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Biden and Trump help Warnock, Walker by staying out of Georgia

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Voters in Georgia head to the polls on Tuesday in a crucial Senate runoff election that will determine if Democrats land a little bit of breathing room in their razor-thin control of the chamber’s majority.But ahead of the election, there are no plans for either President Biden or former President Donald Trump to stump in-person in the key southeastern battleground state, another sign that the Democratic and Republican front-runners in the 2024 presidential race are both saddled with plenty of negatives.”This race in Georgia… it’s really, really critical,” the president said on Friday as he hit the phones with fellow Democrats making calls to Peach State voters in support of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who’s facing off in the runoff election by GOP nominee Herschel Walker . “This is a guy who needs our help.”But the phone bank the president visited was far from Georgia — It was in Boston, Massachusetts.WARNOCK SUPPORTERS WEIGH IN ON WHETHER BIDEN SHOULD SEEK SECOND TERM
President Joe Biden speaks to volunteers at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) phone banking event on December 2nd, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts for re-election campaign of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia. (Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) 
(Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Biden also headlined a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee while in Massachusetts. The Senate Democrats’ re-election arm has spent millions of dollars on behalf of Warnock as he seeks a full six-year term representing Georgia in the Senate.The stops by Biden in Boston to boost Warnock were the final examples this year of the president’s strategy of supporting Democrats in tough races by helping them from a distance, which White House aides say contributed to the party beating of expectations in last month’s midterm elections.Aides said the trip to Boston to help Warnock was requested by the Georgia senator’s campaign, and that Biden was happy to make the stop.OBAMA TAKES AIM AT WALKER AS HE RALLIES WITH WARNOCK, AGAIN”The president is willing to help Senator Warnock any way he can, however the senator wants him to get involved,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre argued earlier this week.And this cycle — that often means that the president stays far away from the campaign trail. By contrast, on the eve of Biden’s stop in Boston to help Warnock, former President Barack Obama teamed up with the senator — in person at a large rally in Atlanta — for the second time in five weeks.
Former President Barack Obama joins Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia for a rally on Dec. 1, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Warnock is facing off with Republican challenger Herschel Walker on Dec. 6 in a Senate runoff election. 
(Fox News )Trump’s also staying away from Georgia.Walker, a former college and professional football star, launched his Senate campaign in the summer of last year, after months of encouragement to run by the former president, his longtime friend. Trump held in-person rallies in Georgia for Walker in September 2021 and March of this year but has not returned to the Peach State to campaign in-person since Walker easily won the May Republican Senate primary.The former president is expected to hold a tele-rally with Walker ahead Tuesday’s runoff, Republican sources confirmed to Fox News. However, the former president isn’t expected to travel to the Peach State to hold an in-person rally with Walker.HERSCHEL WALKER SAYS RECORD VOTER TURNOUT IN GEORGIA’S SENATE RUNOFF ‘LOOKS GOOD FOR ME’Sources close to both the Walker and Trump camps said that Walker’s team did not ask Trump to visit in person, and the former president did not suggest that he would appear in Georgia. With the Warnock campaign running an ad that ties Walker to the former president and emphasizing “Stop Donald Trump” and “Stop Herschel Walker,” there seems to be an acknowledgment by both the Walker and Trump camps that an appearance by the former president would potentially carry more political risks than rewards.
Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally, as former President Donald Trump applauds, at a rally in Perry, Georgia, U.S. September 25, 2021.
