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Barry Diller weighs in on the Hollywood streaming wars

60 0 04 Mar 2020

Barry Diller, the Hollywood mogul who once employed Jeffrey Katzenberg as his assistant, says he is neither bearish nor bullish about Quibi, the new short-form streaming service Katzenberg plans to launch next month.

Instead, Diller says, he admires the bet, “because it’s a total speculation.”

“It’s a giant and gutsy speculation,” Diller, the chairman of IAC, said in an interview with NBC News’ Byers Market Podcast. “Most people when they hear it aren’t overwhelmed by the idea, which makes it all the gutsier.”

Quibi’s fate is the topic du jour in an industry that has become obsessed with the rise of streaming services like Apple TV+, HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Unlike the others, Quibi will be mobile-only and will feature premium, short-form content. It’s not clear yet that there’s any real demand for such a service.

(NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC News.)

But Diller, who has served as chairman and CEO of Paramount, Fox and USA Networks in a career spanning nearly six decades, admires Katzenberg’s hustle.

“Whatever happens, he’s so naked out there with this,” Diller said. “You know, he’s just standing there waiting for the tide to either come towards him or leave him naked on the beach.

“This is hope, his great hope: that somewhere in [Quibi’s library] there is going to be a giant hit. That in there is going to be something that makes people say, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got to see it.'”

(NBC News will produce daily newscasts for Quibi.)

In the wide-ranging hourlong discussion, Diller also touched on the Academy Awards (“They are either spot on or completely weird”), Mark Zuckerberg (“He’s the opposite of evil”) and Bernie Sanders’ attacks on Mike Bloomberg’s wealth (“What an idiot statement”). But the focus was the Hollywood streaming wars and the long-term prospects of companies like Apple and AT&T, which are still finding their footing in an area dominated by Netflix.

Diller argued that Apple TV+, which launched in November, “hasn’t started yet.”

Apple is “still not in it with both feet,” he said of the iPhone maker’s foray into Hollywood. “They’ve put some capital in, but relatively little. They’re not making a major effort. … They haven’t decided yet.”

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He also questioned the long-term viability of AT&T’s HBO Max.

“I don’t think they’re going to go out of business,” he said, “but HBO … should have been out there from the beginning competing with Netflix. But the management at Time Warner said, ‘Just give us the profits.’ … It wasn’t much interested in what HBO’s destiny could or should be.

“They basically gave it to Netflix,” Diller added. “Now they’re trying to reform HBO into being … competitive with Netflix. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s awfully hard to do.”

Ultimately, Diller bet that all the incumbents would have a seat at the table going forward, including Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime.

“How do you compete with a business model that says … I can outspend you on programming, not because of its popularity, but because of how many subscriptions it drives to Prime?” Diller said of Amazon. “That’s like, oh, my God.”

Drink more water with these 9 smart products

55 0 04 Mar 2020

At some point, most of us have had “drink more water” on our to-do list. But most of us also know that increasing your daily water intake is easier said than done. You fill up a bottle when you get into the office, and then run to your morning meeting. Four hours later it still sits there, barely touched, on the edge of your desk.

Our first plan of attack? Make it less boring. After all, you’ve never forgotten an iced latte or glass of lemonade on our desk, right? By infusing water with fruit, veggies and herbs like mint and rosemary you’ll have a beverage your taste buds actually enjoy, making it more likely you’ll sip throughout the day.

The second step: Invest in some items that will make the whole thing a no-brainer, like drinking water reminder apps, smart water bottles and more. By taking advantage of a smart product designed to help you get your recommended water intake, you’ll keep your goal front of center and sip more throughout the day (instead of trying to guzzle all 64 ounces when you get home at night), without having to add yet another thing to your mental to-do list.

1. Savvy Infusion Sport Infuser Water Bottle

Here’s a water bottle worth having in the cabinet. It comes with an infuser to hold sliced fruit, veggies and herbs for all-natural (and sugar-free) flavor. Suddenly the beverage known for being the most boring gets a little more interesting — and the bottle solves the issue of sucking up pulp and herbs while you sip. Plus, making your own flavored water at home is a money saver. A smarter choice for your health and your bank account.

