• CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper Loses It, Curses In Anger During Rod Blagojevich Interview

    CNN anchor Anderson Cooper lost his cool during a Friday night interview with newly released former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. In a contentious interview, Cooper finally boiled over after hearing Blagojevich's defense of his gubernatorial record and his criminal case. Blagojevich was convicted of trying to sell or trade the Illinois Senate seat that Barack […]

  • Coronavirus Explodes in Italy, Threatening Europe. Can It Be Contained?

    ROME-The word quarantine comes from 17th-century Venetian dialect for 40 days, which was the amount of time ships had to wait in isolation before entering certain Italian ports during the pandemic known as the Black Death. Now the word is being used again in Italy, applied to the  government’s draconian reaction as the coronavirus and the disease known as COVID-19 appear to be hitting the country with a vengeance. More than 50,000 Italians living in 10 communities are literally locked down, facing jail sentences and fines if they leave their homes, thanks to the largest outbreak outside Asia. Our Experts Answer the Coronavirus Questions You’re Afraid to AskThe towns, all in the north of the country, are cut off from the rest of Italy now, not even the trains stop when they roll through. The church services are cancelled and dipping one’s hand in holy water is strictly prohibited. Three major Serie A soccer games in the area have been postponed, and schools have all been closed for the foreseeable future. Anyone defying the restrictions faces three months in jail and a fine of around $250. But all across the country, paranoia is spreading faster than the virus. Giorgio Armani tweeted that he will now hold his Fall 2020 show behind closed doors in Milan this week, livestreaming the runway from an empty theater. The mayor of Milan, a city of more than 1.3 million people, announced Sunday that all schools and universities will be closed for at least a week even though the city is not locked down under the current quarantine.In Rome, nervous taxi drivers outside Fiumicino Airport were hesitant to pick up Asian passengers and a Chinese woman in Turin reported being assaulted for simply being Chinese.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that all scholastic trips into and out of the country are suspended, including one involving this reporter’s son who was pulled from a flight to Budapest along with 30 other students early Sunday morning. Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party wants to close the frontier, though countries that border Italy are likely thinking the same thing from their side. An outbreak this extensive and virulent is likely to impact all of Western Europe very quickly, if not with the disease itself, then with precautions taken to try to stop it.Since Friday, Italian authorities have confirmed more than 150 new cases, including three fatalities, in the north of the country. Three people, including two Chinese tourists, who were confirmed positive in Rome last month have since recovered and are no longer believed to be contagious. Coronavirus Spread by a Second Coming ‘Cult’ Has Put South Korea on ‘Maximum Alert’A Chinese tourist died in France earlier this month, but the deaths in Italy are the first Europeans killed by the virus. Both of the Italian victims were in their 70s. The first was a man who died in hospital, and who also suffered from other respiratory problems. The second was a woman found dead in her home on Saturday morning, clearly unaware she even had the virus. It is unknown how many people may have been in contact with her.The quick spread of the disease in this outbreak and the uncertainty about how it came to Italy is especially troubling. In the northern town of Codogno, near Milan, the 39 people who initially tested positive are all tied to the local hospital and a so-called “Patient Zero” who was thought to have brought it back from Shanghai. The problem is that “Patient Zero” never tested positive for the virus. Authorities think he may have been a silent carrier, infecting a friend referred to as “Patient One” whose only tie to China was being a friend of “Patient Zero.” Authorities at first thought “Patient Zero” had the virus and recovered, but they concede that, in fact, there may be another source. Clearly, this is not a perfect science.On Sunday morning, the regional governor of Lombardy, Attilo Fontana, confirmed that 89 people have now tested positive for the virus and a much larger but unspecified number are referred to as suspect cases.The second hotspot is in the Veneto region, near Venice, which is celebrating Carnevale to somewhat diminished crowds. Twelve people in the region have tested positive even though none of them has ever been to mainland China or, as far as is known at this point, been in contact with any obvious vectors.  Eight Chinese residents, two of whom came back from Wuhan through via Germany, are under quarantine-but they have not tested positive. It is yet unclear if that cluster will grow. Other cases in Turin and Milan confirmed Sunday morning have spread the panic even further. Closing down such major metropolitan hubs would be a logistical and economic disaster.Prime Minister Conte says the situation is “fluid” and will be evaluated as the situation warrants. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Eyeing Kylie Jenner’s Former Malibu Rental House

    Although they're currently bunking up in a $14 million Vancouver mansion, it's long been widely speculated that ex-royals Meghan Markle and Prince Harry eventually plan to settle in Los Angeles, where Markle was raised and where her mother, Windsor Hills-based Doria Ragland, still resides. It was Caitlyn Jenner who first leaked the news that the […]

  • Prince William reveals he spent the week lambing in countryside with kids

    Prince George and Princess Charlotte enjoyed a spot of farming during their half-term break.