(REUTERS/Dustin Chambers)But when asked by Fox News on Wednesday if it would be better for Trump not to appear with him in person, Walker quickly answered, “Not at all. I’ve invited President Trump whenever he wants to come.”The former president has been helping Walker raise money, with Trump-aligned political committees sending fundraising emails on behalf of Georgia’s Republican Senate nominee.Trump last month launched his third campaign for president, and Biden’s repeatedly said he intends to seek a second term in the White House in 2024. But poll after poll indicates that many Americans are far from excited about a Biden-Trump rematch in the next presidential election.FIRST ON FOX: PENCE HEADING BACK TO NEW HAMPSHIRE IN DECEMBERThere was plenty of other action this past week in the 2024 presidential race.The Democratic National Committee took a major step to adopt the president’s proposed shakeup of the 2024 presidential nominating calendar, potentially removing Iowa and New Hampshire from their first spots.
The Iowa Caucuses display at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, on Jan. 15, 2020 
(Fox News)The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted Friday to adopt Biden’s proposal to have South Carolina vote first on the Democrats’ nominating calendar in 2024, with New Hampshire and Nevada holding primaries a few days later in a move aimed at making the lead-off contest more representative of the party’s increased diversity in recent decades.DEMOCRATS GIVE INITIAL APPROVAL TO BIDEN PLAN TO UPEND PARTY’S 2024 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CALENDARTerm-limited Republican Gov. Larry Hogan marked eight years of steering the blue state of Maryland and looked towards a future that may include a 2024 GOP presidential run as he gathered with family, friends, supporters and donors from across the country for a trio of events on Wednesday.
Term-limited Republican Gov. Larry Hogan takes to the stage at a celebration of his eight years steering the blue state of Maryland, at an event in Baltimore, Maryland on Nov. 30, 2022
(An America United)Hogan took part in a leadership summit in Annapolis, Maryland’s capital city, and two celebratory events in nearby Baltimore that were hosted by An America United, the Hogan-aligned public advocacy group, and the Better Path Forward PAC, a recently launched federal political action committee. One of the events drew roughly 1,700 people, according to organizers.From the launch of the PAC to numerous visits this year to Iowa and New Hampshire – the states that kick off the Republican presidential nominating calendar — as he crisscrossed the country supporting fellow Republicans running in the 2022 elections — Hogan’s made many of the moves a politician makes in advance of launching a White House campaign. “Early next year we’re going to be sitting down and figuring out what the future looks like, but I haven’t ruled anything out,” Hogan reiterated in an interview with Fox News Digital last month.FIRST ON FOX: DESANTIS NEW BOOK COMING OUT IN FEBRUARY AMID 2024 SPECULATIONRepublican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida will chronicle his life in public service in a new book that will publish in late February in what will be seen by political pundits as another step by the conservative champion toward a possible 2024 presidential run.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis book “The Courage to be Free”
(Broadside Books)The autobiography by DeSantis, who was overwhelmingly re-elected three weeks ago to a second four-year term steering the increasingly red Sunshine State, is titled “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.” Word of the book, scheduled to be published Feb. 28 by Broadside, the conservative arm of HarperCollins Publishing, was shared first with Fox News Wednesday.DeSantis for over a year has routinely discounted talk of a 2024 White House run as he stayed focused on his gubernatorial re-election. But he’s become a major force in the GOP as he’s built a political brand that stretches from coast to coast, and political prognosticators view him as a potential presidential contender.Writing a book is a rite of passage for many potential and actual presidential candidates. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s likely to launch a White House run, is on a nationwide book tour for his new autobiography, “So Help Me God.” “If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons from Bold Women,” the latest book from another potential GOP White House hopeful, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, published in October. Haley served as ambassador to the United Nations during former President Trump’s administration.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” a new memoir written by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another likely Republican presidential contender, is scheduled to publish in late January.And Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate who hasn’t ruled out a future White House run, is expected to come out in June with his third book, titled “Decades of Decadence.”  Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire. 

