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Queen Elizabeth II officially strips Prince Andrew of military affiliations, royal patronages amid sexual assault lawsuit

Britain’s Prince Andrew has had his military affiliations and remaining royal patronages stripped away by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.  Per BBC, Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Jan. 13:  “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”  A royal source added that Prince Andrew “will no longer use ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity.”   Andrew is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, making him ninth in line to the throne. He shares daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after a judge denied the Duke of York’s motion to have a lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre dismissed.  In August 2021, Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the Duke of York at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her on three separate occasions, claiming he knew that she was being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, while she was under the age of 18.

In December 2021, a jury found Maxwell guilty of five of six counts of federal sex trafficking charges. She faces a sentence of up to 65 years in person. Maxwell’s lawyers argued that it was “Epstein who pulled the strings” and became the focus of federal prosecutors after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August 2019. In the complaint Giuffre filed against Prince Andrew, it stated that the alleged sexual and physical abuse of Giuffre caused “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.” Giuffre is seeking damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In a 2019 BBC interview, Prince Andrew denied Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations, saying that he “doesn’t remember meeting” her. Following backlash over the interview, the Duke of York announced he would step back from his public royal duties.

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Supreme Court blocks nationwide vaccine and testing mandate for large businesses

The Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine and testing requirement aimed at large businesses on Thursday, but it allowed a vaccine mandate for certain health care workers to go into effect nationwide.  The President has emphasized the necessity of getting vaccinated against the virus for months and decided to use the mandate on large employers in order to convince Americans to get their shots.

Biden issued a statement praising the ruling on health care workers but criticized the ruling on businesses that will have the much wider effect. “I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” Biden said.  Moving forward, Biden said “it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated.”

Liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan issued a dissent: “When we are wise, we know not to displace the judgments of experts, acting within the sphere Congress marked out and under Presidential control, to deal with emergency conditions. Today, we are not wise. In the face of a still-raging pandemic, this Court tells the agency charged with protecting worker safety that it may not do so in all the workplaces needed. As disease and death continue to mount, this Court tells the agency that it cannot respond in the most effective way possible.”  The rule would impact some 80 million individuals and requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing and wear a face covering at work. There are exceptions for those with religious objections. During oral arguments, the Biden administration asked if the court says employers can’t require the employees to get the vaccine, it should leave in place an alternate requirement for masking and frequent testing. The majority rejected that request Thursday.

The court allowed to take effect the vaccine policy rolled out in November by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which sought to require the Covid-19 vaccine for certain health care workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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Country Daypop

Tyler Rich adds more dates to his ‘Two Thousand Miles (More) Tour’

Tyler Rich has just extended his ‘Two Thousand Miles (More) Tour’, adding a new leg for spring 2022 with support from rising artists SixForty1 and Robyn Ottolini.

Rich said in a press release: “The overwhelming response from so many of you who’ve connected on socials made it a no brainer. Thank you for asking for a new run of the Two Thousand Miles Tour! We started on the West Coast where I grew up and head towards my new home in Nashville with this run. We’re bringing our friends SixForty1 and Robyn Ottolini, and we’re all so excited to see you this spring.”  

Tickets go on sale this Friday (1/14) at – tylerrich.com.

Editorial credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

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Country Daypop

Mitchell Tenpenny announces new leg of his tour for 2022

Singer Mitchell Tenpenny has announced a continuation of his 2021 tour titled, “2 US IT DID TOUR.”   Said Mitchell: “Seeing our fans scream back our songs especially ‘Truth About You’ was so special on the first half of the tour. I’m so excited to extend this tour and live it again. It’s going to be incredible having the talented Alana out with us!”

The second leg will include 13 new shows in 2022, kicking-off the end of January and running through early March where it will conclude in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rising singer-songwriter Alana Springsteen will act as the opening act.

For more information visit Tenpenny’s website here – https://www.mitchell10penny.com/.

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Pop Daypop

Full lineup for Coachella 2022 announced: Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Kanye ‘Ye’ West to headline

The full Coachella 2022 has been announced, with Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Ye headlining.  Coachella announced the lineup on social media, tweeting: “Presale for Weekend 2 starts Friday 1/14 at 10am PT. Weekend 1 is sold out. Register now at http://coachella.com“.  Ye (formerly Kanye West) was the first headliner to return to the SoCal festival, which will be held back-to-back the weekends of April 15-17 and April 22-24, 2022.

Other performers include Phoebe Bridgers, Lil Baby, Big Sean and Daniel Caesar, who will perform alongside Friday headliner Harry Styles; Megan Thee Stallion, 21 Savage, Anitta and Giveon joined Saturday headliner Billie Eilish; And Doja Cat, Run the Jewels, Karol G, Maggie Rogers and Ari Lennox to join headliner Ye on Sunday.

The last time Coachella was held was in 2019; the 2020 and 2021 iterations were canceled due to COVID-19. Rage Against The Machine had been announced as the headliner along with Travis Scott and Frank Ocean 2020, but none will be performing at the 2022 festival.

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Pop Daypop

Take a look at the new video for Adele’s single “Oh My God”

Adele is starting off the new year with a new music video for her hit single, “Oh My God.”

Adele had teased the latest video on Instagram last Thursday, sharing a short black and white clip of herself singing in a vintage-style dress.  “Oh My God” is the second track from Adele’s album 30 to receive a music video, following the release of her smash hit “Easy On Me,” which garnered over 200 million views.