  • Emergency goalie David Ayres helps Hurricanes pick up improbable win over Leafs

    TORONTO - David Ayres was sitting in the stands with his wife at Scotiabank Arena when Hurricanes goalie James Reimer went down with an injury.The emergency netminder for Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs, Ayers left his seat and donned half his gear on the off chance something also might happen to Carolina backup Petr Mrazek.Midway through the second period, Ayres was by himself in the bowels of the building when his phone started to buzz - Mrazek had been hurt in a scary collision with Toronto forward Kyle Clifford and was down on the ice.Next thing the 42-year-old Zamboni driver by day knew, he was walking down the tunnel and into the spotlight.And not long after, he had an improbable first NHL win.Ayres allowed goals on the first two shots he faced before settling down and stopping the next eight directed his way in a suffocating defensive performance from his new teammates as Carolina picked up a stunning 6-3 victory over Toronto."I had a couple of text messages that told me to get in there," Ayres said in front a throng of reporters. "I hadn't seen the footage (of Mrazek's injury). I was in the media room by myself and a guy came in and said, 'Get going. Get ready.'"It was wild, it was fun."Ayres, who had a kidney transplant 15 years ago and wasn't sure if he would ever play hockey again, has been a practice goalie with the Leafs and the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, for the last eight years.The native of nearby Whitby, Ont., faces shots from professional players on an almost-daily basis during the season, but never thought he'd be called into service in an NHL game."These guys were awesome," said Ayres, the oldest goalie in league history to win his regular-season debut and the first emergency backup to ever record a victory. "They said to me, 'Have fun with it, don't worry about how many goals go in, this is your moment, have fun with it.'"He did more than that, and was greeted with raucous cheers from the Hurricanes in their locker room after finishing a post-game TV interview."I had no idea I was going to get a shower before I got in the shower," Ayres, the game's first star, said with a grin. "I got one."Not long after the final buzzer, the Hurricanes were hawking t-shirts on Twitter sporting the stand-in goalie's No. 90."It's pretty special," Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I told the guys after the game, 'Thank him because that just gave (us) an incredible memory.'"Warren Foegele scored twice, while Martin Necas, with a goal and an assist, Lucas Wallmark, Nino Niederreiter and Teuvo Teravainen provided the rest of the offence for Carolina (35-22-4)."He probably dreams of playing in the National Hockey League," Foegele said of Ayres. "What a moment for him. Something he'll never forget, and something we won't either."Alexander Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall and John Tavares replied for Toronto (32-23-8), which beat the Hurricanes 8-6 at home in another wild affair at Scotiabank Arena on Dec. 23. Kasperi Kapanen and Tyson Barrie picked up two assists each for the Leafs, while Frederik Andersen made 41 saves on a disastrous night for the home side.Toronto was playing poorly before Mrazek went down with the score 3-1 for the visitors, and things didn't get much better even though Tavares and Engvall scored on consecutive attempts to make it 4-3 through 40 minutes."The reality is that the game really just stayed the same," said head coach Sheldon Keefe, whose players mustered just seven shots in the third. "When the goalie switch happened, I talked to the team and said, 'If we don't change how we're playing, they don't even need a goalie. There're no chances, no shots, there's nothing happening.'"They didn't need a goaltender the way the game was going."Reimer started for the Hurricanes against his former team, but left with a lower-body injury in the first after being bowled over in his crease. He was replaced by Mrazek, who made 31 saves in Friday's 5-2 home loss to the New York Rangers. But Carolina's second option went down after that thunderous encounter with Clifford as both players raced for the puck along the sideboards with 8:41 left in the second.That forced Ayres, who's been the emergency goalie in Toronto for about half the games this season and is available to either team, into action for the remainder of a matchup between two clubs battling for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference."You kind of think, 'Oh well how's this gonna end up?'" Brind'Amour said. "That's incredible. That's why you do this."After the bizarre second that saw Carolina score four times, give up two goals, lose Mrazek, and have Ayres pressed into action, the Hurricanes made it 5-3 just 53 seconds into the third after jumping on a turnover and beating Andersen in tight.Necas then made it 6-3 at 3:44 when he picked up a loose puck to finish off a chaotic sequence as boos rained down.The jeers continued on a Leafs power play later in the period and got louder as the period wore on, with some fans chanting "Let's Go Raptors!" as the final minutes ticked down on an embarrassing performance from the home side."We obviously didn't handle the circumstances of the game very well," Tavares said. "Might have been our poorest night of execution."We seemed like the team that played last night and travelled."Carolina trailed 1-0 after the first, but tied it at 5:46 of the second when Wallmark scored off a scramble. Niederreiter then blasted a one-timer on a power play at 9:43 before Foegele made it 3-1 at 10:49.Mrazek was out of the game 30 seconds later.Teravainen made it 4-1 with Clifford in the box for charging at 13:17, but Tavares scored on the first shot against Ayres through the five-hole 19 seconds after that.Engvall buried a loose puck on Toronto's next shot at 15:10 to make it 4-3.The Leafs, who were coming of an encouraging 4-0 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday, then got a power play - fans screamed "Shoot!" almost every time a Toronto player had the puck anywhere near the opposition net - but the Hurricanes didn't allow anything through.Ayres, who signed an amateur try-out before entering the game and his gets to keep his jersey, made his first save late in the second on Auston Matthews as Carolina led 4-3 through a wild 40 minutes and shut things down in the third."These guys," Ayres said of what he'll remember most. "How great they were to me. The crowd in Toronto was unreal. Even though I was on the other team they were so receptive. Every time I made a save I could hear them cheering for me."Awesome."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2020.___Follow @JClipperton_CP on TwitterJoshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