South African worshippers swept away in Jukskei river flash flood

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South African rescue teams search for the missing who had been taking part in a church ceremony.

World Cup 2022: Senegal ‘must be ambitious’ to beat England in last 16

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Watford forward Ismaila Sarr (far right) is among Senegal’s five goalscorers at this year’s World CupHost nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listings – Full coverage detailsSenegal must stick to their attacking principles to beat England in the last 16 of the World Cup, according to former international Omar Daf.The West Africans won their first continental title in February but will come up against a side which reached the World Cup semi-finals in Russia four years ago and then finished as runners-up at the European Championship last year.Yet Daf wants the Teranga Lions to play on the front foot despite facing attacking talents including Marcus Rashford, who has three goals in Qatar, and 2018 golden boot winner Harry Kane.”Senegal are the African champions so we must continue to be ambitious,” the 45-year-old, part of the Senegal squad which reached the last eight of the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea, told BBC Sport Africa.”Tactically, we will have to be very strong to beat this English team.”The English are complete defensively, in the middle and even in terms of their offensive animation. But we have the weapons to continue this adventure.”The winners of the game on Sunday (19:00 GMT) will face either defending champions France or Poland in the quarter-finals.Senegal’s current squad are looking to match the side from 20 years ago and reach the last eight in what is their first ever meeting with England.The Teranga Lions go into the game without record goalscorer Sadio Mane, ruled out of the tournament through injury, but five different players have chipped in with goals in his place as the West Africans finished second in Group A.”Even in the absence of Sadio, which is a big loss for us, we learned to reorganize and play differently,” Daf, now manager of French Ligue 2 club Dijon, added.”All the players are capable of scoring and being dangerous so we must rely on this collective to win this match.”England are fifth in the Fifa world rankings while Senegal – coached by Daf’s former team-mate Aliou Cisse – are 18th, having become Africa’s top-ranked side in November 2018.”Our opponent is one of the best teams in Europe but Senegal are not African champions for nothing,” Daf said.”We arrived in this competition with a lot of ambition. The boys show it in every game, I hope they will take this game with a lot of energy. This team is a pleasure to watch.”Captain of the 2002 squad, Cisse took charge of Senegal in 2015 and lost the Africa Cup of Nations final in 2019 before returning to lift the title in Cameroon earlier this year. “Aliou is a very intelligent person, very pragmatic. Being a leader of men is one of his qualities,” Daf said.”I think Aliou will choose the same strategy [as previous games] to beat this English team. In any case we are confident, it is 50-50 and we must be ready on the day.” The English connectionAliou Cisse took charge of Senegal in 2015Several of Senegal’s 2002 squad moved to England’s Premier League after their impressive run in the Far East, including Cisse (to Birmingham City), striker El Hadji Diouf (to Liverpool) and the late midfielder Papa Bouba Diop (to Fulham).Ten of Senegal’s squad in Qatar are based in England, with the majority having top-flight experience.However, Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye will miss the game with suspension while Nottingham Forest midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate is an injury doubt.Alassane N’Dour, another member of the history-making 2002 squad, concurs that Senegal must continue the attacking instincts they showed in their final Group A match, a 2-1 win over Ecuador on Tuesday.”We know about England’s football. They have a great squad – on the bench you can see (Jack) Grealish – with so many good players,” N’Dour told BBC Sport Africa.”Senegal has a chance, because most of their players play in the Premier League or the Championship.”We have to play our game and concentrate like we did against Ecuador. We can defend and then proceed to the counter-attack.”Our players are so quick – they can move with the ball, attack with the ball. We need to be tactically defensive before attacking, because if we [concede] a goal in the first half, in the beginning of the game, it can change everything.”So we have to make sure we are tactically defensive before attacking.”Omar Daf (right) helped Senegal reach the quarter-finals on their World Cup debut in 2002, where the Teranga Lions were beaten by TurkeyGet the latest results and goal notifications for any team at the Fifa World Cup by downloading the BBC Sport app: Appleexternal-link – Androidexternal-link – Amazonexternal-linkGet your daily dose of Fifa World Cup reaction, debate & analysis with World Cup Daily on BBC Sounds

Sbu Nkosi: Missing person case opened for South Africa wing

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Sbu Nkosi could not tour Europe with South Africa in November because of a rib injurySouth Africa’s World Cup winner Sbu Nkosi has been reported missing by his club in Pretoria.The Bulls said their last contact with Nkosi was on 11 November and that they opened a missing person case with the police six days later.The 26-year-old winger missed out on the Springboks’ autumn internationals because of a rib injury.”Sbu Nkosi has been absent without leave for the past three weeks,” read a Bulls statement.They said they had attempted “phone calls, texts messages, calls to relatives, partner and close friends as well as four house visits to his known place of residence”, and the lack of contact led to “grave worry and concern”.Nkosi has played 16 Tests and was part of the South Africa squad that won the 2019 World Cup.

Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria says they are ‘not OK’ a year after fatal ‘Rust’ shooting