2. Ulla Hydration Reminder

Sometimes we’re sipping our water bottle on the go, other times we prefer a nice glass of ice water at home. Plus, don’t forget that other beverages like coffee and tea count towards your daily fluid intake. Enter Ulla. The tracker that you can place on any bottle, cup or to-go mug so that you get credit for every single sip. The tracker knows when you take a drink, and begins to blink after your cup of choice sits stagnant for 40 minutes, reminding you to take a sip. If you struggle to make drinking water throughout the day a habit, and are easily sucked into work, meetings and errands, this tracker will help encourage you to hydrate regularly (without having to think about it).

3. SodaStream Fizzi Soda Maker

Another way to keep water interesting? Make it fizzy. Unfortunately buying packs of seltzer can be pricey (not to mention a pain to lug up the stairs to your apartment). Luckily for you, SodaStream solves both of those problems by enabling you to whip up some carbonated water in your kitchen whenever the craving hits. And the fizzy beverage may indeed be effective at aiding hydration: a study conducted by the company found that that SodaStream users consumer 43 percent more water than non-users. Plus, it’s lightweight and wireless — which means we’ll be bringing it out on our patio this summer for refreshing sparkling water (or a bubbly cocktail mixer) made to order.

3. Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle

This isn’t your standard bottle of water. It glows to remind you to take a drink! A sensor inside the bottle measures how much water you’re drinking and sends that data to a companion app that will suggest ways to improve your water drinking habits over time. The BPA-free and food safe bottle even syncs with your phone to help you find it if you’ve misplaced it.

4. LifeFuels Smart Bottle

Want to ditch the flavored sports drinks in plastic bottles for good? This 17-ounce smart water bottle sports an anodized aluminum shell for durability and is designed to deliver both flavor and nutrients, like electrolytes and vitamins, you need for different activities through the day. A dedicated app keeps track of your drinking habits, allowing you to set and customize hydration goals on the fly.

5. LARQ Bottle

If you love UV sanitizing devices, this might be your next bottle. LARQ’s bottlecap is equipped with UV-C LED lights that are designed to purify up to 99.99 percent of contaminates in your water. The bottle is set to self-clean every two hours and its double-walled vacuum insulation keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours.

6. Aquasana Clean Water Machine

Sometimes all it takes to implement a new habit is having it front and center — like that basket of fruit on the counter or setting your gym clothes out the night before. The same can be said for having a big jug of freshly filtered water sitting on your counter or in your fridge, ready to pour into a glass. This “smart” pitcher is power activated so it instantly filters a one gallon (or 16 cup) carafe without the painful drip by drip process of your standard water pitchers. Added bonus: it removes 10 times more contaminants, including over 99 percent of lead. The one-gallon dispenser is perfect for the counter, while the half-gallon (8 cup) dispenser fits in the refrigerator door.

7. Vapur: The Anti-Bottle

Many of us fail to have a bottle of water on hand when we need it most — when we’re outside being active on a hot day. But we get it: the last thing anyone wants to do when riding their bike, heading out on a weekend hike or spending the day at the beach is lug around a cumbersome bottle. That’s where the Vapur comes in handy. Dubbed the “anti-bottle,” it’s made of a flexible material that lays flat when it’s empty. So once you drink the water, you can fold it up and store it in a pocket or bag without adding any bulk to your load. You can also opt for a detachable hose, perfect for hands-free hydrating during your run or hike.

8. Plant Nanny App

Plant Nanny AppPlant Nanny

We love turning our goals into games. We have weekly step challenges with our friends, use an app to wager money against our health goals and now we’re using our water intake to indulge our green thumb. Whenever you log a glass, the app uses it to water your virtual plant. If you can’t seem to make drinking water a habit for your own health, keeping your adorable windowsill plant alive may be just the motivation you need. Download it for free on iOS or Android.

