The 8 topics that our followers ranked as the most conversational are:
PITTSBURGH PIRATES DRAFT LOUISVILLE CATCHER HENRY DAVIS WITH NO. 1 PICK; JACK LEITER GOES TO TEXAS RANGERS AT NO. 2
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Louisville catcher Henry Davis with the first pick in baseball’s amateur draft on Sunday night. In a draft without a clear-cut top prospect, it remained unclear who the Pirates would go with until the selection was announced. Regarded as the best college hitter in the draft, Davis exploded at the plate this year, hitting .370/.482/.663 with 15 home runs and more walks than strikeouts (31 to 24) over 50 games. Known as a defense-first catcher coming out of high school, Davis hit .280 with three home runs as a freshman in 2019 and was hitting well before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas Rangers grabbed Vanderbilt’s Jack Leiter with the second pick, landing a right-hander with a mid-90s fastball and two overpowering breaking pitches. His repertoire could play near the top of a big league rotation. He was 11-4 with a 2.13 ERA with the Commodores, including a no-hitter against South Carolina, and struck out 179 in 110 innings. Leiter watched the draft at home with his parents. Al Leiter, who pitched 19 seasons in the majors, said he was elated and “kind of weepy” hearing his son’s name called.
[SOURCE: espn.com / ENGAGEMENT: 16.12%]
ACTOR DRAKE BELL GETS PROBATION ON CHILD ENDANGERMENT CHARGE
Drake Bell, the former star of the popular Nickelodeon show “Drake & Josh,” was sentenced in Cleveland on Monday to two years’ probation on child endangerment charges relating to a girl who met him online and accused him of sexual contact after she attended his concert when she was 15. Jared “Drake” Bell, 35, of West Hollywood, California, pleaded guilty last month via Zoom to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Cuyahoga County Judge Timothy McCormick is allowing Bell to serve probation and 200 hours of community service in California. The victim, who is 19, spoke at length about the damage Bell has done to her life, saying he began grooming her when she was 12. She said she initially felt loved and protected by him during online chats and that his messages became “blatantly sexual” after she turned 15. She said his remarks made her feel uncomfortable, but she felt trapped because she “idolized” Bell.
[SOURCE: nbcmiami.com / ENGAGEMENT: 9.39%]
RNC TO AIR AD DURING MLB ALL-STAR GAME SAYING DEMS ‘STOLE’ IT FROM ATLANTA
The Republican National Committee will air an ad during Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game that claims political figures and corporations “lied” about Georgia’s new voting law, which led to MLB moving the game from Atlanta to Denver. The game was originally set to take place at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, but MLB moved it to the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field after Democrats, including President Biden, likened the law to Jim Crow. The RNC said it is putting seven figures into the ad buy. “Democrats stole our All-Star Game to push their divisive political agenda. Politicians and corporations lied, while Black communities got hurt the most,” Georgia’s Rev. Melvin Everson says in the ad in a voiceover, which was released Monday. “Even though a majority of Black voters support laws like voter ID. To Democrats it’s just a game. But we’re the ones who got played.” The Washington Post awarded Biden a maximum four Pinocchios for his claims about Georgia’s law, particularly his statement that the law “ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over,” when in reality the law keeps Election Day voting hours at 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Any changes to early voting hours would expand hours, not reduce them, the Post said. MLB made the decision to move the All-Star Game after Biden told ESPN he supported the idea, and called the law “Jim Crow on steroids.”
[SOURCE: foxnews.com / ENGAGEMENT: 5.76%]
WRESTLING LEGEND PAUL ORNDORFF PASSES AWAY
The legendary Hall of Famer “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff has passed away. He was 71. Orndorff had dealt with health issues in recent years, including cancer and dementia. His son, Travis, took to Instagram this afternoon and announced the passing. Mr. Wonderful began his pro wrestling career back in 1976. He had stints with WWE, WCW, SMW, Mid-South, the NWA, NJPW, and many other promotions. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2017, the NWA Hall of Fame in 2009, and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009.