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Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria opened up about how she and her husband are coping in the aftermath of the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust” in October 2021.The 38-year-old yoga instructor admitted that she and the 64-year-old actor are struggling more than a year after the tragic incident that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead.”We’re not OK. We can’t be Ok. No one’s OK,” Hilaria said in a preview for her upcoming interview on Extra.She continued, “It was and is a tragedy that nobody could ever have imagined.”ALEC BALDWIN’S ‘RUST’ SHOOTING: WHERE THE INVESTIGATION STANDS ONE YEAR LATER
Hilaria Baldwin said that she and husband Alec are “not OK” one year after the deadly “Rust” shooting.
(Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)Hutchins, 42, died on Oct. 21, 2021 when a prop gun that Alec was holding discharged on the New Mexico movie set. The film’s director Joel Souza was also injured. The actor and crew had been rehearsing a scene in a small church on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set.Baldwin has maintained that he did not pull the trigger of the gun — once during a primetime interview shortly following the deadly shooting and again on a recent podcast episode. The actor originally said he had pulled the hammer of the gun back as far as he could and released it.In October, Alec shared a tribute to Hutchins on the first anniversary of her death. He posted a photo of the late cinematographer on Instagram and wrote in the caption, “One year ago today…” New Mexico’s Office of the Medical Investigator determined the shooting was an accident. However, prosecutors are reviewing the shooting to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Baldwin and other key members of the production on Feb. 15. The lawsuit named Baldwin and others who were “responsible for the safety on the set” and called out the “reckless behavior and cost-cutting” that led to the death of Hutchins, according to her family’s lawyer.
Last month, Alec filed a negligence lawsuit against the film’s armorer and several members of the crew.
(Jim Spellman/Getty Images)However, on Oct. 5, Matthew Hutchins, the late cinematographer’s husband, announced the civil lawsuit had been settled pending court approval.”Rust” is set to resume filming in January, with Matthew Hutchins as an executive producer.Last month, Alec filed a negligence lawsuit against the film’s armorer and several members of the crew, in which he claimed that he had relied on them to make sure the movie set was safe. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTERAlec’s attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, wrote in the suit that the Academy Award nominee “must live with immense grief” and faced an “emotional, physical and financial toll.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”More than anyone else on that set, Baldwin has been wrongfully viewed as the perpetrator of this tragedy,” the lawsuit stated. “By these Cross-Claims, Baldwin seeks to clear his name and hold Cross-Defendants accountable for their misconduct.”Fox News Digital’s Janelle Ash contributed to this report. Ashley Hume is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @ashleyhume

‘SNL’ cold open swipes Herschel Walker Georgia Senate race, guest host Keke Palmer addresses pregnancy rumors

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“Saturday Night Live” is back after a weeklong Thanksgiving hiatus, with actress Keke Palmer hosting the Dec. 3 episode alongside musical guest SZA.”I’m so excited to be in New York,” Palmer said, opening the show. She later called New York City “the best city in the world.”During her opening monologue, the 29-year-old actress, who most recently starred in Jordan Peele’s blockbuster sci-fi thriller, “Nope,” said it was Sagittarius season before quipping: “For those who say astrology isn’t real, I just say how’s that crypto going?”Palmer shared she started acting at nine years old, debuting in “Akeelah and the Bee” alongside Laurence Fishburne.‘SNL’ COLD OPEN OFFERS UP MORE ‘EXCITING’ DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES AHEAD OF ‘BIG YIKES’ MIDTERMS
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – Keke Palmer, SZA Episode 1833 – Pictured: Host Keke Palmer during Promos in Studio 8H on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022 
(Rosalind OConnor/NBC via Getty Images)Palmer recalled one incident where she laughed during a scene that was supposed to be serious, prompting Fishburne to yell at her. She said her mother then “went off on him.”During the segment, Palmer also addressed internet pregnancy rumors. Opening her overcoat to reveal that she is indeed expecting, Palmer said: “This has been the biggest blessing. I am so excited, I want to be a mom!”The 29-year-old actress then joked about growing up and storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 as “things adults do.”‘SNL’ COLD OPEN BREAKS DOWN RISE OF GOP CANDIDATES WITHOUT ‘ANY POLITICAL EXPERIENCE’ AHEAD OF MIDTERMS She also reflected on making her “SNL” debut and how she would be on the show.”I asked myself, who will you be?” Palmer said, before mentioning she could be like Maya Rudolf, Eddie Murphy, or a “Kristen Wiig-type” before priding: “Baby, I know who I am, I am Keke Palmer.”
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Keke Palmer, SZA Episode 1833 — Pictured: Musical guest SZA and host Keke Palmer during Promos in Studio 8H on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.
(Rosalind OConnor/NBC via Getty Images)”SNL” opened with a segment about Herschel Walker’s Georgia runoff Senate race, with Kenan Thompson reprising his role as the Republican candidate.Thompson’s Walker met with senior Republican leadership including Mitch McConnell (James Austin Johnson), John Cornyn (Mikey Day), and Marsha Blackburn (Cecily Strong) during the skit.”Hey there Mr. McDonald’s, sorry I was late I was having too much fun in that free Merry-Go-Round,” Thompson’s Walker started.Walker was cartoonishly depicted, misinterpreting or misunderstanding most things.When the GOP leaders discussed current polls and mentioned vote-by-mail, Walker chimed: “You got to remember, they still got to count votes by female.” Responding to a comment about the runoff election, he said: “Oh well I’m good at those, my ex-wife said all I do is run off.”CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTERThe skit included the Republican leaders asking Walker if he had any hidden scandals that could be revealed in the coming weeks.”Yes, definitely, so many,” Walker responded. “Where do I start?”Walker then suggests he paid for an abortion at the “planned parent trap.”
L-R; SNL cast members Mikey Day, Molly Kearney, James Austin Johnson, SNL costume designer Tom Broecker, Sarah Sherman, Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner and Ego Nwodim at The Museum Gala held at the American Museum of Natural History on Dec. 1, 2022 in New York City. 
(Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty Images)As Walker continues to say things that could derail his campaign the Republican leaders discuss executing “Plan B,” which is revealed to be locking Walker up “until Election Day.”The episode later included jokes about Drake, President Joe Biden, the railroad strikes, Alex Jones, Kanye West, Donald Trump, an Oath Keepers leader, and Cowboys owners Jerry Jones.On Biden’s recent signing of a bill that bars union workers from striking, Colin Jost joked that the president does not care if workers get paid sick leave “because he wakes up every day with full-blown CTE.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe “SNL” cast returns on Dec. 10, with alums Steve Martin and Martin Short serving as hosts. The episode will have Brandi Carlile as a musical guest.