9. WeTap Drinking Fountain Finder

WeTap Drinking Fountain FinderiTunes

It’s always when you’re parched and in need of a water fountain that you can’t seem to find one, whether you’re at your local park, catching a baseball game or traveling in an unfamiliar city. Which is why WeTap was designed to help you locate the nearest fountains, crowd-sourced by users, to refill your bottle or take a quick sip when you’re out and about. (Goodbye $4 bottles of water!) You can also share water fountains you stumble across that aren’t yet shared on the app, to help other thirsty users stay hydrated. Download it for free on iOS.

MORE STAY-HYDRATED STRATEGIES

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Mike Tyson cries as he reveals he feels empty after retiring from boxing

54 0 04 Mar 2020

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson broke down in tears during a recent episode of his podcast featuring Sugar Ray Leonard, saying he feels “empty.”

During the episode of “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson,” he told Leonard: “I know the art of fighting. I know the art of war. That’s all I’ve ever studied. That’s why I’m so feared. That’s why they feared me when I was in the ring. I was an annihilator. That’s all I was born for.

“Now those days are gone. It’s empty. I’m nothing,” said Tyson, 53.

He said he is working on “the art of humbleness.”

“That’s the reason why I’m crying, ’cause I’m not that person no more. And I miss him.”

Tyson, who was disqualified from a fight in 1997 after he bit a chunk out of Evander Holyfield’s right ear, said he is fearful of his old self.

“‘Cause sometimes I feel like a b—-,” he said on his podcast. “Because I don’t want that person to come out, ’cause if he comes out, hell is coming with him.”

“And it’s not funny at all,” he said. “It’s not cool, like, I’m a tough guy. It’s just that I hate that guy. I’m scared of him.”

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Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and served three years in prison. He retired from boxing in 2005.

Knicks call Spike Lee employee entrance dispute laughable

69 0 04 Mar 2020

The New York Knicks responded Tuesday to Spike Lee’s assertion that he is being “harassed” by the team’s owner, James Dolan, with a counter-allegation, accusing the Academy Award-winning director of creating “a false controversy to perpetuate drama.”

“The idea that Spike Lee is a victim because we have repeatedly asked him to not use our employee entrance and instead use a dedicated VIP entrance — which is used by every other celebrity who enters The Garden — is laughable,” the Knicks said in a statement Tuesday. “He is welcome to come to The Garden anytime via the VIP or general entrance; just not through our employee entrance, which is what he and Jim agreed to [Monday] night when they shook hands.”

The statement came a day after a video of Lee yelling at security in front of an elevator in Madison Square Garden circulated online, leading people to speculate whether Lee had gotten thrown out of the venue where the Knicks were playing the Houston Rockets. In the video, Lee can be heard saying: “I’m staying here. And if you wanna arrest me like Charles Oakley, go the f— ahead.”

Oakley, a former Knicks player, was forcibly removed from his courtside seat at a game in 2017 for yelling at Dolan and scuffling with security guards. He was later arrested.

Lee sat through Monday’s game, during which the Knicks defeated the Rockets, 125-123, but he said he won’t attend any more Knicks games for the rest of the season.

“I’m coming back next year, but I’m done for the season,” Lee said Tuesday on ESPN’s “Hot Take.” “I’m done.”

Lee called the Knicks’ version of events “spin” and said he had been using the same entrance for the 28 years he’s had season tickets.

“I wasn’t shaking his hand,” Lee said of a picture posted by the Knicks’ public relations team that appeared to show Lee and Dolan exchanging pleasantries. “In fact, when he came over, I didn’t get up right away.”

Following Lee’s announcement, many came to Lee’s defense, saying that the video was “proof” that Dolan mistreated the director and that the team was “alienating its last remaining fan.”

“When will James Dolan get it? We don’t need the whole story before judging! When you have a reputation of mishandling people that represent the culture of NY basketball, like Charles Oakley,” tweeted Kendrick Perkins, a retired NBA player turned ESPN analyst. “Spike Lee should never have a problem at the Garden. He is the Knicks. It’s inexcusable!”

Some even tried to recruit Lee — who is from Brooklyn and who, according to ESPN, has spent about $10 million on Knicks tickets over the years — as a superfan of another team.

