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North Carolina radio station plans to reject broadcasts of 'inappropriate' Met operas

NC bans operas at the Met

A listener-supported radio station in North Carolina, WCPE, is planning to withhold the broadcast of six contemporary operas this season from New York's Metropolitan Opera, because of the station management's objections to the operas' content. It is a classical music controversy that echoes larger, nationwide culture war debates.

WCPE's protest comes at a time when the Metropolitan Opera is eager to showcase its commitment to recently written operas and works from outside the traditional canon of music written by white men. Three of the operas that WCPE plans to reject in the 2023-24 season were written by Black or Mexican composers. This past April, WCPE also refused to broadcast another Met-produced opera written by a Black composer that included LGBTQ themes.


A 23-year-old was arrested for gun possession. It led the FBI to a global Satanic cult

764 Satanic CultAn arrest on gun possession charges in Queens, New York, in November 2021 has led the Federal Bureau of Investigation to a pedophilic, Satanist extortion cult that has victimized dozens if not hundreds of minors, according to law enforcement documents, court records and sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Law enforcement discovered the organization, known as 764 and a range of aliases, while investigating alarming social media posts made by Angel Almeida, a 23-year-old resident of Astoria, Queens.

On 12 September 2023, the FBI issued a public warning about 764, noting the group is “deliberately targeting minor victims on publicly available messaging platforms to extort them into recording or livestreaming acts of self-harm and producing child sexual abuse material”. The advisory is the first formal mention of 764 by any American law enforcement agency.


New York declares state of emergency amid heavy rainfall and flash flooding

NYC rain storm

Parts of New York City were swamped with dangerous flash flooding on Friday as intense rainfall continued across the city after torrenting all night, and a state of emergency was declared amid warnings from officials that the deluge could turn deadly.

About 8.5 million people were under flash flood warnings in the New York City area, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The city’s concrete and pavement exacerbates flooding, as overwhelmed sewers fail to adequately drain rain water during heavy and sustained downpours.

Parts of New Jersey were under similar weather advisories.

The New York governor, Kathy Hochul, declared a state of emergency on Friday because of the “extreme rainfall”. The declaration covers New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, Hochul posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.



Feds offer students new protections against programs that lead to high debt, low pay

Sec. of Education Cardona

The Biden administration is cracking down on college programs that don't adequately prepare graduates for gainful employment. On Wednesday, the U.S. Education Department announced new federal regulations that aim to hold for-profit colleges accountable for student outcomes.

"Higher education is supposed to be an invaluable investment in your future. There is nothing valuable about being ripped off or sold on a worthless degree," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said at a press briefing announcing the final rules.

The gainful employment rule is meant to safeguard students from making a bad investment at for-profit institutions and non-degree, certificate programs. If programs don't earn their graduates adequate pay, or if graduates' earnings are too low to afford their student loan payments, programs could lose access to federal money.

Michael Gambon, veteran actor who played Dumbledore in 'Harry Potter,' dies at 82

Michael Gambon dies at 82

Veteran actor Michael Gambon, who was known to many for his portrayal of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight "Harry Potter" films, has died, his publicist said Thursday. He was 82.

A statement by his family, issued by his publicist to the Associated Press, said he died following "a bout of pneumonia."

"We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside," his family said.

The Irish actor was cast as the much-loved Dumbledore after the death of his predecessor, Richard Harris, in 2002. Gambon started his role as the magical mentor in 2004 with "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" through the final film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."


‘Let me be blunt’: UAW VP for GM has strong words about Trump’s visit to Michigan

UAW strikers

The UAW's lead negotiator in contract talks with General Motors on Wednesday issued a scathing assessment of former President Donald Trump hours before Trump was due to speak in Detroit.

UAW Vice President for General Motors Mike Booth sent the Detroit Free Press a profanity-laden email about his thoughts on Trump's trip to Michigan.

"Let me be blunt. Donald Trump is coming off as a pompous (expletive)," Booth said in an email. "Coming to Michigan to speak at a nonunion employer and pretending it has anything to do with our fight at the Big Three is just more verbal diarrhea from the former president."

Trump skipped the second Republican presidential debate to deliver prime-time remarks at Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township, Michigan, a nonunionized auto parts supplier. There, he spoke to workers at the plant blasting electric vehicle mandates and pushing for a "future that protects American labor."


Kia and Hyundai recall more than 3 million vehicles due to the risk of fire

Kia and Hyundai recall over 3 million cars

Hyundai and Kia are recalling more than 3 million vehicles and advising owners to park them outside due to risk of fire in the engine compartments.

The companies are encouraging drivers to park their vehicles away from homes and other structures until they are able to take their vehicles to a dealership for a free repair.

"Fires can occur whether the vehicle is parked and turned off or while driving," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned in a notice posted on Wednesday.

The NHTSA said that the anti-lock brake system in 13 Hyundai models could leak fluid and cause an electrical short that may bring on a fire. For Kia owners, the fire risk is being connected to the hydraulic electronic control unit in 10 separate models.


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