Big advertisers including Amazon returning to Twitter, says report | Science & Tech News

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Amazon is planning to resume multimillion dollar advertising on Twitter, according to reports.The move will see Amazon ply about $100m (£81.3m) per year into the platform, now owned by Elon Musk, according to Reuters news agency, citing a tweet from the tech blog Platformer.
The tweet by a Platformer reporter said the company’s return is pending some “security tweaks” to Twitter’s advertising platform.According to a Bloomberg report, Twitter’s CEO Mr Musk has said Apple Inc has also resumed its full advertising.Neither Amazon or Apple have yet responded to the reports.

Twitter’s ad revenue had been declining rapidly since Mr Musk’s chaotic $44bn (£36bn) takeover of the company, which led to a mass exodus of staff.Mr Musk laid off half of Twitter’s 8,000-strong workforce soon after his takeover, having moved even more quickly to dismiss its top executives.

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Elon Musk in Nevada this week

Apple was Twitter’s biggest advertiser in the first quarter of this year – spending $48m (£40m) on ads on the social network, but its spending with the platform dwindled.The world’s most valuable firm spent an estimated $131,600 (£110,000) on Twitter ads between 10 and 16 November – down from $220,800 (£184,000) between 16 and 22 October, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal, according to ad measurement firm Pathmatics.
At the same time, Mr Musk hit out at Apple – claiming it has threatened to block his social network from its app store without explanation.Read more:
Super app or Wild West? The future of Twitter under Elon MuskThe billionaire also asked in a series of tweets whether Apple hated free speech and if it would go after Tesla, his electric-car company.But the CEO appeared to confirm himself in a tweet on Saturday, the news that both Apple and Amazon had returned to Twitter advertising. Last week, Mr Musk admitted his company had seen a “massive” drop in revenue.Food firm General Mills and carmaker Audi of America are among a number who have stopped or paused advertising on Twitter since the acquisition.

Royal Navy helps dig out world’s most remote post office in Antarctic after 4m deluge of snow | World News

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Royal Navy sailors came to the aid of four women who have taken up jobs at an isolated Antarctic scientific base – after heavy snowfall buried some of the buildings.Clare Ballantyne, Mairi Hilton, Natalie Corbett and Lucy Bruzzone beat a record number of applicants to become the team responsible for managing historic site Port Lockroy on Goudier Island – home to the world’s most remote post office.
The team, who share the island with a colony of gentoo penguins, had been setting up the base, assisted by three other staff who are leaving shortly, ahead of the austral summer, when the bad weather struck.

Some of the buildings were buried, while the roof of Bransfield Hut – home to the site’s museum, gift shop and post office – was damaged by the heavy spring snowfall of between two and four metres deep.A team of sailors and Royal Marines from Royal Navy ship HMS Protector shifted several tonnes of snow and carried out temporary repairs.
‘At least the snow killed the smell’Warrant Officer First Class Lee “Rattler” Morgan said it had been good for the ship’s company to “step ashore and help out”.
He added: “The sailors were all smiles and happy to get cracking on with such a worthwhile task.”I was taken aback by the sheer amount of snow and how the buildings had all but disappeared.
“When I left here at the beginning of the year, the penguins were lying on bare ground of rocks and mess – at least the snow got rid of the smell.”

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HMS Protector in Port Lockroy. Pic: Ministry of Defence

Engineering Technician Marine Engineer Jack Pearce said: “This is only my second ‘run ashore’ in the Navy, having come out of training just three weeks ago.”It’s amazing to be here, I have enjoyed the scenery and wildlife, but also it feels great making a difference by working with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.”

