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Justice Department reaches settlement to pay $88M to families and survivors of Charleston church shooting

According to agency officials and a news release on Thursday, the Justice Department has agreed to pay $88 million to families and survivors of the 2015 deadly church shooting in Charleston, S.C., due to a failure in its gun background check system. A federal jury sentenced White supremacist Dylann Roof to death in January 2017 after he openly admitted to killing nine people at the historic Black church Mother Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a bible study. A month before the sentencing, the jury convicted him on 33 federal charges, including hate crimes.

The 21-year-old Roof was arrested for a felony drug offense in Lexington County, S.C., a few months before he purchased the Glock 41 semi-automatic pistol used to kill nine people on June 17, 2015. Court records show that an examiner for the FBI’s background check system failed to contact the arresting agency for an incident report, which would have blocked him from purchasing the gun from Shooter’s Choice in West Columbia, S.C.  About a year ago, a federal judge ruled that a federal agent failed to follow the FBI’s system for conducting background check ruled under the Brady Act, which denies gun purchases to someone with a felony allowing lawsuits by family members and survivors to proceed.

The settlement in the lawsuit against the illegal gun purchase will provide $63 million for family members of the victims and $23 million for survivors. South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pickney, 41, who was also a church pastor, Cynthia Hurd, 54; Tywanza Sanders, 26, Myra Thompson, 59; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45; and Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74, all died in the 2015 shooting.

Editorial credit: Katherine Welles /

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Facebook rebrands company to ‘Meta’ emphasizing ‘Metaverse’ vision

Facebook on Thursday announced that it has changed its company name to Meta. The name change, which was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference, reflects the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media with the metaverse, a classic sci-fi term Facebook has adopted to describe its vision for working and playing in a virtual world. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company is rebranding itself as Meta in an effort to encompass its virtual-reality vision for the future.

Zuckerberg says he expects the metaverse to reach a billion people within the next decade. The metaverse, he says, will be a place people will be able to interact, work and create products and content in what he hopes will be a new ecosystem that creates “millions” of jobs for creators. In explaining the rebrand, Zuckerberg said the name “Facebook” just doesn’t encompass “everything we do” any more. In addition to its primary social network, that now includes Instagram, Messenger, its Quest VR headset, its Horizon VR platform and more.

Facebook, now known as Meta, will also change its stock ticker from FB to MVRS, effective Dec. 1, the company said in the announcement of its name change.

Editorial credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO /

Country Daypop

Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert and more added as performers at the 55th Annual CMA Awards

The 55th Annual CMA Awards announced on social media the first round of performers for this year’s show.

This year’s performances will include Jimmie Allen, Brothers Osborne, Eric Church, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton featuring Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, Carly Pearce together with Ashley McBryde, and Blake Shelton. Other artists scheduled to perform are Jason Aldean with Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion, Chris Stapleton, and Chris Young with Kane Brown.

Luke Bryan will serve as host LIVE from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 10 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC.

Additional performers and presenters for the 55th Annual CMA Awards will be revealed in the coming weeks. You ca n check out the full list of nominees here – CMA Award Nominations 2021.

Editorial credit: s_bukley /

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Dierks Bentley extends his ‘Beers On Me’ tour into 2022

Dierks Bentley revealed details behind the second leg of his 2022 ‘Beers On Me’ tour. Following the first half of the tour, Bentley will embark on the winter run beginning Jan. 6th in London, ON. The 21-city tour will feature special guests including Jordan Davis, Tenille Arts and Lainey Wilson. Bentley also dropped the official video for the single Beers On Me featuring Bentley, Hardy and Breland.

Bentley shared in a press release: “People think we are crazy to go to Canada and the Northwest in January, but we’ve learned from previous tours that it’s a great time to bring a party up there. For me personally, I don’t mind that there is plenty of ice, snow, and mountains for some adventure between shows.”

Tickets for 2022 ‘Beers On Me’ Tour will be available to the general public starting Friday, Nov. 5, at 10:00 at

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

Entertainment Daypop

Watch the new trailer for ‘Tiger King 2’ set to debut on Netflix this November

The official trailer for Tiger King 2 has just been released. A synopsis from Netflix reads- “With Joe Exotic behind bars and Carole Baskin closing in on ownership of his disreputable zoo, the Emmy-nominated saga continues its twisted course with “Tiger King 2” as newfound revelations emerge on the motivations, backstories, and secrets of America’s most notorious big cat owners. Old enemies and frenemies, including Jeff Lowe, Tim Stark, Allen Glover, and James Garretson return for another season of murder, mayhem, and madness. Thought you knew the whole story? Just you wait.”

Tiger King 2 will pick right where the original series left off.  Joe Exotic’s ‘Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park’ has closed down and Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in a Texas prison for orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot to kill Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist. Exotic, 58, says in the 2 minute clip in a phone call from jail:  “There’s an innocent man in prison. Everybody from the zoo is out there making money, and I’m paying the price for every one of them people. If you give a damn, it’s time to speak up.” Season 2 will also look into Baskin’s own mysterious background involving her former husband, Don Lewis. He vanished in 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002. Fans have long speculated that the 60-year-old had something to with his demise.