[SOURCE: wrestlinginc.com / ENGAGEMENT: 4.70%]
THE NAOMI OSAKA BARBIE® DOLL HONORING THE TENNIS PLAYER AS A ROLE MODEL OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES TODAY
Just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, a Naomi Osaka Barbie Role Model doll was released by Mattel. It celebrates the athlete who became “the first Japanese player to win a major title in a singles match” in 2018, according to a press release . The Naomi Osaka Barbie® doll is a part of Barbie’s celebration of “real-life role models” which is comprised of “remarkable women who are breaking boundaries and inspiring the next generation.” The fully posable doll sports a familiar Nike outfit Osaka wore during the 2020 Australian Open. “It’s such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series, and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world. I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big and to know that if they believe in themselves that anything is possible!” Osaka said. Per the press release, “Barbie has always encouraged girls to use their voice to stand up for what they believe in” while empowering them. Naomi has accomplished this, “on and off the field,” in several manners. The tennis star has used her platform to advocate for racial justice and empower athletes who are female. Osaka holds the current status of being ranked the no. 2 tennis player by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
[SOURCE: blackenterprise.com / ENGAEMENT: 4.59%]
RAPPER DIES AFTER BEING SHOT 64 TIMES AS HE WALKED OUT OF CHICAGO JAIL
A Chicago rapper died after suffering as many as 64 bullet wounds to his head and other parts of his body in what police are calling an ambush shooting just as he was released from jail. Londre Sylvester, 31, who is known by his stage name KTS Dre, was one of three people who were shot just outside Cook County Jail in the Little Village section of Chicago on Saturday. The shooting took place as Sylvester was released from the jail while wearing a monitoring device on his ankle, according to the Chicago Tribune. Witnesses reported that two armed men stepped outside a vehicle and started shooting Sylvester, striking him in the face and chest. Investigators found at least 59 shell casings on the 2700 block of West 27th Street, which is across the street from the jail. Sylvester was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before 9.30pm on Saturday. His next of kin were notified on Sunday. A 60-year-old woman who was reportedly with him at the time of the shooting suffered a wound to the knee. She was listed in good condition at Stroger Hospital, according to police. Another woman, 30, had a bullet graze the side of her face. She is said to be in good condition. No arrests have been made as of late Sunday.
[SOURCE: msn.com / ENGAGEMENT: 4.38%]
TEXAS DEMOCRATS LEAVE STATE TO BLOCK ELECTION OVERHAUL BILL
Texas Democratic lawmakers left the state Monday to deny Republicans the quorum they need to convene a special legislative session, a dramatic move that is likely to set up weeks of political brinkmanship. A plane carrying a majority of state House members reportedly left Austin just after 4 p.m. ET on a charter flight bound for Washington, D.C. Two sources with knowledge had earlier confirmed to The Hill the plan to flee, which was first reported by NBC News. The high-stakes gambit will grind legislative action to a halt, just as Republicans had planned to bring up a sweeping measure to overhaul elections procedures, among other controversial measures high on the list of priorities backed by Governor Greg Abbott (Republican) and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (Republican). Texas Democratic state Representative James Talarico tweeted a photo of himself and fellow Democratic state Representative Senfronia Thompson standing in front of what appears to be a charter plane. Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa earlier on Monday issued a statement confirming that the walkout had begun. Texas rules require two-thirds of lawmakers to answer a quorum call. Those who are absent can be detained by the state Department of Public Safety and returned to the Capitol in Austin.
[SOURCE: thehill.com / ENGAGEMENT: 4.16%]
F.D.A. WILL ATTACH WARNING OF RARE NERVE SYNDROME TO JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE
The Food and Drug Administration warned on Monday that Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine can lead to an increased risk of a rare neurological condition known as Guillain–Barré syndrome, another setback for a vaccine that has largely been sidelined in the United States. Although regulators have found that the chances of developing the condition are low, they appear to be three to five times higher among recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine than among the general population in the United States, according to people familiar with the decision. The warning was attached to fact sheets about the vaccine for providers and patients. Federal officials have identified 100 suspected cases of Guillain-Barré among recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose shot through a federal monitoring system that relies on patients and health care providers to report adverse effects of vaccines. Ninety-five percent of those cases were considered serious and required hospitalization, the Food and Drug Administration said. The reports are preliminary. In a statement, the agency said that while “the available evidence suggests an association” between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and increased risk of Guillain–Barré syndrome, “it is insufficient to establish a causal relationship.” The agency added that it “continues to find the known and potential benefits clearly outweigh the known and potential risks” of the vaccine. About 12.8 million people — or about 8 percent of the fully vaccinated population in the United States — have received the Johnson & Johnson shot. By contrast, about 146 million have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccines, both of which require two doses. Guillain-Barré syndrome occurs when the immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and occasional paralysis, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Several thousand people — about 10 out of every million — develop the condition every year in the United States. Most recover from even severe symptoms. It has also been reported in people with Covid-19.
[SOURCE: nytimes.com / ENGAGEMENT: 4.06%]
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