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The HMS Protector’s Ship’s Company and UK Antarctic Heritage Trust teams together

Counting penguinsThe four women were among 6,000 people who expressed an interest in running the site, abandoning home comforts to live and work in the region without running water or a flushing toilet.

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Mairi Hilton and Lucy Bruzzone (below) are two of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust team

The former whaling station, which has become a tourist attraction visited by around 20,000 people during the summer season, is home to the world’s most remote post office, which handles around 80,000 cards mailed each year to more than 100 countries.Another job the team overseeing the station has, is counting the island’s penguins.HMS Protector is the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship, which pays regular visits to international bases on the frozen continent, delivering supplies, supporting scientific research and conducting her own.

Sam Bankman-Fried: This crypto entrepreneur saw his £21bn empire crumble in just three days – what happened at FTX? | Science & Tech News

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Sam Bankman-Fried looked unstoppable.The 30-year-old had built a £21bn business empire and was the CEO of FTX, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange.
More than one million customers worldwide were using his platform to buy assets like Bitcoin – enticed by star-studded adverts that made everything look simple and safe.

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Naomi Osaka appeared in an ad for FTX

Bankman-Fried – known as SBF for short – had become one of the biggest names in the crypto industry too, with his company swooping in to save smaller firms after they were tipped into bankruptcy.But in the space of just three days, a series of bombshell allegations led to the spectacular collapse of FTX and a bankruptcy of its own.
Bankman-Fried’s personal wealth dropped by a staggering 94% in 24 hours – the biggest one-day fall ever suffered by a billionaire, according to Bloomberg.Hundreds of thousands are locked out of their life savings – an estimated 80,000 of them in the UK.
Vast sums of money have gone missing from the exchange, amid allegations that customer funds were mismanaged.No longer a billionaire, Bankman-Fried says his net worth has dwindled to $100,000 (£80,000) following FTX’s demise – and he admitted it has been a “bad month”.
But it could soon get a lot worse for Bankman-Fried. Criminal investigations have now been launched into the company’s collapse, with aggrieved investors filing a flurry of lawsuits.So what next for the deposed “Crypto King”, why did his digital empire rise and fall so quickly, and where does it leave this already embattled industry?

An ‘altruistic’ entrepreneurCalifornian-born, a poster boy for “effective altruism” (getting rich in order to give money to good causes), a teetotaller and a vegan, Bankman-Fried is in many ways a far cry from the Machiavellian emperors of time gone by.Still, SBF managed to craft an empire that would even make Julius Caesar green-eyed.Bankman-Fried’s story – which is by no means a rags-to-riches one – begins in the wealthy San Francisco Bay area, where he attended a $56,000-a-year school.After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SBF moved on to Wall Street – and later set up his own trading business called Alameda Research.His co-founder Tara Mac Aulay left the business in 2018 in part because of “concerns over risk management and business ethics”.After attending a cryptocurrency event, Bankman-Fried left the US and moved to Hong Kong, where he founded FTX.

The FTX boomFTX was set up to allow people to buy cryptocurrencies using their pounds and dollars. It was praised for its easy-to-use interface – and made money by charging small fees for each transaction.By July 2021, FTX had more than one million users and was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume – winning investments from major firms including SoftBank and Sequoia Capital.In September of that year, Bankman-Fried moved his business to the tax haven of The Bahamas – in part, he claimed, because of a crackdown on crypto by China.Once settled in the Caribbean, Bankman-Fried – an avid gamer who was once accused of playing League of Legends during a business meeting – invested in a multimillion-dollar waterfront penthouse.The luxury property, overlooking an area used for filming the scene where Daniel Craig famously emerged from the water in Casino Royale, was also used as a home office for Bankman-Fried and up to nine of his FTX devotees.

