Pentagon Preparing To Send 2,000 Additional U.S. Troops To Southern Border

Approximately 2,000 additional active duty U.S. service members are expected to deploy to the southern border, many of whom will be used to build and reinforce about 160 miles of concertina wire.

At a Pentagon news conference Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters “several thousand” more troops would head to the U.S.-Mexico border, joining about 2,350 already deployed across Texas, Arizona and California. The additional forces will bring the total number of troops to nearly 4,500, but that number will be temporary as some units are expected to return to their bases. In December, about 5,900 service members were deployed. There are also about 2,200 National Guard troops who have been serving on the southern border since last April.

Thousands more troops to head to the southern border


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Deadly Polar Vortex Slams The Midwest, Cancelling Flights

Polar air brought record-low temperatures to much of the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday. School was canceled for Wednesday and Thursday in many cities, including Chicago, and police warned of the risk of accidents on icy highways. Michigan said all state offices would remain closed through Thursday. The U.S. Postal Service even halted deliveries from parts of the Dakotas through Ohio. 

In Chicago, temperatures hovered around minus 18 Fahrenheit. Temperatures in parts of the Northern Plains and Great Lakes plunged to as low minus 42 in Park Rapids, Minnesota, and minus 31F in Fargo, North Dakota, according to the National Weather Service. The frigid winds were headed for the U.S. East Coast later on Wednesday into Thursday.

At least five deaths related to extreme cold weather have been reported since Saturday in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Hundreds of flights, more than half of those scheduled, were canceled on Wednesday out of Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway international airports, and Amtrak said it would cancel all trains in and out of Chicago on Wednesday. Most federal government offices in Washington D.C. opened three hours late on Wednesday due to frigid weather already impacting the area.

Midwest Freeze Cancels Flights, Even Stops the Mail


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Discusses Potential Changes To NFL Instant Replay

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, discussing the possibility of expanding instant replay to allow it for penalties like pass interference.

Goodell said the league will consider how replay can be improved, but he doesn’t necessarily envision changes that would have made any difference for the missed call that went against the Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

Goodell said, “we will look again at instant replay. Should replay be expanded? It does not cover judgment calls. This was a judgment call. The other complication is this was a no-call, and our coaches and clubs have been very resistant, and there has not been support to date, of having a replay assistant or somebody in New York throw a flag when there has not been a flag on the field.”

There seems to be growing momentum for allowing coaches to challenge any call they want to challenge, including penalties, which Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been a longtime advocate of.

Goodell: Changes to replay again to be discussed


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Arizona Diamondbacks Reach $3.25M, One-Year Deal With Reliever Greg Holland

Reliever Greg Holland and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a $3.25 million, one-year contract. The deal allows Holland to earn an additional $3.5 million in bonuses.

Holland, a 33-year-old right-hander, was 2-2 with a 4.66 ERA with St. Louis and Washington last season, when he earned $14 million. He has a 2.83 ERA in eight major league seasons. With Kansas City, Holland had a 1.80 ERA in 2011, a 1.21 ERA and 47 saves in 2013 and a 1.44 ERA with 46 saves in 2014. An elbow injury that required surgery in 2015 affected his velocity, but he has remained mostly effective.

Holland pitched one season for Colorado before going to St. Louis last year. Holland was released by the Cardinals after going 0-2 with a 7.92 ERA in 32 games. He signed with Washington and was 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA in 24 games for the Nationals.

Diamondbacks sign Greg Holland to one-year deal, per report


Luke Combs Announces His First Headlining Arena Tour

Luke Combs is about to embark on his first headlining arena tour in 2019, called the Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour.

The tour will kick off on January 31 in Birmingham, Alabama, with more than 25 stops through May 12. Combs has previously toured with Brantley Gilbert’s The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour in 2017 and Jason Alean’s High Noon Neon Tour in 2018.

Lanco and Jameson Rodgers will serve as support on Luke’s Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour.

Check out the full list of tour dates in the link below. 

Luke Combs Ready to “Bat Cleanup” on First Headlining Arena Tour


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Cody Johnson’s ‘Ain’t Nothin’ to It’ Album Debuts At No. 1

Cody Johnson’s debut major-label release Ain’t Nothin’ to It has landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, as well as at the top of the publication’s all-genre Digital Album Sales chart.

