president placed the officials on leave pending the results of an independent investigation after a controversial runway show earlier this month.
newsweek.com
Biden aims to revive sagging campaign in Nevada
Sanders entered caucus day as the undisputed frontrunner, but it's anyone's guess after that.
politico.com
The 2020 Nevada caucuses
Thirty-six delegates are at stake in Nevada's Democratic caucuses. Follow here for live updates and results.
edition.cnn.com
Man drags elderly woman to the ground in Brooklyn, steals her bag
The elderly woman was waiting for the bus on Cooper Street near Evergreen Avenue in Bushwick at about 11 p.m. on Feb. 6 when an unidentified man walked up to her from behind and grabbed her purse, officials said.
nypost.com
Harry and Megan: the new Edward and Wallis Simpson?
The BBC's Jude Sheerin muses in a deep dive into the two love stories.
nypost.com
About 40 million people get water from the Colorado River. Studies show it's drying up.
Studies show climate change is drying up the Colorado River. Its largest reservoirs have dropped dramatically since 2000.        
usatoday.com
Tucker Carlson: Russia isn’t attacking our democratic system – our own ruling class is
Our democratic system is in fact under attack. That much is true. But it's not the Russians who are attacking it. It's not even the Chinese. It's being attacked by our own ruling class. They're undermining democracy because they have no choice.
foxnews.com
Erdoğan says he will meet Putin, Merkel and Macron to discuss Syria
politico.com
Trump, Schiff spar ahead of Nevada caucuses over claim Russians trying to help Bernie Sanders
President Trump and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff tangled on Twitter ahead of the Nevada caucuses on Saturday over the reports U.S. officials believe Russia is attempting to interfere in the Democratic presidential primary by helping Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
foxnews.com
Zabit Magomedsharipov says he'll be fighting top 5 opposition at UFC 249 – but it's not set yet
Zabit Magomedsharipov says he'll be competing at UFC 249. Given the hints, there are two possible opponents he could face on fight night.       Related StoriesUFC on ESPN+ 26 play-by-play and live results (4 p.m. ET)UFC on ESPN+ 26 discussion threadWatch Curtis Blaydes beat 'Rumble' Johnson ... in a sumo wrestling match 
usatoday.com
Murdered JFK lover Mary Pinchot Meyer is revived in two new books
Fiction has always taken a fancy to the Kennedys and anyone associated with them. This season, two novels reimagine the world of Mary Pinchot Meyer, a celebrated beauty best known for her affair with John F. Kennedy.
nypost.com
How Jacob deGrom can pull off daunting Hall of Fame challenge
Jacob deGrom has passed Tim Lincecum on the way to Johan Santana, with Roy Halladay as the destination. This is deGrom’s Hall of Fame path. He is trying to make up for a late start to his major league career and evolve from impressive to immortal. DeGrom’s Cooperstown brand would be burnished if he could...
nypost.com
Oakland Athletics’ radio fiasco is MLB slap in the face
Imagine being a Yankees or Mets fan when suddenly the teams pull all their radio broadcasts. Out, off, gone, kaput. Imagine being in a car, at the beach, in the yard, a campsite, your desk, unable to hear a Yankees or Mets game on radio. Last week the A’s announced the latest in MLB unimaginable....
nypost.com
Giorgio Armani claims women pushed to be 'half-naked' in fashion ads are being 'raped'
The 85-year-old Italian fashion icon had harsh words about industry standards.
foxnews.com
Australian family claims son's headstone was removed without knowledge over 'offensive' picture: report
A family in Australia says they were “devastated” when they learned that their son’s headstone was removed from a local cemetery without their knowledge because of some called an “offensive” photo, according to a report. 
foxnews.com
Newt Gingrich Says Bernie Sanders Is More Likely to Take Down the Democrats Than Win the Presidency
During an appearance on Fox News, the former House Speaker said that Bernie Sanders probably will not win the presidency.
newsweek.com
Live updates: Democrats caucus in Nevada
Around 75,000 Nevadans have already cast their ballot during the four days of early voting this past week.
cbsnews.com
Amanda Bynes talks conservatorship drama as mom refuses to approve marriage
"Amanda's parents are fully aware of her engagement and at this point are not approving Amanda to legally get married under the conservatorship."
nypost.com
How a sorority girl ended up taking down the world’s most notorious terrorists
Tracy Walder arrived at the University of Southern California in 1996, and rushed Delta Gamma soon after. For the studious yet bubbly Southern California native, the Greek system provided a built-in social life and a place where she happily “blended into the crowd” of slim, pretty blondes. She attended alcohol-soaked parties, was elected vice president...
nypost.com
The tragedy of D.C.’s Bob Odlum, the first person to leap from the Brooklyn Bridge
Part 1: Prof. Odlum teaches Washington’s elite how to swim at his Natatorium.
washingtonpost.com
Boeing has another problem with its 737 MAX — trash in its fuel tanks
Boeing has another problem now with dozens of its undelivered 737 MAX jets — trash in the fuel tanks. The embattled plane maker found everything from tools to rags inside the fuel tanks of about 35 aircraft, a company spokesman told Reuters. Company inspectors have checked about 50 of the roughly 400 MAX jets built...
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nypost.com
A 22-year-old Harvard grad launched his own amateur esports company for adult gamers
Teens won millions of dollars in video game competitions in 2019, and they're set to do it again this year. Last year, the oldest finalist in the most competitive rounds of the "Fortnite" World Cup was only 24 years old, despite the World Cup being open to all ages online.
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edition.cnn.com
More departures expected at nation's top intelligence office
Some top intelligence officials are looking to leave following the recent upheaval at the office that oversees the 17 intelligence agencies of the US government, including the controversial appointment of Richard Grenell as the nation's top intelligence official, a US official told CNN.
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edition.cnn.com
JLo's twins turn 12: All the times the singer gushed about motherhood
JLo and Marc Anthony's twins, Emme and Max, are turning 12 on Saturday, and Fox News is taking a look back at all the times the superstar has gushed about becoming a mom.
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foxnews.com
It's National Margarita Day! Here's where to score great deals on drinks
Jimmy Buffett once famously said: "If life gives you limes, make margaritas."
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edition.cnn.com
Swarm of 40,000 killer bees attack first responders in California
California first responders were all abuzz when they showed up to a report of a bee sting — only to be attacked by 40,000 aggressive African killer honeybees. The first firefighter on the scene in Pasadena was stung 17 times — six other firefighters and police were stung afterward. Three first responders were rushed to...
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nypost.com
5 Hospitalized After Stung by Swarm of 40,000 Bees in California
Two firefighters, one police officer and two civilians were sent to a hospital
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time.com
Relatives of Queens pol Liz Crowley allegedly shown ‘favoritism’ in school jobs
The sister and nephew of Liz Crowley, an ex-city councilwoman running for Queens borough president, are getting special treatment as teachers in a city middle school, a whistleblower charges. The politician’s sister, Patricia Crowley, returned to IS 5 the Walter Crowley School — named for their late councilman uncle — after a higher-paying Department of...
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nypost.com