Eight Things To Talk About For Monday, July 5, 2021


The 8 headlines that our followers ranked as the most conversational are:

Last year while inside the Disney bubble, Rachel Nichols forgot to turn off her camera after filming ESPN’s “The Jump” while inside her hotel room. While the camera was turned on, Nichols was heard having private conversations venting about losing out the NBA Finals hosting gig to Maria Taylor. Someone working at ESPN leaked the audio of the Nichols complaining that Taylor only got the NBA hosting gig because she was black and the network was feeling pressure to make a “diversity” hire. Via NY Times: “I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in July 2020. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.” According to the NY Times, the stars of NBA Countdown threatened to boycott the show because they felt Nichols had not been punished over her comments. Several black employees at ESPN were angry that video producer, Kayla Johnson, who is black, was punished for sending the video to Taylor. Nichols spoke to the Times and she says she was just venting while having a private conversation which was unfortunately leaked by an ESPN employee. Nichols went on to say that she apologized to Taylor who has yet to accept her apology over the comments. Nichols said she reached out to Taylor to apologize through texts and phone calls. “Maria has chosen not to respond to these offers, which is completely fair and a decision I respect,” Nichols said.
[SOURCE: brobible.com / ENGAGEMENT: 13.25%]

Police in Florida have said they are determined to find the killer of a high school football star who was shot at around 50 times on Thursday.  Ladarius Clardy, 18, of Pensacola, was pronounced dead at the scene after the car he was traveling in crashed in the area of Fairfield Drive and Hollywood Avenue around midnight. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said when the deputies arrived, they found Clardy’s body and an injured 19-year-old passenger. In a press conference, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said the car had been shot at around 50 times—condemning the violence that killed Clardy, a quarterback for Kennesaw State University and Pine Forest High School. At the press conference, Simmons said he was not aware of the current condition of Clardy’s 19-year-old passenger, who was undergoing surgery. The sheriff’s office is now asking for the public’s help in finding the person or people who fired at the car, with CrimeStoppers offering a $5,000 reward for information. “What we want to do is make sure that we have a complete rundown of what took place last night,” Simmons said. “Because this is not just a statistic, this is a son, this is a friend, this is a teammate. And enough is enough. We cannot sit here and just keep saying, ‘Oh another, another senseless act of violence.’ So we need your help.”
[SOURCE: msn.com / ENGAGMENT: 6.35%]

A possible tornado hit the Washington, D.C., area on Thursday, leaving thousands without power. According to The Washington Post, a rotating storm passed through the area between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The National Weather Service said it was conducting a survey to determine whether a tornado actually occurred. The storm began around Falls Church and Arlington, Va., went through downtown D.C. and ended in Prince George’s County in Maryland, according to the Post. The National Weather Service said on Twitter that the worst of the storms had passed the D.C., Arlington area as of 9:40 p.m. However, it warned those in the area to use “extreme caution” when going out. More than 30,000 homes were without power in surrounding counties of Maryland and Virginia, according to USA Today. At least 10,000 households were without power in the D.C. metro area. WTOP compiled photos of the extent of the damage, including trees, wires and poles blown down as a result of the storm. The news outlet reported that a large tree fell into a building in Silver Spring, Md., and occupants were evacuated.
[SOURCE: thehill.com / ENGAGEMENT: 5.70%]

Hurricane Elsa strengthened significantly Friday morning, becoming the first hurricane of the 2021 season. It is the third storm of the season to threaten the US coastline, potentially nearing the Florida Peninsula by next week, including around the site of the deadly Surfside condo collapse. Elsa has sustained winds of 85 mph, with gusts up to 105 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. At 8 p.m. ET, the Category 1 storm was racing west at 30 miles per hour, about 800 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. A hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica, the southern portion of Haiti from Port Au Prince to the southern border with the Dominican Republic, and the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque to the border with Haiti. A hurricane watch has been issued for six provinces in eastern Cuba. Tropical storm warnings are in place for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic east of Punta Palenque to Cabo Engano, and the coast of Haiti north of Port Au Prince. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Saba and St. Eustatius, the north coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Bahia de Manzanillo, and the islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
[SOURCE: cnn.com / ENGAGEMENT: 3.50%]

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The fan who caused a massive pileup during the opening stage of the Tour de France was arrested on Wednesday, the Associated Press and local media reported. On the annual event’s first day, a fan standing just off the pavement of the road posed for a camera while holding a sign. She was not watching the race and a bike ridden by Tony Martin clipped the sign, sending the race into chaos in a domino effect of downed cyclists. The fan was tracked down based on “solid” accounts and questioned this week, France’s Bleu Finistere radio station reported. Investigators had spoken with dozens of people since the accident, per reports, after officials east of Brest put out a call for witnesses. The fan has not been publicly identified. The fan got on a flight after the accident and was untraceable, local media reported over the weekend. Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, said that ASO, the organizer of the race, filed a complaint against the fan that day. Deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault said the organization planned to sue “so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone.” The fan held out a sign reading “Allez Opi-Omi.” It’s a mix of French and German terms that roughly equate to “Go Grandpa-Grandma.” The Tour de France runs through July 18 and features 21 days of biking with two days of rest. It returns to its regularly scheduled calendar start after being pushed to August last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
[SOURCE: sports.yahoo.com / ENGAGEMENT: 3.47%]