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Pic: AP

Under SBF’s leadership, FTX marketed itself aggressively. It paid a reported $135m (£110m) for the naming rights to an arena used by the Miami Heat basketball team.Tennis star Naomi Osaka and NFL legend Tom Brady entered into high-profile partnerships with the exchange – appearing in TV adverts and snapping up equity stakes in the business.And during the Super Bowl earlier this year, FTX spent millions on a 60-second TV spot featuring Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David – a commercial that hasn’t aged well.The advert showed David travelling through the ages and dismissing inventions including the wheel, the fork and the toilet – zooming to the present day, where he’s told about FTX being a “safe and easy way to get into crypto”.”Ehhhhh, I don’t think so,” the comedian says in the advert. “And I’m never wrong about this stuff. Never.”
The FTX bustIn April this year, Bankman-Fried cemented his status – appearing on stage at an event with former US president Bill Clinton and ex-UK prime minister Tony Blair.SBF also backed Joe Biden’s presidential campaign against Donald Trump to the tune of more than $5m (£4.1m) – making him the politician’s second-biggest financial backer.But last month, reports began to suggest trouble was afoot at FTX because of its close ties to Bankman-Fried’s first business, Alameda Research.FTX had created its own token called FTT, which was designed to offer discounts and incentives to the exchange’s customers. The total value of all the FTT tokens in circulation stood at £2.65bn – making it one of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the world.A leaked document obtained by the crypto publication CoinDesk revealed that Alameda Research had a significant amount of FTT on its balance sheet – raising serious questions about the health of this trading firm.That spooked Changpeng Zhao – an early investor in FTX who runs Binance, the world’s biggest exchange.

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Changpeng Zhao. Pic: AP

In a dramatic move, Zhao, who had been feuding with Bankman-Fried over the future of crypto regulation, announced Binance would sell off the FTT tokens on its books – a haul worth $529m (£430m).The announcement sparked a huge decline in the value of FTT, which has lost 95% of its value since the crisis began. Meanwhile, investors rushed to FTX to withdraw their crypto, fearing its collapse.It is estimated that about $6bn (£5.2bn) worth of withdrawal requests were made in three days, pushing FTX into a financial crisis.Binance said it would consider acquiring FTX – but one executive said it took just two hours of due diligence to conclude that the company was beyond saving.That same day, FTX filed for bankruptcy in the US state of Delaware – with liabilities of at least $10bn (£8.2bn).Users are now unable to withdraw their savings from the exchange, and it could be years before they see any of their money again.Things then went from bad to worse. Hours after the bankruptcy, worried customers were dealt another blow after FTX was hacked – with officials estimating that $600m (£490m) was siphoned from the exchange.Bankman-Fried also caused anger when he tweeted “WHAT HAPPENED”, one letter at a time, in a thread over several days – leading to criticism that he was tone deaf while users were desperate for updates about what was going on.

Allegations of shady business practices have since emerged – with Reuters reporting that FTX used customer funds to cover losses at its sister company Alameda Research, with up to £8bn being moved in secret. Bankman-Fried has said he “wasn’t running” Alameda’s operations and “didn’t know exactly what was going on”.Elsewhere, it’s been claimed that Bankman-Fried had established a “backdoor” in FTX’s bookkeeping system that allowed money to be moved out of the business without other executives being alerted. The entrepreneur has denied that this was the case.The Financial Times also reported that as much as $8bn (£6.5bn) in customer funds has vanished from FTX – and now, the exchange’s new management has been left picking up the pieces.FTX’s new CEO is John Ray, who made his name after leading the energy firm Enron through bankruptcy proceedings in the early 2000s. That major company had collapsed amid revelations of widespread accounting fraud and corruption.Outlining the severity of the crypto exchange’s condition, Mr Ray wrote in a bankruptcy filing: “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.”From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”A bankruptcy lawyer for FTX’s new management later said Bankman-Fried had run the company as his “personal fiefdom” – and the business has suffered “one of the most abrupt and difficult collapses in the history of corporate America”.Bankman-Fried has repeatedly apologised – saying he “f***** up” with how he handled the business – and has given a number of high-profile interviews despite being advised not to do so by lawyers.He has also expressed fears that some customers who had crypto locked up in FTX may only receive 20% to 25% of their savings back.Read more: Founder of bankrupt crypto firm breaks his silence

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Pic: ABC News via AP

On Wednesday, he spoke at The New York Times’ DealBook summit for the first time since the dramatic collapse of the business.He said: “I didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone. I was excited about the prospects of FTX a month ago. I saw it as a thriving, growing business. I was shocked by what happened this month.”SBF was also asked about claims that he and the co-workers in his penthouse were a polyamorous group who drifted in and out of relationships with one another and held drug-fuelled parties.He told The New York Times: “When we had parties, we played board games and 20% of people would have three-quarters of beer each or something like that. And the rest of us would not drink anything. I didn’t see any illegal drug use around me – you know, at the office or at these parties.”And speaking to Good Morning America, SBF added: “I lived with a bunch of monogamous couples when I was here, some of whom got married over the course of their time here. I don’t know of any polyamorous relationships within FTX.”Read more: Major crypto exchange FTX begins bankruptcy proceedings in US

