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Columbia University protesters occupy hall on campus after defying orders to clear out protest camp

Per ABC NEWS, Pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia University occupied a hall on campus early Tuesday, hours after school officials ordered the dispersal of a protest encampment. Videos appear to show protesters creating a barricade with metal chairs outside Hamilton Hall after midnight. The campus newspaper Columbia Spectator reported that those inside were working to block the building’s exits with tables, chairs and zip-ties.

Despite warnings from Columbia University (and after the school’s president said it would not divest from Israel), students who defied Columbia’s orders to vacate their pro-Palestinian protest by 2 p.m. on Monday have begun to be suspended. Ben Chang, vice president for communications and a spokesperson for Columbia University, said around 5 p.m. on Monday, about three hours after the deadline passed: “We have begun suspending students .. University representatives engaged in good faith dialogue with the organizers and maintain that dialogue. We were hopeful and we were disappointed when the student protesters couldn’t reach consensus on the issues under discussion.”

Columbia had issued notices to students on Monday in protest camps saying that if protesters left by the 2 p.m. deadline and signed a form committing to abide by university policies through June 2025 or an earlier graduation, they could finish the semester in good standing. If not, the letter said, they would be suspended, pending further investigation, and barred from completing the spring semester.  However at the encampment, protesters voted nearly unanimously to stay put, and around 2:45 p.m were seen marching on the quad, chanting “Disclose! Divest! We will not slow, we will not rest!’”

In a statement, University President Minouche Shafik had asked the protesters to voluntarily disperse, saying the demonstration had created “an unwelcoming environment for many of our Jewish students and faculty, adding that “external actors have contributed to a hostile environment” around university gates, and that it had become a “noisy distraction” for students. Shafik also cited the May 15 commencement, saying, “We also do not want to deprive thousands of students and their families and friends of a graduation celebration.” A portion of the encampment has been cleared to make space for the upcoming commencement ceremony for graduates, and picketers are largely sticking to the perimeters of the encampment.

Columbia was the first elite institution struck by protests in support of the Palestinian cause, with students demanding that the school divest from investments that support weapons manufacturing and Israel; protests spread quickly last week on campuses across the U.S.

Editorial credit: lev radin /

News Daypop

Supreme Court rejects Elon Musk’s appeal over agreement with SEC on social media posts about Tesla

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Elon Musk over the terms of a settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) that requires him to get approval in advance of some social media posts that relate to Tesla, the electric vehicle company he leads. Musk was seeking to overturn restrictions imposed on him by the SEC following a 2018 post on Twitter (now X). The high court rejected Musk’s appeal without comment.

An appeals court’s rejected Musk’s bid last year for the so-called “Twitter sitter” provision to be modified, complainingn that the requirement amounts to “prior restraint” on his speech, violated his First Amendment rights and was “unenforceable.” Musk acquired Twitter in 2022, and filed a petition with the Supreme Court in December 2023 seeking to undo the agreement, claiming it was an unconstitutional infringement of his right to free speech.

Tweets that Musk had posted in 2018, in which he claimed he had secured funding to take Tesla private, had caused the company’s share price to jump and led to a temporary halt in trading. The tweet was ruled to be “false and misleading” and shareholders accused Tesla of securities fraud. The settlement with the SEC included a requirement that his tweets be approved first by a Tesla attorney, and also called for Musk and Tesla to pay civil fines over the tweets in which Musk said he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share (the funding wasn’t secured, and Tesla remains public).

The SEC’s initial enforcement action against Musk alleged that his tweets about going private violated antifraud provisions of securities laws. The agency began investigating whether Musk violated the settlement in 2021 when he did not get approval before asking followers on Twitter, now X, if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock.

Editorial credit: Muhammad Alimaki /

Country Daypop

Reba McEntire to return as host of the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards

Reba McEntire will return as host of the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday, May 16th at 8 pm EDT/5 pm PDT, streaming live globally across 240+ countries and territories on Prime Video from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Luke Combs leads this year’s nominees with eight nominations, followed by Megan Moroney and Morgan Wallen with six nominations each.

The Academy of Country Music officially announced the news on social media, sharing that McEntire, 69, will be hosting the awards show for the 17th time: “Country Music’s Party of the Year is going to be extra-FANCY this year with @Reba back as our host! ♥ She will also be taking the stage for a show stopping performance featuring brand new music! 🎶 You don’t wanna miss the 59th #ACMawards LIVE May 16 at 8e | 5p on @PrimeVideo. Tickets on sale NOW on @SeatGeek –!TP #RebaACM”

McEntire, a 16-time ACM Awards winner, will also perform new music at the ceremony; she shared in a statement: “I am ticked to pieces to get to host the ACM Awards for the 17th time! What an honor to have been part of the past, present and now the future of the Academy of Country Music with Amazon Prime Video. I can’t wait to get to Texas and see everybody May 16th!”  