Johnson also makes his mark at No. 9 on the overall Billboard 200, which compiles sales from every arena of music.

The lead single from Ain’t Nothin’ To It, “On My Way To You,” has also garnered a slew of fan support, reaching more than 33 million on-demand streams and selling over 310,000 track equivalents. The track is a love song inspired by his wife Brandi. “Before I met my wife, I was not a good kid,” he explains. “I was pretty wild. I talk about that plan that God has, and when I met her, everything changed.”

Fans of Johnson can catch the Texas native out on the road beginning January 31 in Fargo ND through the beginning of August.

Texas Traditionalist Cody Johnson Has a New No. 1 Album . . . and Nothing But “Love & Respect for Florida Georgia Line & Sam Hunt”


Celebrities Offer Support For “Empire” Star Jussie Smollett As Chicago Police Continue To Search For Men Responsible For Hate-Crime Against Him

Social media, fans and celebrities are offering overwhelming support for actor Jussie Smollett, standing behind him after an apparent hate crime against him. Smollett, 35, who stars as Jamal Lyon on Fox’s Empire, is recovering after he was attacked on Tuesday by two unknown men in what was a homophobic and racially-charged incident in Chicago.

The Chicago Police Department said that the television star was walking down a street when he was approached by the men who yelled out racial and homophobic slurs. Smollett was attacked about the face and the men also poured a chemical substance onto him and tied a rope around his neck.

20th Century Fox Television said in a statement: “we are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our Empire family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.”

Halle Berry, Michael B. Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey, Demi Lovato, Gabrielle Union, Reese Witherspoon, 50 Cent and many other celebrities also tweeted out in support of the actor. 

Police continue search for men involved in possible ‘racially-charged, hate crime’ against Jussie Smollett


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Nick Cannon Stepping In As Substitute Host On “The Wendy Williams Show”

Nick Cannon will temporarily sub for an ailing Wendy Williams on her talk show. 

“The Wendy Williams Show” announced Tuesday on their official Instagram account that Cannon will guest-host for part of next week.  The post read: “Friend to the show and host of Fox’s The Masked Singer and MTV’s Wild n’ Out, @nickcannon will be guest hosting The Wendy Williams Show on Monday, February 4th, Tuesday, February 5th & Wednesday, February 6th. The new hour long episodes will include Wendy’s staple Hot Topics segment, ‘Ask Wendy,’ celebrity interviews and more!”

Williams shared last year that she was struggles with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid. She took a break from her show last February as a result. Williams continues to deal with medical challenges related to her condition and is also recovering from a fractured shoulder, according to her show team. 

Viewers became concerned about Williams’ health in 2017 after she fainted during her show.

Wendy Williams Passes Nick Cannon The Torch, Appoints Him Interim Host


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Foreigner Announce ‘Live at the Rainbow ’78’ Video

A concert Foreigner performed in London in support of their debut album is getting released as Live at the Rainbow ’78, available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital video on March 15.

Filmed on April 27, 1978, at the Rainbow Theatre, the concert features performances of all 10 songs from Foreigner, including the hits “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice.”

The home-video release also includes a pair of songs that found a home on Double Vision later that year: the title track and “Hot Blooded.” The audio has been remixed and remastered from the original film reels.

Live at the Rainbow ’78 arrives soon after original singer Lou Gramm announced that he’ll stop performing as a solo act. Gramm later revealed he wants to spend more time with his family and concentrate on completing and releasing some unreleased songs.

Classic Foreigner Concert Film Coming To DVD and Blu-Ray


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J. Cole To Headline 2019 NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game is a few weeks away, and it has been announced that rapper J. Cole will headline its halftime show. The event will take place at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 17. 

Cole is tapped to perform a medley of his hits during the halftime show of the game. Meanwhile, Meek Mill will open the night as the All-Stars teams are introduced, and Carly Rae Jepsen is set to take the stage to perform a rendition of the Canadian National Anthem, while R&B singer Anthony Hamilton will be in charge for the performance of the U.S. National Anthem.

J. Cole recently released his new single ‘MIDDLE CHILD’ produced by T-Minus. 

The 68th annual NBA All-Star Game will air live at 8 P.M. ET on TNT and will be seen by fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

J. Cole to Perform at NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show


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