A Boeing 737-200 cargo plane with two pilots on board made an emergency landing in the ocean off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii, early Friday morning, officials said. Transair Flight 810 — operated by Rhoades Aviation Inc. — was forced to land in the water about 1:30 a.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed in a statement to Insider, after having trouble with both of its engines. The emergency landing took place two miles from Kalaeloa Airport. “The pilots had reported engine trouble and were attempting to return to Honolulu when they were forced to land the aircraft in the water,” the FAA said. Both pilots were rescued by the Coast Guard, authorities confirmed. HawaiiNewsNow reported that one pilot was in critical condition and the other was in serious condition. A Coast Guard helicopter, airplane, and two boats were dispatched for the rescue. One pilot was found on the aircraft’s tail and was hoisted onto a Coast Guard Eurocopter MH-65 helicopter. The other pilot was found on top of floating packages in the water and was rescued to a Honolulu Fire Department boat after declining to be hoisted into a helicopter. “The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate,” the agency added. Air-traffic control had cleared the Boeing 737-200, operating as Rhodes Express 810, for takeoff from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Runway 8R minutes before the incident occurred. Flightradar 24 data then shows the aircraft making an immediate right turn from the runway, climbing to an altitude of 2,000 feet. Confusion ensued as air-traffic control appeared to miss multiple calls from the aircraft attempting to declare an emergency after experiencing engine issues, according to air-traffic-control recordings reviewed by Insider. Another Rhodes Aviation aircraft sharing a similar call sign was on approach to land, further complicating the airwaves. Pilots didn’t immediately return to the airport and kept flying away from Honolulu, saying that they needed to “run a checklist” and would stay about 15 miles from the airport. The entire flight, from takeoff to the emergency water landing, lasted less than 15 minutes.
[SOURCE: businessinsider.com / ENGAGEMENT: 3.12%]

At least two people are dead and some 20 people are missing after a mudslide swept across a seaside city around 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, sweeping away homes amid Japan’s rainy season. Footage posted on social media showed the powerful black mudslide shoot down a mountainside, engulfing homes and infrastructure as locals watched in horror. The giant mudslide in Atami, Shizuoka prefecture, which occurred around 10:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, came after parts of the region were hit by torrential rain. An Atami city official confirmed to CNN that two women had died in the landslide. Police and firefighters have been searching for the missing and so far, 19 people have been rescued in Atami city after being stranded in their homes. Operations stopped overnight and resumed on Sunday at 6 a.m. local time, with 700 people from the police, fire department service and Japan Self-Defense Forces assisting. As of 6:30 a.m., some 380 people have been evacuated, and 10 evacuation centers have been opened in the city, the Atami city official said. More than 130 houses were swept away in the mudslide, Atami City’s Fire Disaster and Management Agency said. Sakae Saito, the mayor of Atami city, told reporters that up to 100 to 300 households were affected. About 2,830 households in the city lost power, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company. By Sunday, power had mostly been restored in Shizuoka. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed his condolences to the victims of the landslide and stressed that emergency workers were doing their utmost to save lives, rescue people and help with evacuations.
[SOURCE: cnn.com / ENGAGEMENT: 2.81%]

Steven Yeun, Nathan Lane, Issa Rae, Robert Pattinson, Janet Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Laverne Cox are among the artists being invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The organization that puts on the Oscars said Thursday that 395 film industry professionals, 46% of whom are women and 39% from an underrepresented group, have been invited to join the 2021 class. If they accept, which most do, they will have voting privileges at next year’s Oscars. New invitees from this year’s Oscar nominees include Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”), as well winners like “Minari’s” Youn Yuh-jung, “Mank” cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, singer-songwriter H.E.R. and “Promising Young Woman” writer Emerald Fennell. Fennell was also invited to the director’s branch alongside fellow 2021 nominee Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”). Those invited in multiple branches must decide which they want to join. A recent Oscar nomination doesn’t guarantee an invite, but it is a starting point for selecting artists and executives, like Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek, who have made significant contributions to film. Diversity and inclusion continue to be a main priority for the film academy and, in addition to the relatively large numbers of women and underrepresented groups invited, it’s also a very international class. Over half of the invitees are from countries other than the United States. The number of invitees also dropped steeply this year in an effort to, “steady future growth.” In the past few years the organization had invited classes of around 800 new members or more annually to help quickly diversify its ranks following the #OscarsSoWhite criticisms. With this new class, the Academy said its total membership is now 33% women and 19% underrepresented groups.
[SOURCE: apnews.com / ENGAGEMENT: 2.78%]

Eight Things To Talk About uses the raw engagement data from the social media engagement from The Conversation Project to generate the top-ranking headlines over the course of the past day.

A full weeks’ data (from Friday to Friday) is compiled, weighed, and sorted to produce the content for the Weekly Wrap-Up with J Cleveland Payne, published every Saturday as a podcast available at ThisIsTheConversation.com or wherever your favorite podcasts are found.

To ‘participate’ in the rankings of the headlines for this newsletter or the podcast, follow the Conversation Project on social media and engage with the posts to give them more ‘votes.’ The Conversation Project can be found on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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