ACM CEO Damon Whiteside added: “We are thrilled for the homecoming of Reba to the ACM Awards stage for the 17th time! There is simply no one better to continue to elevate this show in our new global streaming era with Amazon Prime Video”

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

Country Daypop

Sam Hunt earns his 10th No. 1 on Country Airplay with ‘Outskirts’

Sam Hunt has earned his 10th #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart with his single, “Outskirts”.  Written by Hunt with Zach Crowell, Jerry Flowers, and Josh Osborne, “Outskirts” is featured on Hunt’s EP, Locked Up, which was released April 5th. (per Billboard)

Hunt recently wrapped his arena-headlining Outskirts Tour with country music’s Brett Young and Lily Rose. Hunt also just announced his headlining summer amphitheater Locked Up Tour kicking off June 28th in Bend, Ore. The 20-city trek runs through September with dates across the US and Canada, and features support artists Russell Dickerson, George Birge in the US, and Dalton Dover in Canada.

Check out the video for “Outskirts” – here.

Editorial credit: Debby Wong /

Entertainment Daypop

ABC renews ‘Will Trent’ for Season 3

ABC has renewed its drama series Will Trent for a third season. According to Variety, the police procedural, based on the Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent novels, delivered its highest-rated episode ever with Ep. 5, with just over 9 million multi-platform viewers over seven days.

Will Trent stars Ramón Rodríguez as the title character: “the top agent at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who suffers from dyslexia and spent his childhood in the foster care system, giving him unique insight into his cases”.

The series also stars Sonja Sohn as Amanda Wagner, Erika Christensen as Angie Polaski, Iantha Richardson as Faith Mitchell, and Jake McLaughlin as Michael Ormewood.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins /

Entertainment Daypop

Bruno Mars sells-out opening shows at L.A.’s Intuit Dome

Due to popular demand, Bruno Mars has sold out both grand opening performances of Los Angeles’ new arena, Intuit Dome.  The 14-time Grammy-winning showman is set to play two back-to-back opening night shows on Thursday, August 15th and Friday, August 16th.

Fans first learned that Mars would be return to Los Angeles following a six-year hiatus for the special grand opening performances of Intuit Dome in Inglewood, California.   Mars shared: “I moved to Inglewood, California when I was 18 years old in hopes one day I could write a song that would allow me to perform all over the world. Opening up this arena is a full circle moment and I can’t wait to celebrate the city that’s become my second home, Los Angeles.”

Intuit Dome is also the new home of the LA Clippers, and Halo Sports and Entertainment CEO Gillian Zucker said in a statement (per Deadline): “We are thrilled Bruno Mars will open Intuit Dome. Bruno, who has a strong connection to Inglewood, will undoubtedly deliver an iconic performance that is worthy of this moment, and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on everyone who attends these two shows.”

Sebastian Maniscalco, Phil Whickham and Brandon Lake, Twenty One Pilots, Usher, Weezer and Billy Joel will perform at Intuit Dome following its grand opening.

Tickets for Mars’ Las Vegas residency at Dolby Live at Park MGM are also on sale now, with dates including the following: June 7, 8, 12, 14, 15; August 20, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31, and September 1, 2024.

Editorial credit: s_bukley /

News Daypop

Pope Francis makes first trip outside of Rome in months with visit to women’s prison in Venice

Pope Francis made his first trip outside Rome in seven months on Sunday, visiting a prison for women in Venice ahead of a mass in the city.  The Pope has not travelled since visiting the French city of Marseille in September 2023.

Amid concerns over his health, the 87-year-old pontiff arrived by helicopter at 8:00am local time to the courtyard of the women’s prison on the island of Giudecca, and greeted one by one the approximately 80 inmates, staff and volunteers. The pope met with female prisoners who are stars of the Vatican’s pavilion at the Biennale contemporary art show, urging the women to rebuild their lives in the first ever papal visit to one of the world’s biggest art gatherings.

The pope encouraged the women to reconstruct their lives “brick upon brick, together, with determination” during their time in prison, saying: “Prison is a harsh reality, and problems such as overcrowding, the lack of facilities and resources, and episodes of violence, give rise to a great deal of suffering there. But it can also become a place of moral and material rebirth.”  The Pontiff called on the prison system to “offer detainees the tools and room for human, spiritual, cultural and professional growth, creating the conditions for their healthy reintegration”.