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The value of FTX’s FTT token has collapsed over the past month. Pic: CoinMarketCap

What about the future?Everyday investors and some top US firms have lost out in the FTX crash.A crypto lending company called BlockFi has now been tipped into bankruptcy as a direct result of this exchange’s demise, and more may follow.Meanwhile, the future of other businesses that FTX had acquired is uncertain.The shockwaves have been largely contained in the crypto sector and haven’t spilled over into traditional markets.Nonetheless, experts in the field say there will be real-world ramifications going forward.Eddie Donmez, finance influencer and global market analyst at Finimize, said crypto businesses are likely to face more regulation in the future.He told Sky News: “In the near term, the contagion has been within the crypto market and while the near term has been very bad, terrible, for cryptocurrency what I do think is that it could be an acid test for regulation.”While there are always bad actors involved in any industry where money is involved, this could be a good thing in the long term for crypto.”

Mr Donmez also said he believed that the whole FTX episode is something that should make people sit up and listen.He added: “This story is of interest to the public because there are some major players who have been fooled by a kid playing computer games in investment meetings.”It shows everyone can get it wrong from time to time.”Katharine Wooller, from crypto insurance firm Coincover, added: “I think this will bring regulation. Crypto purists will say no because it is against what they believe is at the heart of crypto, but there needs to be more regulation, not less.”The collapse of FTX is another hammer blow to the credibility of cryptocurrencies – with Bitcoin’s price falling by 75% since November 2021.But Bitcoin enthusiasts say this company’s demise shows why it is important for investors to store crypto on their own devices, rather than entrust it to an exchange.There’s little sign that conditions will improve in this infamously volatile sector any time soon – and if the world’s second-largest exchange can go bankrupt, no crypto company is safe.

Toby Keith shares health update amid battle with stomach cancer

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Toby Keith opened up about his battle with stomach cancer for the first time since revealing his diagnosis in June.The 61-year-old country music star shared an update on his health and future touring plans during an appearance on CMT’s “Hot 20 Countdown.””I’m thinking about getting back into fighting shape” Keith said in a preview for the interview that was shared on social media.
Toby Keith opened up about his battle with stomach cancer for the first time since revealing his diagnosis in June.
( Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BMI)He continued, “I need a little bit of time to just rest up and heal up.”TOBY KEITH REVEALS STOMACH CANCER DIAGNOSIS; RECEIVING ‘CHEMO, RADIATION AND SURGERY’”It’s pretty debilitating to have to go through all that,” the “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” hitmaker admitted.  “But as long as everything stays hunky-dory, then we’ll look at something good in the future.”The singer announced that he was battling stomach cancer and taking time off to recover from treatment in posts that he shared to his Instagram and Twitter accounts.”Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” he wrote. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”He added: “I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”The “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” singer subsequently canceled all of his planned shows for the rest of the year. However, he made a surprise appearance at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Lexington, Ky. on Nov. 4, where he reportedly performed songs including “I Love This Bar” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”On Nov. 8, Keith was presented with the BMI Icon Award at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tenn, joining a prestigious list of past recipients that includes Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams, Jr.
Last month, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church paid tribute to Keith  when he was honored at the BMI Country Awards.
((Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for BMI)During the ceremony, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church paid tribute to Keith, performing covers of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “I Love This Bar.”Keith is a longtime advocate for families facing cancer diagnoses, and helped found Ally’s House in 2004, a nonprofit group that assists Oklahoma children with cancer and their families.The nonprofit was named after Allison Webb, the two-year-old daughter of Keith’s original band member’s Scott Webb and wife Lisa. Allison died in 2003 of kidney cancer before her third birthday. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTERFollowing in the footsteps of Ally’s House, he established the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006 “to encourage the health and happiness of pediatric cancer patients.””In 2014, the foundation opened OK Kids Korral, a cost-free, convenient and comfortable home for pediatric cancer patients receiving treatment at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Stephenson Cancer Center and other nearby facilities,” the foundation’s mission statement said.Earlier this week, Keith shared a heart-warming photo to Instagram in which he was seen holding a young cancer patient as they both smiled and gave the thumbs-up.”Thumbs up if you’re celebrating #GivingTuesday by donating to the @tkfoundation1!” he wrote in the caption. “Your donations make the OK Kids Korral possible, a home away from home for children battling cancer and their families.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPFox News’ Tracy Wright contributed to this report.  Ashley Hume is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @ashleyhume