The five-episode Tiger King 2 premieres on Nov. 17.  Watch the new trailer here:

Editorial credit: Joseph M. Arseneau /

Entertainment Daypop

Chris Evans voices Buzz Lightyear in teaser for Pixar origin story ‘Lightyear’

Disney and Pixar dropped the new teaser for the “Toy Story” prequel “Lightyear,” which focuses on the character of Buzz.  Chris Evans voices the main character in the upcoming film, which tells the story of the hero that inspired the toy.  The teaser follows a young test pilot who eventually becomes the space ranger that “Toy Story” fans know and love today.

Evans posted on Twitter along with the teaser: “I’m covered in goosebumps. And will be every time I watch this trailer. Or hear a Bowie song. Or have any thought whatsoever between now and July cause nothing has ever made me feel more joy and gratitude than knowing I’m a part of this and it’s basically always on my mind

“Lightyear” is set to be released June 17, 2022. Check out the teaser for the upcoming film – here.

Editorial credit: Featureflash Photo Agency /

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Authorities confirm the remains of 8-year-old boy found in Texas apartment was killed due to blunt force

Authorities confirmed on Wednesday that the child whose skeletal remains were found in a Houston-area apartment Sunday along with three abandoned siblings died violently due to blunt force sometime around Thanksgiving last year. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that the boy was 8 years old when he was killed via physical abuse allegedly by his mother’s boyfriend Brian Coulter, who has been charged with murder.

During a news conference Wednesday, Gonzalez said the apartment where the boy’s skeletal remains were found and where three siblings, ranging in ages from 7 to 15, lived was unfurnished and full of roaches, flies and soiled carpeting. The oldest boy contacted authorities, and Gonzalez said: “In the midst of the darkness and this horrific situation, I’m so glad that this 15-year-old finally reached out for help. I’m glad that he found assistance at the end of the other line with one of our call-takers. And I’m comforted to know that when he opened the door, and there was a Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy there, that they could finally receive the care and protection that they needed for so long.”

The Sheriff’s office said that the dead boy’s mother and her boyfriend were charged Tuesday in the child’s death. Coulter, 31, faces a murder charge, and the boy’s mother, Gloria Williams, 35, faces charges of injury to a child by omission and tampering with evidence.  Williams and Coulter moved out of the apartment and lived separately from the children, at least two of whom were believed to be on the autism spectrum and were described as “special needs,” officials said Wednesday. The boys appeared malnourished, showed signs of physical injury and were brought to a hospital, according to officials.

A judge granted the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services temporary custody of the three children. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said in a statement that the department “sought and received emergency custody” of the three boys found abandoned in the apartment and said that the children are safe in CPS custody.

Editorial credit: Patrish Jackson /

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Hundreds of thousand without power as severe Nor’easter hits New England and New York/Tri-State area

A severe Nor’easter pummeled southern New England and the New York tri-state area, bringing flooding rains, a dangerous storm surge and destructive winds gusting between 60 and 100 mph. The nor’easter knocked out power to more than half a million customers and forced school cancellations in eastern Massachusetts. Due to the storm’s pace of intensification, it was qualified as a “bomb cyclone.”

High winds and swiftly strengthening ocean storm left more than a dozen counties in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island were 75 percent in the dark, with winds gusting to 94 mph on Martha’s Vineyard. Fierce winds resulted i a 3- to 4-foot ocean surge, which was considerably more than what was anticipated.

The bulk of the outages were focused in Massachusetts, with near half a million customers in the dark Wednesday. Hardest hit was Plymouth County, which was 90 percent in the dark. Around 85,000 were without electricity in Rhode Island and another 25,000 combined in Connecticut and Maine. As of Wednesday morning, conditions were beginning to ease. Still, bands of light to moderate rain were continuing to pinwheel ashore from the east-northeast in eastern Massachusetts, along the New Hampshire Seacoast and across parts of south coastal Maine on Wednesday morning. Winds were still gusting to around 60 mph in coastal areas.

Country Daypop

Brandi Carlile announces 2022 ‘Beyond These Silent Days’ tour dates

Brandi Carlile has announced her upcoming 2022 tour dates, taking to Twitter saying, “Hey friends! Don’t miss us on our ‘Beyond These Silent Days’ Tour! I NEED to be with my people again and absolutely throw down with y’all. Sign up for the BC newsletter before 5pm PST Tues. to receive a pre-sale code, which gives you FIRST ACCESS to tickets! Link in bio!”

.For fans, ticket pre-sale will commence on Thursday (Oct. 28) with general on-sale availability on Friday (Oct. 29). For more purchase information, visit Carlile’s website at the link – here.

Editorial credit: Tinseltown /

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Scotty McCreery to hit the road in 2022 for his headlining ‘Same Truck Tour’

Scotty McCreery will be hitting the road next year for his headlining ‘Same Truck’ tour. The American Idol alum will be touring across the United States in fifteen cities in support of his fifth studio album, ‘Same Truck.’ Serving as support at select dates will include Tenille Arts, Callista Clark, or Kameron Marlowe. King Calaway will serve as the opening act.

McCreery said in a press release: “I am looking forward to kicking off 2022 with my Same Truck Tour. I’m also glad to have Tenille, Callista, Kameron and King Calaway joining us for select dates. It’s gonna be a great way to start the new year!”

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, Oct. 29 at 10 aM local time at Tickets will range in prices most dates between $18 and $69.

Editorial credit: Debby Wong /