“This wouldn’t happen at Bankers Life Fieldhouse,” wrote Reggie Miller, who played his entire 18-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers. “Maybe finally time to switch your allegiance Spike.”

A small space rock led to a big discovery — an X-ray-belching black hole

54 0 04 Mar 2020

The black hole appeared as a bright speck, a glowing spot against a cosmic backdrop, but one that easily could have been missed altogether — especially because astronomers weren’t even looking for it.

Students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University and scientists associated with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission — an expedition to robotically retrieve a sample from a near-Earth asteroid — were conducting routine observations when they unexpectedly spotted the distant black hole belching out X-rays, the agency announced Friday.

What they had stumbled upon was special; it is the first time that such an X-ray outburst has been glimpsed from interplanetary space, according to NASA.

A simulation of an X-ray outburst from the black hole MAXI J0637-043.NASA / Goddard/University of Arizona/MIT/Harvard

The cosmic phenomenon was captured by the Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS), a shoebox-size instrument aboard the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which is in orbit around the asteroid Bennu. The spectrometer, which is jointly operated by scientists and students at the two schools, is designed to measure the X-rays Bennu emits as it absorbs solar radiation.

The fortuitous observation provides a nice confidence boost for those involved with the student experiment.

“Detecting this X-ray burst is a proud moment for the REXIS team,” Madeline Lambert, an MIT graduate student who designed the instrument’s command sequences that revealed the black hole, said in a statement. “It means our instrument is performing as expected and to the level required of NASA science instruments.”

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The “flaring” black hole was spotted Nov. 11, appearing as a luminous object just off the asteroid’s edge.

X-ray outbursts can occur when a black hole pulls in matter from a star in its vicinity, according to NASA. As stellar debris interacts with the disk of material that surrounds a black hole, intense bursts of energy can be unleashed. But these types of eruptions can be observed from space, because Earth’s atmosphere protects the planet from X-rays and other forms of high-energy radiation.

The black hole’s outburst was separately confirmed by two telescopes installed at the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit.

The surprise detection is a valuable example of how many scientific discoveries can happen in unanticipated ways, said Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary sciences at MIT who is one of the scientists working with the REXIS instrument.

“We set out to train students how to build and operate space instruments,” he said in a statement. “It turns out, the greatest lesson is to always be open to discovering the unexpected.”

The OSIRIS-REx mission’s robotic probe, which reached Bennu in December 2018, is scheduled to return to Earth in 2023.

Bennu is thought to be a relic from the early days of the solar system. The diamond-shaped space rock measures about one-third of a mile at its equator and orbits at an average distance of about 100 million miles from the sun.

According to NASA, the mission could help astronomers understand how planets and other cosmic objects formed in the solar system, and it could help researchers study near-Earth asteroids that pose a threat to the planet.

Dylan Farrow criticizes publisher of Woody Allen memoir

44 0 04 Mar 2020

Dylan Farrow has criticized the publication of a forthcoming memoir by her adoptive father, Woody Allen — who she has accused of sexually assaulting her as a child — as “deeply upsetting” and “an utter betrayal.”

“This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money and notoriety affords,” Farrow, 34, wrote on Twitter Monday. “Hachette’s complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it.”

Farrow’s statement came hours after an announcement from Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, stating that it planned to release Allen’s memoir in April. The book, “Apropos of Nothing,” is “a comprehensive account of Allen’s life, both personal and professional, and describes his work in films, theater, television, nightclubs, and print,” according to the publisher.

Farrow, 34, is the sister of journalist Ronan Farrow, whose reporting on disgraced Hollywood mogul and recently convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein helped launch the #MeToo movement.

She added that Hachette’s publication of Allen’s memoir was not only “deeply upsetting” to her personally, but an “utter betrayal” of her brother, whose detailed reporting on Weinstein was published in the book “Catch and Kill,” released by Hachette last year.

“For the record, I was never contacted by any fact checkers to verify the information in this ‘memoir,’ demonstrating an egregious abdication of Hachette’s most basic responsibility,” Farrow wrote. “On the other hand, my story has undergone endless scrutiny and has never been published without extensive fact-checking.”

