Winfrey to Exit WeightWatchers Board After She Announced Use of Weight-Loss Drug

Source: Variety

“Oprah Winfrey will leave the board of WeightWatchers after almost 10 years, following the entertainment mogul’s revelation that she is using a weight-loss drug. Winfrey informed the company this week that she decided to not stand for reelection at the annual meeting of shareholders to be held in May 2024. She has served on the company’s board since 2015. when she acquired a 10% stake in WeightWatchers. … In December 2023, Winfrey told People she had decided to start taking a weight-loss medication (which she did not identify) after coming to the realization that weight management does not hinge solely on a person’s self-control. … Winfrey’s agreement with WeightWatchers specifies that she ‘will not engage in any other weight loss or weight management business, program, products or services’ during the term of her relationship with the company and for one year afterward, according to the company’s filings with the SEC.” (02/29/24)

Ghana: Parliament passes controversial new anti-LGBTQ bill

Source: ABC News

“Ghana’s parliament has passed a controversial new anti-LGBTQ bill following months of debate that could make it illegal to identify as a citizen of the LGBTQ in the West African nation. … It now awaits being signed into law by Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo. The bill is one of the harshest of its kind in Africa and, if signed into law, it could see people who identify as ‘gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, nonbinary, queer … or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female’ sentenced to up to three years in prison. Those found guilty of the ‘promotion, sponsorship or support of LGBTQ+ activities’ could also face a prison sentence of up to five years in prison.” (02/29/24)

Zambia: Fresh from deadly cholera outbreak, regime declares drought a national emergency

Source: SFGate

“Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema Thursday declared the country’s debilitating drought a national disaster and emergency, saying it has devastated food production and electricity generation as the nation battles to recover from a recent deadly cholera outbreak. Like some of its neighbors, the southern African country is suffering a severe drought as the El Nino weather pattern worsens harsh weather conditions attributed in part to climate change. In an address to the nation, Hichilema said he has instructed security forces to focus more on food production in the largely peaceful country. He said 84 of the country’s 116 districts are affected by the prolonged drought and authorities will take food from areas where there is an excess and distribute it to needy areas. In addition, the country plans more food imports and is mobilizing United Nations agencies and local businesses to assist.” (02/29/24)

Republican senator blocks bill to protect IVF

Source: NBC News

“Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi blocked passage of legislation Wednesday that would protect access to in vitro fertilization. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and brought to the floor for consideration under unanimous consent — meaning one senator could block it from passage — would provide federal protections for IVF. The Alabama state Supreme Court recently ruled that embryos created through IVF are considered children. Many doctors and families worry that IVF will become less available, because people theoretically could be sued for destroying embryos. During the IVF process, embryos are often discarded if they have genetic abnormalities or after patients decide they will not need to use them.” (02/29/24)

Putin Threatens Nuclear War If NATO Deploys Troops to Ukraine

Source: Common Dreams

“Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that if Western nations started sending troops to Ukraine, it could lead to nuclear warfare. Putin made the comments in his annual state of the nation address. They came partially in response to French President Emmanuel Macron stating on Monday that sending troops to Ukraine couldn’t be ruled out. ‘They must realize that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory. All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilization,’ Putin said. ‘Don’t they get that?’ The Russian leader also touted the country’s development of hypersonic nuclear missiles, which can travel over five times faster than the speed of sound. ‘Strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness,’ he said.” (02/29/24)

Burger King trolls Wendy’s: Offers Free Whoppers after surge-pricing plans announced

Source: New York Post

“It’s a new kind of Hunger Games. Just days after Wendy’s announced they would be testing an ‘Uber-style’ surge-pricing model where the cost of menu items would fluctuate based on demand, Burger King made an announcement of their own. BK will be giving out free Whoppers through Friday, March 1, throwing some not-so-subtle shade at their competitor. ‘As the leader of this company, I will never support surge pricing or charging people more when they’re hungry. When our guests come to us, it’s our opportunity to give them our very best – in service and value for their hard-earned money. At Burger King, You Rule!’ President of Burger King US, Burger King, Tom Curtis said in a statement to The Post.” (02/29/24)

IL: Judge orders disgraced former president removed from presidential primary ballot

Source: Chicago Tribune

“A Cook County judge ruled Wednesday that former President Donald Trump’s name should be struck from the March 19 Illinois Republican primary ballot because he engaged in insurrection in the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and is disqualified from holding the office of president. Judge Tracie Porter made her ruling based on the case law surrounding the Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision in December that removed Trump from that state’s ballot based on the ‘insurrection clause’ of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the Colorado decision. While Porter ruled primary votes cast for Trump should not be counted by Illinois election officials, she stayed the effect of her ruling in anticipation of an appeal in higher state courts and a ruling from the nation’s highest court in the Colorado case. The Trump campaign vowed to appeal Porter’s ruling shortly after it was issued.” (02/28/24)

PA: Conservatives rally behind Amish farmer who suffered police raid over milk sales

Source: Fox News

“Republicans on social media are rallying behind an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania who suffered a police raid last month for selling milk in violation of government regulations. Amos Miller argues that he sells his products only to his ‘private membership association’ and not to the public, exempting him from government regulations. However, the state’s agriculture department alleges that his products have been connected to E. coli outbreaks in two other states. Those reports led to a raid of Miller’s farm in early January, followed by a lawsuit from the agriculture department. Lawyers for Miller have countered, saying the raid was justified by reports of a 2016 death supposedly linked to Miller’s products.” (02/29/24)

CA: Billionaire-backed campaign for new city off to a bumpy start

Source: SFGate

“After two false starts, the billionaires behind a plan to build an eco-friendly city from scratch are behind schedule to put their proposal before California voters this November. Former Goldman Sachs trader Jan Sramek unveiled his closely guarded ballot initiative for the proposed community between San Francisco and Sacramento in January, a plan that envisions 20,000 homes, transit infrastructure, schools, jobs and green space for an initial 50,000 residents. He has since amended it twice to address concerns raised by Solano County and a neighboring U.S. Air Force base. Thursday is the deadline for the county counsel’s office to give the ballot initiative a title and summary, which will allow signature gatherers to hit the streets in search of the 13,000 they need — and preferably thousands more as a cushion. The delays mean the campaign has just two months, not three, to collect signatures if they want to give elections officials the maximum time to verify them.” (02/29/24)

SCOTUS will rule on disgraced former president’s immunity claim

Source: CBS News

“The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would decide whether former President Donald Trump is entitled to broad immunity from prosecution for acts allegedly committed while in office, teeing up another blockbuster election-year showdown that could have major ramifications for the federal criminal cases against him. The unsigned order from the high court granted special counsel Jack Smith’s request for the justices to decide the issue. The justices are set to decide the question: ‘whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.'” (02/28/24)