Pope Francis also toured an art exhibition housed at the prison which examines the daily lives of the inmates through the work of 10 different artists. The exhibit is the Vatican’s entry for this year’s Biennale festival of art, which began last weekend.

Editorial credit: Pavel Mikheyev /

News Daypop

Tornadoes sweep across heartland leaving 5 dead, including infant, and dozens injured

Authorities confirmed on Sunday that a four-month-old baby was among two people killed in Oklahoma, in the wake of severe storms and multiple tornadoes that spread across four states. The Oklahoma tornadoes Saturday night were the latest in a series of tornadoes that have battered the Midwest beginning last week and into the weekend.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, at least 30 people were injured and one remains unaccounted for as authorities continued a search and rescue mission Sunday. Emergency officials in Hughes County, Oklahoma, said the baby was one of two people killed in storms that struck Holdenville.

Sunday marked the third day of the severe weather outbreak across the heartland states, with more than 22 million people under threat of violent storms in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. A powerful pair of twisters that touched down in Nebraska, officials said. Twenty-seven million people remain at risk of severe weather into Sunday, including wind gusts, hail, flood risk and potentially more tornadoes.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement Sunday: “My prayers are with those who lost loved ones as tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma last night. Thank you to Oklahoma Emergency Management and those who have worked through the night to keep Oklahomans safe and have worked to clear debris and assess damage.”  Stitt declared a state of emergency in a dozen counties.

A destructive tornado also hit Sulfur, Oklahoma, in Murray County, destroying buildings and scattering debris for miles with at least four other people injured in the area.  Tornadoes were also reported Saturday across Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska, officials said, and according to the National Weather Service there were nearly 120 tornado reports in the last two days.

Editorial credit: Eugene R Thieszen /

Country Daypop

Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and Alabama to headline Florida’s ‘Kickoff Jam’

Florida’s Kickoff Jam has shared their 2024 lineup, featuring headliners Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and Alabama. The festival will take place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Panama City Beach, Florida in celebration of five decades of country music on the beach.

Brooks posted on his socials: “Join Garth, Carrie Underwood, Alabama and more over Labor Day Weekend for KICKOFF JAM celebrating 5 Decades of Panama City Beach and 5 Decades of Country Music! Tickets go ON SALE April 24 at 10am CST -Team Garth”

Night 1 of Kickoff Jam on Friday, August 30th will be headlined by supergroup Alabama with a special appearance by Randy Travis. Jamey Johnson, Tyler Farr, Gavin Adcock, Pam Tillis, and Catie Offerman will also perform on 8/30. On Saturday, August 31st, headliner Carrie Underwood will take the stage, preceded by Needtobreathe, Lauren Alaina, Restless Road, Carter Faith, and Kayley Green; and finally on Sunday, September 1st, Garth Brooks will perform as headliner along with Allie Colleen, Mackenzie Carpenter, Rhett Akins, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Randy Houser.

Executive Producer Rendy Lovelady shared: “I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and without question, this is the biggest show we’ve ever put on. We’re excited to celebrate five decades of Country music in Panama City Beach! Kickoff Jam COO Mark Sheldon added: “It’s such a great honor to be a part of bringing the biggest names in Country music right here to our beautiful beaches. It’s our vision to not only support the local community, but to show the country how proud we are of our heritage and Country music in Panama City Beach.”

Three-day passes are available to purchase now at

Editorial credit: Tinseltown /

Country Daypop

Nate Smith to launch 2024 ‘Through The Smoke’ tour

Nate Smith will embark on his headlining “Through The Smoke” tour this fall. Smith posted on his socials: “Let’s go!!!!🔥🔥 Hitting the road on my Through The Smoke Tour with @johnmorgan95 and @karleyscottcollins! .. Where will I see you??”

The 14-city trek will kick off on September 19th in Portland, Oregon, and ends on November 23rd in Des Moines, Iowa. Joining Smith on the road will be special guests John Morgan and Karley Scott Collins on select dates.

Smith is currently on the road with Morgan Wallen’s One Night at a Time 2024 Tour, which will see Smith opening on stadium dates across the country including Arlington, Charlotte, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Nashville, Oxford, Tampa, and more.  Smith is also set to return to Stagecoach Festival this weekend, after making his festival debut last year.

For more details on the ‘Through The Smoke” tour, visit

Editorial credit: Day Of Victory Studio /