Ronan Farrow said he learned about the Allen book through press reports.

“I was disappointed to learn through press reports that Hachette, my publisher, acquired Woody Allen’s memoir after other major publishers refused to do so and concealed the decision from me and its own employees while we were working on Catch and Kill,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday evening.

“I’ve encouraged Hachette, out of respect for its readers, authors and reputation, to conduct a thorough fact check of Woody Allen’s account, in particular any claim the implies my sister is not telling the truth. I’ve also told Hachette that a publisher that would conduct itself in this way is one I can’t work with in good conscience,” Ronan Farrow said.

Hachette and Dylan Farrow did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

Allen has consistently denied sexually abusing Farrow, whom he adopted with the actress Mia Farrow. Allen and Mia Farrow were in a long-term relationship until she discovered he was having an affair with her other adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, when she found nude photos of Previn in Allen’s home. Allen and Previn later married.

Though a prosecutor said he had “probable cause” to prosecute Allen on charges that he had sexually assaulted Dylan Farrow, Allen was never charged. Allen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Allen reportedly struck a deal with Penguin to publish a memoir in 2003, but the book never materialized. Last year, he pitched a memoir again to major publishers but was met with “hard passes” because of the #MeToo movement, according to four publishers who spoke with The New York Times. Allen has written several books, most recently “Mere Anarchy,” in 2007.

In recent years, Allen has been shunned by Hollywood. Last year, Amazon Studios backed out of a production and distribution deal with him. His film “A Rainy Day In New York” was released in Europe last year but not in the U.S. Several actors, including Colin Firth, Rachel Brosnahan and Timothée Chalamet, have said that they will no longer work with him.

Dylan Farrow is also slated to release a book this year. “Hush,” a fantasy young adult novel, will be published by St. Martin’s Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan, in October.

Seattle a ghost town as residents face uncertainty of growing coronavirus outbreak

55 0 04 Mar 2020

SEATTLE — It’s not her birthday for another month, but Ruby Francisco has been singing “Happy Birthday” a lot lately.

She does it every time she washes her hands.

“That’s what they said to do,” said Francisco, who owns a jewelry store here. “I tell my grandchildren to sing when they wash their hands so they do it right.”

This is life in the age of the coronavirus: sifting through rumors, feverishly following updates and doing whatever it takes to avoid the virus, which has infected more than 89,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,100 of them.

In Seattle, bracing for the coronavirus also means preparing for what could be a devastating economic impact. Business owners and residents have already seen a drop-off in tourists in areas of the city that heavily depend on foot traffic.

Nine people in the United Stated have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus — all of them in Washington, which has reported 31 cases of the disease. Eight of the deaths were in an area of King County about 20 minutes from downtown Seattle, and one was in neighboring Snohomish County.

“This is a very fluid, fast-moving situation as we aggressively respond to this outbreak,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County Public Health, said in a statement.

King County health officials said the concern is particularly high for people who are 60 and older or who have compromised immune systems. Children do not appear particularly susceptible to the virus, which originated in mainland China.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

As the death toll climbed Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, proclaimed a civil emergency. The declaration allows her to bypass regulations to increase city spending, contracting and borrowing to address the growing public health threat. It will also allow her office to close facilities and cancel events to prevent the virus from spreading further.

“We know that our city will need additional resources from our state and federal government,” she tweeted. “We are looking to our partners to increase the availability of testing in a way that does not overwhelm the health care system, but meets the growing need.”

She also asked residents to do their part by practicing good hygiene and making contingency plans at home and work.

Community members say that the move suggests that local leaders are taking the threat seriously but that it also points to hard times ahead for businesses dependent on tourism and pedestrians.

“It’s our public duty to help people who are vulnerable,” Tiia-Mai Redditt of Seattle said Tuesday while shopping for hand sanitizer at a Target. The store had been sold out for days, an employee said, and Redditt worried about a friend with a lung condition. She had already tried a nearby Whole Foods and a Trader Joe’s.

“I’ve never seen downtown so empty,” she said, referring to the streets, not just the shelves.

