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Department of Housing and Urban Development officials reportedly spent $31,000 on a new dining set for Ben Carson’s office after announcing plans to cut programs for the elderly, homeless, and poor. The revelation came after a staff member complained that Carson’s wife, Candy, pressured officials into finding money for the pricey redecoration. (NY Times)
Jared Kushner’s security clearance has been downgraded after months of delays in completing his background check and his position inside the White House is expected to be reduced as well. Officials also report that conversations intercepted from at least four foreign governments — China, Israel, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates — show discussions about using business opportunities to seek leverage over Kushner. (NY Times)
Instead of visiting the White House, the Golden State Warriors decided to celebrate their 2016-17 championship win by taking kids from Kevin Durant’s hometown on a trip to the African American Museum in DC. The team had previously announced their decision to skip the White House, which led to Donald Trump pettily rescinding the offer. Klay Thompson told reporters that the team made the decision not to visit the White House because they felt “uncomfortable” due to ongoing circumstances. (Bleacher Report)
Disney CEO Bob Iger says a Black Panther theme park ride may be in the works. Calling the film “an important moment in culture,” Iger stated, “We haven’t had a chance to build a ride, though, I’m sure there are people who are working on it.” (Blavity)
Everyone wants to be Oprah’s friend and the media mogul says that could be because she’s super supportive. “I am so supportive of whoever or whatever you want to do or be. I am just there for you. There is no competition.” (E! News)
Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are calling out the NCAA for not paying players after a recent news report shed light on corruption within the organization. Anthony told reporters he would love to advocate on behalf of student-athletes, while James added, “I don’t know if there’s fixing the NCAA. It’s been going on for many, many, many years. I don’t know how you can fix it. I haven’t been a part of it…but I know what five-star athletes bring to a campus. I know how much coaches get paid.” (Complex)
Fans are in their feelings after video of SZA’s dad vibin’ to “Broken Clocks” recently went viral. “SZA’s dad crying while listening to broken clocks is my forever mood,” Twitter user @lovesephora shared. The tweet was later retweeted by SZA, who wrote, “Really love u daddy. Thank u for loving ME! Forever my favorite warrior.” (Twitter)
Idris Elba is bringing the story of his childhood to TV. The actor and director’s new series, In the Long Run, is an 80s sitcom set in London, loosely inspired by his upbringing. The first photos from the show have been shared and feature Elba as the family patriarch, Walter. (Variety)
Iyanla Vanzant is firing back at Karrueche Tran’s manager over claims that she bullied the actress and model during an appearance on Iyanla: Fix My Life in 2015. Tran’s manager, Jacob, says Karrueche was expecting a regular interview, not to be “fixed.” Vanzant, however, says that’s a lie. “They wanted her to become a Kim Kardashian through her exposure on my show and it didn’t work because they forgot who I am. They thought they were going to come in my show and run their program and they didn’t.” (MadameNoire)
Applicants for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have a few steps to overcome before landing a spot on the show, including getting tested for STDs. In her new book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, Amy Kaufman writes that the most common STD applicants face is herpes and that many find out for the first time that they have the disease after production assistants cut them from the show. (Jezebel)
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