Take a look at the music video for Adele’s “Oh My God” – here.

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U.S. judge rejects motion to dismiss sex abuse lawsuit against Britain’s Prince Andrew

A U.S. district judge rejected a motion by Britain’s Prince Andrew on Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre that alleges he sexually abused her when she was 17.  U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said the 2009 deal “cannot be seen” to benefit Andrew, adding, “Independent of whether the release language applies to Prince Andrew, the agreement, at a minimum, is ‘reasonably susceptible to more than one interpretation’ on the equally important question of whether this defendant may invoke it.”

Prince Andrew’s lawyers argued that the suit should be thrown out because of a 2009 deal that Guiffre signed with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In 2009, Giuffre accepted $500,000 from Jeffrey Epstein to settle a lawsuit she had filed against him in Florida. Part of that agreement extends protection to “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant (‘Other Potential Defendants’) from all, and all manner of [claims] that said First Parties ever had… or may have, against Jeffrey Epstein, or Other Potential Defendants.”  Andrew’s lawyers argued that he was among the “Other Potential Defendants” protected under that 2009 deal, and that he should therefore be released from any claims Giuffre might make against him.

Giuffre’s lawyers argued that Andrew was not among the “Other Potential Defendants” that the deal referred to, and was not named in the Florida lawsuit. Giuffre did allege in that suit that she was flown around the world by Epstein to have sexual encounters with men, “including royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and/or professional and personal acquaintances.” Giuffre filed the civil suit against Andrew in New York in August, saying she was coerced into sexual encounters with him 2001 by Epstein.  Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail in 2019; his companion Ghislaine Maxwell, was recently convicted of sex trafficking.

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West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says he is “extremely unwell” after testing positive for COVID-19

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has tested positive for COVID-19. Justice, who is vaccinated and boosted, said he sought out tests Tuesday following a “sudden onset of symptoms.”

The governor’s office described his symptoms as “moderate.” However, Justice wrote that he feels “extremely unwell.”  He said in a statement: “I feel extremely unwell at this point, and I have no choice but to postpone my State of the State address to the Legislature. I woke up this morning with congestion and a cough. A little while later, I developed a headache and fever, so I decided to get tested right away. The rapid test that I took came back negative, but by the late afternoon, my symptoms were still getting much worse. My blood pressure and heart rate were extremely elevated, and I had a high fever. Finally, my PCR test results this evening confirmed I was positive.”

Justice has long pushed for vaccines and boosters, but is against mask mandates.  As COVID-19 cases in West Virginia skyrocketed recently, Justice said, “I absolutely do not think it’s time to put in a mask mandate.”   However, Justice continued his endorsement of vaccines, telling reporters he sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allow West Virginia to immediately start offering fourth doses to some at-risk residents.

Justice is now isolating at home and receiving a monoclonal antibody treatment per his doctors’ recommendation, his office said. Those individuals who came in close contact with the governor is being notified; West Virginia First Lady Cathy Justice tested negative for the virus.

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Country Daypop

Maddie & Tae’s Taylor Dye Kerr hospitalized due to pregnancy complications

After canceling all upcoming tour dates last month, Maddie & Tae revealed that Taylor Dye Kerr has been in the hospital experiencing pregnancy complications. The news was first shared by Kerr’s husband, fellow singer/songwriter, Josh Kerr, and later reposted by Maddie & Tae on Wednesday (Jan. 12).

Said the update from Taylor’s husband: “Today marks 1 month of being in the hospital. T went in for a routine check up at 24 weeks then we were immediately admitted, and we have been here since.” The couple shared that their daughter is “doing great” and thanked fans and friends for supporting them during this difficult time:  “This hasn’t been easy, but we’re leaning on God and trusting His plan. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.”

Josh and Taylor wed on February 21, 2020, in Nashville after getting engaged in the fall of 2019. Taylor announced her pregnancy in late November, revealing that she was expecting a baby girl with her husband.   Maddie & Tae were to headline the CMT Next Women of Country: All Song No Static Tour before the duo shared that Taylor was on “bed rest” and that they were postponing the dates “out of precaution.”

Maddie & Tae are also set to release Through The Madness Vol 1 on January 28. The project includes six new tracks, plus “Madness” and “Woman You Got.” Through The Madness Vol 1 is available for pre-order now.

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Country Daypop

Turnpike Troubadours announce new 2022 tour dates

The Turnpike Troubadours reunited late last year after a two-year hiatus. Back in November, the band announced a now sold-out show at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 14; and now the group has announced additional 2022 tour dates.

Turnpike Troubadour will play two shows at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Okla. on April 8 and April 9, two shows at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas on April 22 and April 23 and a show at John T. Floore’s Country store in Helotes, Texas. Tickets for the Tulsa, Fort Worth and Helotes shows go on sale on Jan. 14.  You can find more information on ticketing via Turnpike Troubadours’ official website.

Turnpike Troubadours released their breakout album Diamonds & Gasoline in 2010, followed by Goodbye Normal Street. Their self-titled 2015 album featured “The Mercury” and “The Bird Hunters” and in 2017, the band released the critically-acclaimed album A Long Way From Your Heart.  During the band’s hiatus, Turnpike members created projects of their own. Fiddler Kyle Nix released Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories, and bass player R.C. Edwards’ band, RC and the Ambers, released Big Country.

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