Across the street at Pike Place Market, Francisco wiped down the countertop at her jewelry store, Ruby’s Seattle Gift Gallery. She usually keeps two doors open for customers. On Tuesday, one stayed closed because she was worried about germs.

“It’s so scary,” she said. “I’m going to start praying not just for a cure, but for the families in mourning right now.”

Francisco’s store has been in the same small corner for 43 years, she said. Before that, her mother owned a novelty shop in another spot of the usually bustling shopping area. Millions of people visit Pike Place Market annually.

But the stalls are empty this week. Vendors aren’t flinging fish to one another; instead, they’re checking their phones or reading a book.

“It’s like a ghost town,” Francisco said.

Down a normally crowded hallway, Market Magic & Novelty Shop also remained quiet. A family bought a small keepsake and then walked out. No one came in after.

“We’re rethinking our business model, that’s for sure,” owner Sheila Lyon said. “People are scared. They don’t want to be in public spaces.”

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, Lyon has been losing money most days. So has Francisco.

Lyon and her husband make up a little money on the weekends, but every day seems to bring fewer and fewer customers. As a result, Lyon, who has owned her business for 47 years, is turning to social media to entice customers. But even that comes with a caveat, she said.

“Our wholesaler gets his supplies from China,” she said. “He told me he only has six months’ worth of products left.”

Travelers Meredith Ponder, left, and Coleby Hanisch, both of Des Moines, Iowa, wear masks to remind them not to touch their faces as they ride a train at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington, on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.Elaine Thompson / AP

Lyon is worried about how the emergency declaration will affect her bottom line. King County has already canceled big events scheduled for this week, such as the Womxn’s Day Speaker Series and the Cultural Crossroads Festival .

Across Lake Washington in Bellevue and Redmond, Microsoft canceled its Most Valuable Professional Summit. It will be held online, instead.

This is all bad news for business owners.

“We rely on them,” Lyon said of the events.

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Francisco, meanwhile, is rethinking a coming birthday cruise to Mexico. She feels lucky to have avoided infection while traveling to Egypt in December and wonders whether it’s worth risking exposure to the coronavirus.

In Seattle, she’s already avoiding many public places. She skips her morning jogs and warns her son to avoid the bus.

Like many other Americans, Francisco searched all weekend for hand sanitizer and masks. Costco, Target and Walgreens were all sold out, she said. Standing behind her counter at Pike Place Market, Francisco fought the urge to hug the first customer she’d had in hours.

“I like to hug,” she said. “But, no offense, I just don’t want to now.”

Super Tuesday: 7 things to watch as 14 states vote

54 0 04 Mar 2020

WASHINGTON — The Democratic contest is rapidly becoming a two-person race between establishment-friendly moderate Joe Biden and progressive populist Bernie Sanders. Super Tuesday will determine which one has the edge — and whether any wild cards remain in the hunt.

It’s the biggest day on the primary calendar, with one-third of Democratic delegates up for grabs in 14 states — Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont — as well as the territory of American Samoa and the votes of those living abroad.

Here are seven things to watch on a critical day of voting as the race narrows to four major candidates — Biden, Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg.

1. Can Biden capitalize?

The Democratic establishment is in “stop Sanders” mode, and Biden is their man. The endorsements have been pouring in for the former vice president after his blowout victory in South Carolina three days ago. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., were among those who added their names to the list Monday.

Saturday’s vote rejuvenated the former vice president’s campaign and led two moderate rivals — Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar — to drop out and endorse him. Now it’s up to Biden to take advantage. The rapid consolidation of party elites could nudge Democrats toward Biden if they’re hunting for an alternative to Sanders.

2. Where do Buttigieg supporters go?

Before he quit, polls found Buttigieg winning the support of about 10 percent of Democrats nationwide. That’s a hefty chunk of votes in a primary campaign that could go down to the wire. Whom will they support now?

Buttigieg wants his voters to switch to Biden — he praised him Monday as the candidate who would “bring dignity back to the White House” — but they may have other ideas. Ahead of his endorsement, the most recent numbers from Morning Consult, which tracks “second choice” preferences for candidates, found that among Buttigieg voters, 21 percent would go to Sanders, 19 percent each to Biden and Warren and 17 percent to Bloomberg.