  • Parent pleads guilty in college admissions scheme

    BOSTON - A woman charged in the college admissions scandal pleaded guilty Friday to paying $400,000 to get her son into the University of California, Los Angeles, as a fake soccer recruit.Xiaoning Sui, 49, a Chinese citizen who lives in Surrey, British Columbia, pleaded guilty to a single count of federal programs bribery in Boston's federal court.The charge is used in cases of bribery at organizations that received at least $10,000 in federal funding in a single year. In this case, Sui is accused of bribing an official at UCLA. Prosecutors are recommending no additional jail time for Sui, who was arrested in Spain in September and held there while authorities extradited her to the United States.Dressed in a gray sweatsuit and speaking through a Chinese interpreter, Sui said she agreed with the prosecutors' account.According to charging documents, Sui paid $400,000 to a sham charity operated by admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer as part of a scheme to have her son admitted as a fake soccer recruit at UCLA.Prosecutors say Singer worked with Laura Janke, a former assistant soccer coach at the University of Southern California, to fabricate an athletic profile depicting Sui’s son as a top player on two soccer clubs in Canada, even though he did not play competitive soccer. Both Singer and Janke have pleaded guilty.UCLA admitted Sui's son as a soccer player in November 2018, authorities say, and awarded him a 25% scholarship. In September, UCLA said it had taken “immediate corrective action” after learning of the case.Sui's lawyer, Martin Weinberg, said his client was on vacation in Spain when she was arrested on behalf of U.S. authorities. Weinberg said that Sui did not know she was wanted by the U.S. until her arrest. She was initially charged in March 2019, but the document was filed under seal and was not made public until September.Sui was expected to be released Friday to return to Canada until her sentencing.The admissions scandal has ensnared dozens of wealthy parents accused of paying bribes to rig their children’s SAT and ACT scores or get them admitted as recruited athletes to elite schools across the nation, including Yale, Stanford and Georgetown universities.More than 50 people have been charged in the scheme, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score. She was released from a federal prison in October after serving 11 days.Some others are contesting charges against them, including “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying to get their two daughters into USC as fake athletes on the crew team.Collin Binkley, The Associated Press