3. Demographics matter more than ‘momentum’

“Momentum” hasn’t defined the Democratic contest so far. The Iowa victory didn’t turn Buttigieg into a force, the New Hampshire “Klomentum” didn’t last, going 0-for-3 didn’t sink Biden, and two decisive victories didn’t make Sanders unstoppable.

The story of the primary season so far has been demographics: Latinos and young people have embraced Sanders, black voters have overwhelmingly supported Biden, and white voters are all over the map.

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That bodes well for Sanders in California and Texas, the two most delegate-rich states on Tuesday. The senator from Vermont won Latinos by more than 30 points in Nevada, according to NBC News entrance polls.

And it’s good news for Biden in Alabama, Arkansas and North Carolina. He won 61 percent of African American voters in South Carolina. History is on Biden’s side: The candidate who has carried black voters nationally has won the Democratic nomination in every contested primary since 1992.

4. Is Mike Bloomberg the real deal?

The billionaire entrepreneur skipped the early states and put all his chips on Super Tuesday. He has spent more than half a billion dollars on TV, radio and digital advertising. He has built a powerhouse of an operation in states like North Carolina, and he was campaigning in Utah, Oklahoma and elsewhere while his rivals were barnstorming the first four contests.

This is his moment to show he’s the real deal. Some moderate Democrats fear that he’s playing spoiler for Biden, scooping up middle-of-the-road voters and helping Sanders, who Bloomberg has insisted would devastate the party up and down the ballot if he were the nominee. Bloomberg is already facing pressure from moderates to drop out and help Biden. If he doesn’t put big victories on the board Tuesday, those calls will only intensify.

5. Can Warren’s campaign be resuscitated?

Warren became the last major woman candidate in a majority-female party one day before Super Tuesday. Will it matter? Or is it too late for the senator from Massachusetts? After finishing third, fourth, fourth and fifth in the early states, her campaign has all but conceded that she won’t clinch the nomination before the convention — but it argued that nobody will.

On the heels of having raised $29 million last month, campaign manager Roger Lau vowed in a memo that Warren would keep fighting, envisioning a long slog of a delegate haul that ends in a “final play” for nomination at the convention in Milwaukee in July.

It’s one thing for a struggling campaign to keep all avenues open to give supporters hope, but asking for the nomination while trailing in pledged delegates is another matter. No major party convention has gone beyond the first ballot since 1952.

Warren’s home state votes Tuesday, and defeat there could signal an end to her campaign. Recent polls show Sanders narrowly leading Warren, and he paid a visit to Boston for a rally Saturday that drew more than 10,000 people. He didn’t mention Warren.

6. The crucial 15 percent threshold

Winning a state is a trophy, but delegates are the real prize — a candidate needs to hit 1,991 to capture the nomination. A minimum threshold of 15 percent is required statewide to win any delegates, and the number awarded is calculated based on results in congressional districts.

There are two titans heading into Super Tuesday: Sanders, with 60 delegates, followed by Biden, with 53. The next active candidate, Warren, has just eight.

7. Will the field narrow further?

Super Tuesday will determine whether there’s a clear front-runner or whether the race will be a drawn-out fight. It will also reveal whether Bloomberg or Warren will hang on as wild cards — or spoilers for their ideological counterparts.

Morning Consult polling suggests that Bloomberg voters’ top second choice is Biden and that Warren supporters’ top second choice is Sanders. As Biden racked up endorsements Monday, Warren also faced pressure to step aside from Sanders supporters, who lit up Twitter with the hashtag #WarrenEndorseBernie.

The roof is sucking up: Nashville tornado survivors witness destruction, selflessness

56 0 04 Mar 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville-area residents are reeling after the second-deadliest tornado event in Tennessee history tore through their homes and killed at least 24 people early Tuesday.

Corey Quinlan said in an interview that he, his wife and their son were barely able to find proper shelter before a tornado hit their house. Quinlan, who described himself as a lifelong worrywart, said he was sitting outside after the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch when he saw the wind pick up in the distance.

He immediately yelled to his wife and went to find his son, Sid, so they could run into their basement for safety.

“As we’re running from his room to the basement, the roof is sucking up,” Quinlan said. “So I’m looking at my son running towards me, and I’m looking behind him, and the roof is going in the sky and debris everywhere. I mean, I’ve never seen so much particles flying in the air.”

Together, the family huddled for about 20 minutes while the tornado passed over them.

“All you could hear was crashing. You didn’t know what it was, what was breaking, what was coming down. It was just loud,” Quinlan said. “I mean, when we were walking down the stairs, I could feel the atmospheric pressure change. My ears popped.”

A man looks for items he can salvage from his store near Cookeville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.Mark Humphrey / AP

Quinlan said that if he had waited just a few more seconds to alert his wife to the tornado, they might not have made it out alive.

“I’m letting that sink in a little bit, but yeah,” he said. “It definitely was a miracle, because, I mean, that’s where we sleep. That’s where he sleeps.”

The family is unsure what will happen in the coming days, but Quinlan is trying to stay positive knowing that his wife and son are alive. Everything else is replaceable, he said.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, who declared a state of emergency Tuesday, called the devastation heartbreaking. But Lee also noted his pride in how survivors have banded together to help their fellow Tennesseans amid the destruction.

“In the worst of circumstances, the best of people comes out, and that’s what we’re seeing here in Tennessee,” Lee said at a news conference Tuesday. “It is as we would expect.”

Shani Nokes was lucky enough that her family’s home wasn’t terribly damaged. She decided to bring her 11-year-old son, Josiah, with her to help those who were less fortunate and clean up the wreckage in their neighborhood.

“Well, we are firm believers in helping others and serving others, and the only way to get them used to doing it and making it part of their lives is to bring them out when they’re young,” Nokes said.

It was sad to see their friends lose their homes, but Josiah said he was happy to help with the cleanup.

“A good Samaritan, everybody helps you and you help everybody,” Josiah said.

Chris Folsom worked with a group of people in his neighborhood to help save an elderly couple who were trapped in their home. Folsom said they had to climb in through the couple’s window after the devastation of their home left the door inaccessible.

“There was debris all on the ground and insulation and into the bedroom, they’re laying — the elderly couple — and the ceiling had fallen on top of them,” Folsom said. “So they’re just laying there with the ceiling on top of them.”

Folsom said he didn’t even think before going to help the group of strangers extricate the couple. He’s sure that the people who were helping had their own losses but still went out to lend a hand.

“I mean, people just show up in your yard and start cleaning up debris and saws and, you know, just doing work,” Folsom said. “They don’t know you. They don’t ask for thanks. They just do it.”

Looking at the destruction and wreckage is overwhelming, Folsom said.

“You do have to take a step back and [say] ‘OK, what’s my next step?'” he said. “You know, but then you just make a plan. There’s really no other choice. You just have to do it.”

Catie Beck reported from Nashville. Doha Madani and Natasha Roy reported from New York.

Natasha Roy contributed.

N.H. coronavirus patient breaks isolation, potentially exposing others

45 0 04 Mar 2020

The first coronavirus patient in New Hampshire — an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center — defied instructions from public health officials to stay away from other people.

In a statement, the state Department of Health and Human Services said the patient attended an invitation-only private event Friday “despite having been directed to self-isolate.”

The action prompted the state to issue “an official order of isolation to the first patient.”

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Most states have such rules. And breaking the rules may be punishable, depending on the state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says states have “police power functions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their borders.”

That includes the enforcement of laws to enforce isolation (when a person is sick) or quarantine (when a person isn’t sick but has been exposed to a pathogen).

The CDC says most states regard breaking a quarantine order as a criminal misdemeanor.

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New Hampshire reported Tuesday that a second person, a close contact of the first patient, has also tested positive for the coronavirus. It’s unclear, however, whether the second patient, a man, attended the priate event or was exposed as a result of the first person’s having broken isolation.

Health officials in New Hampshire are asking anyone who attended the gathering to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center said it was unaware of any patients’ having been exposed to the individual.

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